In the gripping fifth novel of what the Philadelphia Inquirer calls a "lean and literate" crime series, Jack Liffey--the rough-edged, compassionate private detective who garners even more enthusiastic reviews and fans with each new case--once again searches the volatile and dangerous ethnic communities buried in the urban sprawl of Los Angeles for another of the city's mysteriously lost. This time out, Liffey is looking for a prominent 1960s civil rights campaigner's adopted son, who has gone suspiciously missing in the wake of an unsettling run-in with a motorcycle gang at a local jazz club. The whole city is unsettled, in fact, by the choke-hold death of Abdullah-Ibrahim--a black Muslim and the Dodgers' new ace spitball pitcher--at the hands of the L.A. police. In the course of his investigation, Liffey runs afoul of skinheads, white supremacists, and black separatists. He also confronts his own latent racism before the city erupts into the full-fledged civil riot that could cost Liffey his life.