Where the Dead Lay
When Frank Behr’s friend and mentor is murdered without any apparent motive, he thirsts for answers and retaliation. But before he can make headway in the dead-end investigation, a private firm approaches him with a delicate proposition: two of its detectives have gone missing, and the firm wants Behr to find out what happened to them. The search for the missing detectives takes Behr into the recesses of Indianapolis’s underworld, a place rife with brutality and vice where Behr uncovers a shocking thread connecting the missing detectives to his friend’s brutal murder, and, in the process, an ominous, deadly new breed of crime family.
From the Paperback edition.
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Frank Behr arrives at his friend, Aureilio's martial arts studio and finds Aureilio has been murdered. By the look of things, Frank thinks that it's taken three men to commit the crime.
Frank wants to find and take revenge on his friend's killer. As he begins his investigation, he's asked to look into the disappearance of two private investigators from one of the prestige agencies. At first he refuses but his old boss, Capt. Pomeroy, gets him to change his mind with the possibility of getting back on the police force if he succeeds.
Frank is told that there are "pea-shake" houses where gambling takes place in low rent, condemned buildings in Indianapolis. Someone has been attempting to take over this action and killing or beating the people who stand in their way.
As the tension mounts, we follow Terry Schlegal, his three sons and an ex-con named Knute, as they begin their plan to take over all of the pea-shake houses; according to Financial Gary, this could be worth tens of millions of dollars.
The novel moves with breakneck speed with plenty of action and violence. The author writes a good thriller and holds the reader's attention, not letting go until the final page.
I enjoyed the novel. The Schlegal family are like a modern Manson family in their evilness and immorality. Frank Behr is an interesting character, a mixture of strength, bravery and integrity with just the right mix of tenderness.