In a world where print newspapers are increasingly anachronistic and struggling to survive the onslaught of instant news delivery offered by 24-hour television and the Internet, Deuce must confront the mob, corrupt government, even her own editors to stay on the story.
Even more daunting is the need to face up to her own worst fears and to find the strength to see her mission through in the face of impossible odds.
It can be an unpleasant surprise when the kitten you bought as a pet grows up to be a man-eating tiger.
That’s pretty much what happens to Deuce Mora, a columnist for the Chicago Journal, one of those big-city newspapers struggling to stay solvent in a world that considers them relics of a bygone era.
Deuce needs a column, so she digs out of her “ideas” file an old tip that should be, at best, a human interest story. It is the tale of Vinnie Colangelo, an aging, low-level Chicago mobster living on beer, bourbon, and regret. Deuce finds him in a seedy Cicero bar late one afternoon, already drunk and resolute in his determination not to talk to her.
Afraid for his safety in the boozy world he inhabits, Deuce gives him a ride home and thus seals his brutal fate. When Deuce learns the next day that Vinnie has been tortured and murdered, she is left with more guilt than she can shoulder, more curiosity than she can ignore, and in more danger than she can imagine.
The mobster’s final words to her shove her into a world of political and criminal intrigue and confront her with three horrific crimes that span nearly six decades. Can all of them be linked?
It is a mystery Deuce will either solve or die in the trying.
This is a story that could only be set in Chicago, a city that rises as the principal character in any book it inhabits.