cover image Nicotine Kiss: An Amos Walker Novel

Nicotine Kiss: An Amos Walker Novel

Loren D. Estleman, Author . Forge $23.95 (254p) ISBN 978-0-765

Amos Walker, Estleman's hard-boiled Detroit PI, shows no sign of losing steam in the 18th novel in this Shamus Award-winning series (Retro , etc.). When a routine job tracing a deadbeat dad turns violent, Walker's life is saved by Jeff Starzek, an acquaintance on the wrong side of the law. That act of kindness eventually involves the detective in a murky, twisty inquiry into Starzek's disappearance. The trail leads Walker to a cold, desolate area near Lake Huron and the bizarre Church of the Inland Sea, an evangelical house of worship marked by images of the martyred St. Sebastian. Evidence turns up suggesting that Starzek has moved from smuggling cigarettes to working with a terrorist counterfeiting ring. Unlike many other authors, Estleman successfully introduces a topical post-9/11 plot line into his creation's world. No current writer has consistently evoked Chandler and Marlowe like Estleman, whose steady if unflashy work has yet to gain him the plaudits or name recognition he deserves. (Apr.)