Ex-PI and administrative assistent at Columbia University John Blake returns in this very noir novel. Classmate Dorrie seems to have committed suicide, a fact which the cops seem to take for granted. She made a deal with John however to call him before she would commit suicide, which she didn't. This raises enough questions for him to investigate further. He gets involved in the shady world of massage parlors, Hungarian gangsters and family secrets. He's captured, tortured, on the run for the cops and faces just how far he's willing to go for justice.
The ending is dark, depressing but almost the only possible one. Not my favorite book of the year, but it could be the one that will stay with me the most.
As an added bonus: as always with Hard Case books the cover art is stunning!