"A tremendous writer. . . . Where else can you find a mystery series with as many layers of gorgeous stuff?"―Chicago Tribune"The detective is dead" because the old process of justice doesn't work any more. No one, including Detective Chief Superintendent Colin Harpur, would testify at the trial; Harpur refused to name his informant. The three murderers who were being tried are part of a savage underworld struggle for the lucrative domain of the late drug baron Kenward Knapp. The story opens as the three assemble at Ralph Embers's seedy club "The Monty" to celebrate their acquittal. The key player behind the scenes is ambitious drug dealer Keith Vine, now an informant for Harpur. Vine's partners have been murdered and his life is in danger. Harpur wants to send him (and his smart, beautiful, pregnant girlfriend, Becky) safely abroad, while the coldly plotting ACC Desmond Iles wants to keep him here, to serve as bait for the killers. Part pawn, part murderous player himself, reaching hungrily for the Knapp riches, Vine disappears into a labyrinth of fear and greed, twisting through schemes and alliances that very likely will destroy him.