3718385Devlin Tracy, Trace to his friends, is a P.I. who works out of Las Vegas and lives with Chico, a blackjack dealer/part time hooker. He’s your typical wisecracking detective, sarcasm delivered with stunning regularity.

He’s an insurance investigator for Garrison Fidelity and is sent to New Jersey to look into a case there. One of their policyholders died in a private hospital and it was discovered he’d changed his beneficiary on a hundred thousand dollar life insurance just a few days before he’d died. The new name was that of the doctor that ran the private hospital.

At the same time, the owner of GF asks him to look in on a rich friend, a recent heart attack victim, residing in the same hospital. He’s worried that their might be something to the claims of the first patient’s family who’s threatening to sue.

Things seem fairly straightforward though to Trace as he interviews all the participants, the lawyers, one in particular representing both the doctor and the rich friends of his boss.

Until he’s jumped by a pair late at night, thumping him a bit before he gets the upper hand and drives them off. Both his rear tires had been flattened and he finds a scrap of paper lying beside the car embossed with the hospital’s name at the top.

When on a case, Trace keeps a tape recorder taped to his back, a wire running around to a tie clasp/speaker. He records interviews and makes personal notes to himself. He listens to them later to organize his thoughts and maybe gain some insight.

Liked this one. Warren Murphy is one those responsible for two of the most popular characters in adventure fiction. Remo Williams, The Destroyer, and his mentor, Chiun.

Patti Abbott does the collecting on Fridays at PATTINASE.