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Pittsburgh is a stew of ethnic divisions and, for some, a heritage of crime, punishment, and revenge. This is the legacy left to Carroll Dorsey, the son of a powerful political boss who is on his deathbed. Now a P.I. working the same streets where he once played as a boy, Dorsey is determined to look forward and not back as he makes a living in the city he’s always called home.
But nothing is as it seems when Dorsey is retained by an old gentlemanly Jewish gangster to search for the man’s long-lost lover. As Dorsey traces the life, times, and disappearance of a magnificent woman with a Lena Horne smile, he finds himself immersed in the most agonizing case of his career. For as he winds his way through broken families, broken neighborhoods, and broken promises, to the scene of a horrifying triple homicide, Dorsey is forced to confront a crime carried out fifty years ago—-one that reaches far too close to home…
Nobody promised Carroll Dorsey it would be easy, slogging it out as a p.i. in a gritty town built of steel. But then, nobody knows the mean streets of Pittsburgh quite like Dorsey, who has to use his first-class wits and blue-collar instincts to dig up the kind of info that does its best to stay buried.
Parish priest Tom Crimmins denies gunning down the husband of the lovely, lascivious lady with whom he’d been having a decidedly non-celibate affair. But his motives were powerful, his alibi’s puny, and a vindictive ex-nun insists she can prove he was the murderer. What’s more, Dorsey’s become the target of a virulent vendetta: District Attorney Douglas Turner plans to use his enormous power to see that the detective he loathes loses his clients, his license…and maybe his life.
Insurance fraud investigation—trying to outsmart liars and cheats looking for a fast buck by scamming the system—may not be very glamorous, but these days in Pittsburgh, it’s food on the table for P. 1. Carroll Dorsey. And with the economy headed south, fake fall-downs have turned into something of a working-class growth industry. Thing is, though, the more Dorsey looks, the more he sees. This phony-injury epidemic is bigger than it seems, and it might involve some of the heaviest hitters in town. If Dorsey makes the wrong move, he’s liable to take the big fall-down himself and he’s got no insurance…