cover image Invasion of Privacy

Invasion of Privacy

Jeremiah F. Healy, J. F. Healy, Healy. Atria Books, $56 (352pp) ISBN 978-0-671-89876-2

Boston PI John Francis Cuddy's 11th case (after Rescue) puts him on the trail of a man with no apparent past. Cuddy's client, banker Olga Evorova, loves businessman Andrew Dees. Although Dees has charmed Evorova, the shrewd Russian immigrant is troubled by his obsessive secrecy. Pretending to survey Dees's neighbors about their apartment complex, Cuddy meets a puzzling hostility from the property manager and takes a beating from two goons who warn him to butt out. He persists, soon learning that the real Andrew Dees died years ago, and that Evorova's beau has taken the dead man's name. On a hunch, Cuddy shows his mob contact, New Age music lover Primo Zuppone, a picture of the false Dees. Suddenly, out-of-town hoods descend on Boston with their own murderous priorities, only to learn that Dees and Evorova have disappeared. As usual, Healy provides Cuddy with a rich supporting cast. Cuddy's lover, prosecutor Nancy Meagher, discovers a symptom of breast cancer, the disease that killed his first wife, Beth. Cuddy connoisseurs will notice his ""conversations"" at Beth's grave becoming shorter and less frequent, as Healy's hero moves cautiously into a new relationship. The plot evokes vintage Ross Macdonald: the detective's search reveals old secrets that spawn new horrors years later. Cuddy is always good gritty company, and Healy has written another engrossing entry in this consistently solid series. (July)