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Spring has come to Detroit’s Sugartown enclave, and Amos Walker would like to feel kindly toward the human race. Unfortunately, his first case of the new season immediately leads him into trouble among the Polish settlers of neighboring Hamtramck, when old Martha Evancek hires him to look for her missing grandson. But even before Walker gets a chance to investigate, he’s presented with a second case: an eminent Russian novelist who fears that someone is out to kill him. Walker knows the two cases are connected, but finding that link might cost him his life.
The blonde wore a red slip and held a broken bottle in her hand. The man wore a trench coat and a fedora, and through the window flames were burning in the night….The paperback novel Walker carried in his pocket was fifty years old and-from its tawdry cover to its fiery prose-still red hot. A fictionalized tale of a real-life Detroit race riot in 1943, Paradise Valley was written by a man named Eugene Booth. With a New York publisher dying to reprint Booth’s pulp-fiction classic, Booth’s disappearance didn’t make any sense. At least not yet. While hunting down Booth, Walker finds this peaceful missing-person case developing into something much more deadly. For a notorious New York mob hit man, one in protective custody and promoting his own bestselling, tell-all book, is also trailing Booth, and a half-century-old murder is coming back to light. Between that killing and the story told in Booth’s Paradise Valley, Walker is sure Booth has good reasons to want to disappear, and some people have good reasons…[more]