Four down on my reread-Crais project. So far, so good!
Crais's hero detective Elvis Cole is hired by bubbly, innocent, pretty Jennifer Sheridan to investigate the cause of her fiancé's recent strange behavior. Fiancé Mark's a cop, and he's become moody, irritable, closed off, and the like. Elvis doesn't really want to take the case, but (sigh) a detective's gotta eat. So he asks for $2000 cash in advance, his regular rate.
Jennifer counter-offers, placing two twenties on his desk and promising to pay "forty dollars per month for forty-nine months".
Of course, Elvis accedes. But near-immediately after Jennifer leaves, Mark shows up with another cop, who's brandishing a gun. They demand Elvis drop the case.
Well, that's not gonna happen now.
No surprise: Elvis and his partner Joe Pike eventually figure out what's going on, but not without a lot of peril.
I might as well mention a minor stylistic irritation. Whenever Elvis drives somewhere, we get things like: "I drove up to Sixty-fourth, pulled a U-turn at the light, then swung back and parked at the curb in front of the transmission place." Elvis, I don't care how you got to the taco stand.
Also, you know those old war movies, when one of the soldiers starts talking all moon-eyed about the girl back home, and you know that in an upcoming scene that he's going to buy the farm? I got that premonition about one of the characters here, … and I was right.