In this masterful follow-up to Peter Spiegelman’s stunning debut Black Maps, private investigator John March finds himself drawn into a web of corruption that extends from the halls of high finance to the dark underworld of organized crime. Gregory Danes, a Wall Street analyst has gone missing, and his ex-wife, a fashionable painter, calls March to track him down. She just wants him to sign her alimony checks, but as March soon discovers, she’s not the only one looking for him. Danes was once an industry hot shot, but has lost his touch. His biggest gains lately, it seems, had been in enemies–including a few members of the Russian mob. When March receives a threat upon his own family, he realizes Danes had been involved in something far more dangerous than insider trading.
Shamus-winner Spiegelman's intricate, intelligent second thriller to feature all-too-human New York PI John March (after 2003's Black Maps) explores skulduggery in the world of high finance. Nina Sachs, a high-strung Brooklyn artist, hires March to find her missing ex-husband, Gregory Danes, an arrogant stock analyst who became a media star during the last bull market. Sachs hates Danes, but he's the father of their teenage son and her primary money supply (alimony, child support). March uncovers a huge list of potential enemies: investors burned by Danes, a vindictive ex-mistress, a scary Russian mobster and a reclusive hedge fund manager. That someone else is also looking for Danes someone with the resources to surveil March, his girlfriend and his extended family adds to the suspense. Spiegelman makes all the details ring true, and his fine prose can be lyrical (a spring rain gives Manhattan "a scrubbed, surprised look, like a drunk, waking up sober and in his own bed for the first time in a long time"). While the determined March has the requisite grit, he is also appealingly vulnerable and introspective. If it's hard to care too much about the victim, Spiegelman makes the search extremely compelling.