A teenage runaway from the Brownsville projects, Alessandra Martillo lived with an indifferent aunt who had taken her in when her mother killed herself, and later, after more than a year on the streets, a caring uncle found her, took her in, and showed her she had a chance. That was many years ago, and now Alessandra’s all grown up, working for a sleazy P.I., repossessing cars, and trolling for waitstaff on the take. The cases aren’t glamorous, or interesting, but the work pays the bills. And she’s good at it---if there’s one thing she’s learned since leaving the streets, it’s how to take care of herself around life’s shadier elements.
When an Irish mobster named Daniel “Mickey” Caughlan thinks someone on the inside of his shipping operation is trying to set him up for a fall, it’s Al he wants on the job. She’s to find the traitor and report back. But just a little digging shows it’s more complicated than a simple turncoat inside the family; Al’s barely started on the case when she runs into a few tough guys trying to warn her away. Fools. As if a little confrontation wouldn’t make her even more determined.
Norman Green, critically acclaimed author of four crime novels, debuts a fresh, edgy character in the streetwise Alessandra Martillo, a female take on the P.I.s of yesteryear. Tough as nails and sometimes heartless, smart and altogether too brave for her own good, Al is one of the most interesting lead characters to hit crime fiction in years.
Praise for Norman Green
“A blaze of a book with an absolutely white-hot, kick-ass heroine.”
--Cornelia Read, Edgar Award-finalist author of The Crazy School
“Green imbues Stoney’s hard-boiled lowlifes with warm-hearted humanity.”
--Entertainment Weekly on Dead Cat Bounce
“Manny is an interesting character, whose story spins out briskly and suspensefully…. Green is described as having been a truck driver, construction worker, and plant engineer. Somewhere in there he also learned plenty about the world of crime.”
--The Washington Post on Way Past Legal
“Green writes about mobster families with a knowledge that is unnerving in its intimacy. Here he extends that empathy to…those ghosts who live to haunt the streets of a depressed city.”
--Marilyn Stasio, The New York Times Book Review, on The Angel of Montague Street