The third novel in the Easy Rawlins novels, this book begins with Rawlins being confronted in his house by several local police and politicians. Rawlins is married now, and in the last book he adopted (under the table) a young Mexican boy who now lives with them. He’s also got an infant daughter by way of his wife. Anyway, Rawlins tells us that this is not typical to be confronted by police in his living room, where he is being coerced into helping them with an investigation. Someone has been killing young Black sex workers and no one has cared (and Rawlins admits, including him) but now a white woman who ran away from a rich family is missing and presumed dead, they care again. They tell him he needs to get on the case or else he might find it not so easy to live in the neighborhood. Some things to remember: Rawlins bought his house with dirty money, and his job as a super in an apartment is a front for also buying his apartment building with dirty money. In the last book this came to a head, and he’s a survivor.
So he begins investigating and learns among other things that this woman has become as much a part of the LA demimonde as any body else. If she doesn’t want to be found or if someone doesn’t want her to be found, it’s going to be tough to find her. In the meantime, we also see a lot of clues about the strain that Rawlins and his wife are having in their marriage. In an early scene, he comes home drunk and they have sex (if you ask him) but if you ask her, he came home drunk and demanded sex, and either she acquiesced or he took it. Don’t mistake him for a hero by the way.
Of course as the case progresses, his home problems begin blending with his professional problems, as usually happens in detective novels.