It is impossible not to respond warmly and with affection to John Lutz's rather hapless private investigator, Alo Nudger. In this, his tenth attempt to make order in the chaos of the world around him, he is coerced by a very young, fearless, feckless pixie of a colleague named Lacy Tumulty to take over a case that she's too busy to handle. The client is a man who wants to prove his daughter was murdered. The police won't do it, so he has hired Lacy, who enlists Nudger. The daughter, alone in her locked house, tripped on the stairs, fell, fractured her skull, and died. Seems to Nudger it's almost robbery to take the man's money. But all is not what it seems. Lacy is beaten by an unknown assailant and devilishly crippled by the severing of an Achilles tendon. Even Claudia Bettencourt, to whom Nudger is "not married, but attached," becomes imperiled.