"Dunne's bravura plotting asserts an exhilarating mastery." The New York Times Book Review.
In John Gregory Dunne's celebrated third novel, Los Angeles-based criminal defense attorney Dutch Shea, Jr. struggles to keep from falling apart after an act of terrorist violence strikes his family, the loss pushing him towards a confrontation with his past and into a mystery involving the death of his father, a felon who died in prison.
Set in L.A. and Dunne's hometown of Hartford, Connecticut, the novel follows Shea into a labyrinth of deception, corruption, and criminal malice. Fighting to keep a host of disturbing memories tamped down, Shea plunges into his legal work, one embedding him in a world of scammers and burglars, pimps and prostitutes, corrupt cops and shady private eyes. With unrivaled detail and pitch-black humor, Dunne takes us into police precincts and criminal courtrooms, judge's chambers and city morgues. The novel's deft noir touches will remind readers of Raymond Chandler and Dashiell Hammett, while Dunne's command of legal dynamics and police procedures anticipates fiction by Scott Turow, John Grisham and Michael Connelly.
Introducing a sweeping cast of two dozen vivid characters, including Shea's sometime girlfriend, a judge who packs a pistol under her robe, Dutch Shea, Jr. is a gripping, bleakly funny exploration of a fallen world through which its past-haunted hero weaves, beset from within and without, for a series of fraught days.