NoMan'sDogADetectiveSergeantMulheisenMystery

No Man's Dog A Detective Sergeant Mulheisen Mystery (Atlantic Monthly Press) [電子書籍版]
Jon A. Jackson

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"Fang" Mulheisen is back for an explosive confrontation with his old nemesis, Joe Service. Mulheisen and Service came to an unspoken agreement to let each other be over the deathbed of Humphrey DiEbola, Detroit's then-mob head, in La Donna Detroit, and in Badger Games Joe and his lover, the mafia princess Helen Sedlacek, seemed to be going "straight." But nothing can stay calm for long.

The novel opens with Mulheisen's aged mother nearly slain by a savage and incomprehensible bombing at an orderly protest by environmentalists against a planned development that threatens the habitat of a certain sparrow. Mulheisen resigns from the force and moves back home to nurse her. But as she recovers he turns his implacable attention to the bombers. Colonel Tucker, the head of the above-the-law outfit of like-minded government agents the Lucani, is in charge of the government's Task Force, and would really like Mulheisen on board, but he's not interested. However, his friend Wunney, a Detroit cop assigned to the Task Force, gives him the inside dirt with typical police scorn for the G-man: the Task Force can't decide if it's an anti-environmental affair, an international terrorist group making their hideous point, or a drug cartel's bungled attempt to quiet a witness or spring him. What about the gun-happy patriot-survivalist "Imp" Luck? They've eliminated him from suspicion but, Wunney tells Mulheisen, his alibis need alibis. Was he there, perhaps about a hearing on some property inherited from his late wife? Was he the weirdo who warned Ma Mulheisen to "get out of this," a memory that has not quite come back to her . . . yet?

Meanwhile, Joe Service has been jolted out of the straight life by a visit from an old mob contact to whom he'd once done a mitzvah. Not only does the man have no trouble finding him (so much for the well-guarded security on his and Helen's Montana property-in a small-town environment, the chatty locals are the real security breach!), but he also informs Joe that someone has been asking about him-someone who supposedly died when Joe took out a plane for the Lucani. This man, international drug smuggler Echeverria, is apparently alive and kicking, and looking for revenge. In all likelihood, Colonel Tucker set Joe up, and is now turning Echeverria loose on him. Joe goes on the run, leaving Helen behind, and an old contact informs him that he's actually a suspect in the Detroit bombing that nearly got Ma Mulheisen. The whole scenario is spelled out neatly on a website run by none other than Imp Luck.

Naturally, this puts Mulheisen and Service on a collision course. Mulheisen finds out that Luck's wife, whose death left him land-rich, may not have died of natural causes-but her doctor won't talk, and all her files are frozen by Homeland Security. In fact, she may have been Lucani. And Service notices a resemblance between a Middle-Eastern man called Hook, hanging around Luck's camp, and Muhammad Al-Huq, an Al Qaeda associate that the Kosovar refugees from Badger Games saw hanging around the murderous Lucani agent Jamala Sanders who was killed at the end of that book. When Mulheisen's snooping at Luck's compound brings him to Hook's attention, and he's locked up in a holding cell in the barn, none other than Joe Service slips in to come to his rescue. And guess who is in the compound at the same time? Lucani leader Colonel Tucker, who is clearly shielding Luck from suspicion for the bombing and his wife's death. Not only that, he's got Luck running his errands, picking up Echeverria at the airport to facilitate his confrontation with the pesky Service.

Well, if Joe thought he was protecting Helen from danger, or even just escaping her, by leaving her in Montana, he underestimated her greatly. Helen is coming for her man, armed with murderous rage at her abandonment (and several firearms). Unfortunately, in tracking him she stumbles across Ma Mulheisen, who's just remembered the man in the courthouse, and, not connecting the dots, she inadvertently reveals the identity of this witness to Luck. Mulheisen arrives home just in time to prevent Hook from neutralizing his mother; then it's back upstate with Wunney, clad in Task-Force-provided Homeland Security jackets, to make the collar. They hit the Luck compound just as Joe Service proves he's not quite ready to go back to the straight life, hitting Luck's bunker-cum-heliport-cum-ammo-dump with a few grenades and blowing it sky high. Consider Echeverria-and Luck, and his goons-no longer a threat. The grab for Mulheisen is Hook, who escaped from the bunker-but not the law.

No Man's Dog is a compelling, wickedly clever mystery which manipulates several taut narrative threads and a host of today's hot-button concerns into a story of stunning entertainment.

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