Helen Crane, a beauty "men build dreams around," hires private eye Alo Nudger to find out what's troubling her lover Jake Dancer. Middle-aging, old-shoe Nudger tails Dancer and manages to save him from a couple of strong-arm men. Dancer, handsome, feckless, an alcoholic and compulsive gambler is vague about the money he owes, and Nudger learns that Helen, working for an "escort service," plans to move "up" to prostitution to help pay Dancer's debts. Then Dancer vanishes, Nudger's lover Claudia is abducted, and the story ends with the uncovering of a grisly, sadistic snuff-film operation.
"Lutz's plotting here has a stark, unusual, genuinely disturbing curve to it—making this another Nudgeresque blend of strong action, lean atmosphere, and downbeat personality."
"...[Lutz] deserves high marks for another intriguing glimpse into the unusual world of Alo Nudger, a uniquely warm and thoroughly disheveled detective."
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