Lethal Streets by Will Rayner

Making enemies is all too easy for private dicks in Depression-hit San Francisco.

So the last thing the father and son team of Flood and Flood need is a demented dame assailing them with a machete and a crossbow.

And what in God’s name is driving the mysterious, murderous but elusive woman in grey to first target rich old coot Randolph Baggett who then turns to the Floods – Sam and his son Thomas (T.J.) – to watch his back?

Will Rayner’s colourful romp through the underworld in 1930s America continues as the pair steer a tricky path between gangsters and law enforcers.

Sometimes it is tough to tell the two apart – maybe just a uniform.

When Sam is asked by his friend, the hat-seller Solly Silverman, to find his missing niece Sharon, he enters the depraved world of Digger O’Doul who runs a string of illicit taxi-dance venues.

When Digger proves less than cooperative with their inquiries, the Floods enlist the help of vice-king Packy Shannon as they begin to lift the lid on the seamy side of city life.

Things begin to really heat up when the Floods take on an assignment from an LA firm of investigators trying to expose rampant police corruption in San Fran.

Will they be able to hunt down pickpocket Dobie the Dip who fled the courtroom while testifying in a bribery case against the boys in blue?

The deeper they dig, the more patrolmen they unearth who are on the take. And the crime lords are none too happy about that.

It means war, but Elder partner Sam Flood has more than enough on his plate, trying to keep his pistol-packing son in line and caring for his elderly and increasingly absent-minded second wife.

The hard-headed T.J., whose wife died on their honeymoon three years before, shows he may have a softer side as he is drawn towards the ‘real piperoo’ Indigo Cody.

But is he still tough enough to strike a deal with Lieutenant James ‘Jimbo’ Bracken of homicide when he gets a tip-off about a rogue cop’s payroll heist?

Meanwhile the woman in grey has acquired a meat cleaver and a revolver!

Lethal Streets is an entertaining and satisfying mystery set against the backdrop of crime and corruption that flooded America after Prohibition.

It is another book in Rayner’s series set in the authentic atmosphere of San Francisco during a turbulent decade marked by a major riot, widespread police corruption and the establishment of the infamous Alcatraz prison.

Will Rayner has over 30 years’ experience as a newspaper writer and editor. His first book in the series was Flood Warning and he has also published several non-fiction books under the name of William Rayner.

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Posted in Thriller.