After an ice pick is used for murder in San Francisco, the Washington elite comes down on Hastings It starts as an everyday fender bender: Two cars collide in heavy evening traffic. But when the police arrive to take statements, the occupants of one car take off running. They leave another man behind, slumped in the backseat, dead of a single stab wound to the chest. Lieutenant Frank Hastings abandons a family dinner to take charge of the scene, which rapidly devolves into chaos. The police corner one of the runners in an abandoned building, capturing him after a standoff. The night’s excitement may be over, but the real trouble has yet to start. The dead man is Eliot Murdock, a washed-up political commentator who came west from DC to chase the scoop of his career. As Hastings digs into Murdock’s story, he finds himself hemmed in by Washington big shots—formidable men who have made the mistake of underestimating the strength of one very tenacious cop.
About the author
Collin Wilcox (1924–1996) was an American author of mystery fiction. Born in Detroit, he set most of his work in San Francisco, beginning with 1967’s The Black Door—a noir thriller starring a crime reporter with extrasensory perception. Under the pen name Carter Wick, he published several standalone mysteries including The Faceless Man (1975) and Dark House, Dark Road (1982), but he found his greatest success under his own name, with the celebrated Frank Hastings series. Hastings, a football player turned San Francisco homicide detective, made his debut in The Lonely Hunter (1969), and Wilcox continued to follow him for the rest of his career, publishing nearly two dozen novels in the series, which concludes with Calculated Risk (1995). Wilcox’s other best-known series stars Alan Bernhardt, a theatrical director with a habit of getting involved in behind-the-scenes mysteries. Bernhardt appeared in four more books after his introduction in 1988’s Bernhardt’s Edge.
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