Tom Crandall is a certified hero. A medic who risked his life to save wounded soldiers during a firefight and at great risk pulled people from underneath a collapsed building following an earthquake, he spends his days on ambulance runs helping the dregs of San Francisco. His wife, Clarissa, is a singer, worried about her career as she approaches forty.
Tom and Marsh are periodic drinking buddies at Guido's. Tom sidles up to Marsh one evening distraught because his wife, Clarissa, is being pulled away from him by Richard Sands, a local millionaire who made his money in legal, but borderline ethical, leverage buyouts. It would appear he now wants to buyout Clarissa. Not much Marsh can do except to try and provide some emotional support. Then Tom is found dead in an abandoned bus terminal. Ruled accidental or suicide or a mugging, Marsh suspected something else but has no evidence to the contrary, so he does what he knows and does best: he talks to people, and, as is typical in P.I. novels in the style of MacDonald, he uncovers familial corruption.
Along the way, Marsh muses on the state of the world. In the midst of the first Iraq war and a changing Supreme Court, he marvels at "*this* brave new world, everyone's on his own and the Constitution is less a bill of rights than a bill of lading and the Court is as oblivious to misery as God. Except that God can be oblivious and still be God, but humans can't and still be human."
I really like Greenleaf, but I'm downgrading this one a bit because I thought the end seemed a bit rushed and perhaps deliberately ambiguous. At times, his background explanations can also seem pedantic. Nevertheless, a great way to spend some time.
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