"Roberts lay in the dark, his mind running clocklike in nearly perfect
and meaningless circles. On the floor beside his single bed was a
leather suitcase bound by three leather straps, secured with a beautiful
brass lock. He had packed the night before, five pairs of jeans, some
hiking and fishing shorts, a pair of moccasins, one suit and a single
dress shirt, assorted socks and underwear, two ties, now slightly
soiled, his shaving kit and utilities, several paper novels, including
most of Beckett in Pan editions, a Glock 9mm pistol stripped into six
sections, each section well oiled and wrapped in heavy newspaper, each
wrapped part then twined inside black plastic. He had broken down his
rod and reel and had stored them in an olive-green carrying case, all of
it ready for the long flight to Miami."
After a long stay abroad and a love affair that fell apart, Mitch
Roberts is headed home. Back to his ranch, his horses and maybe, to
being a private eye again. But if Roberts is looking forward to an
uneventful life, he has farther to go than a return to southern
Colorado. His problems start when a beautiful flight attendant suggests
he meet her for a drink at her favorite bar in a stopover in Miami. The
bar’s parking lot, however, comes equipped with two thugs who knock
Mitch out, take his passport, credit cards, and every cent in his
pocket, and drive off in his rental car.
Desperate, Mitch calls the only person he knows in Miami, a former
college acquaintance named Bobby Hilliard, a rather sleazy character who
has made a lot of money in questionable ways, and is now an art dealer.
When Mitch finds the seductive flight attendant at the man’s mansion,
he is quick to realize he has been set up. But an offer of a sorely
needed big fee tempts him, and he accepts a job offer from Hilliard.
Hilliard’s agent, sent to Haiti with money to buy a large number of
Haitian paintings has disappeared. Mitch’s job is to find the agent and
buy paintings to replace those that were lost. But Haiti is dismaying.
Police officials openly scoff at Mitch. He is sickened by the tropical
heat and by the atmosphere of poverty, fear and paranoia. When Mitch
finds that the agent has been murdered he does what he must, aided only
by a Haitian guide, poor but educated, and a loyal man with whom Mitch
travels the country.