In this superbly crafted DC noir, hard-drinking Nick Stefanos is hired to find a friend's missing wife -- if he doesn't hit rock bottom first.
Nick Stefanos has given up his job in sales to tend bar at the Spot, where drinks and women are both a bit too easily available, and the routine is starting to feel as dead-end as his last gig.
But things are about to change. First, his high-school friend Billy Goodrich asks him to find his wife April, who he says left him for small-time crime boss Joey DiGeordano.
In fact, April has taken off with hog farmer/bondage freak Tommy Crane and, it turns out, with $200,000 of DiGeordano family money. There are powerful enemies on her trail -- and now on Nick's trail, too.
Discover the early work of the Emmy-nominated writer from The Wire and The Deuce, whose authentic sense of place, sharp musical references, and hardboiled style make him one of the most acclaimed in the mystery genre.
This hip and sometimes nasty booze-dope-and-good-times tale follows A Firing Offense, the first appearance of Washington, D.C., sleuth Nick Stefanos. It offers breezy, slightly uneven entertainment and some well-aimed criticism of the current music scene. Nick tends bar at the Spot, makes athletic love with his girlfriend, Lee, and agrees to impregnate his lesbian pal Jackie as a favor. Then a former road-trip buddy named Billy shows up at the Spot one night and announces that his wife is missing, as is $200,000 that belongs to a minor-league numbers runner. Nick trails the wife to the backwoods south of the city, where a mean former lover of hers slaughters pigs for kicks and a living. Then the father of the numbers runner gives Nick an unexpected lead in the unsolved murder of his journalist pal, William Henry. A cast of sharply etched minor characters, including a liquored-up, burned-out cop who plays a part in the credible, sobering conclusion, adds to the pleasures offered by the offbeat Nick, with his gruff sensibilities and fine taste in women and music.