THEY DON'T PLAY STICKBALL IN MILWAUKEE (1997)
3rd Dylan Klein Book
Dylan Klein, insurance investigator cum novelist, returns home from Hollywood to attend his father's funeral. After the burial, Klein learns that his nephew Zak is missing. Unable to get satisfactory answers as to the whereabouts of his son, Klein's older brother, Jeffrey, enlists the aid of Dylan and Dylan's most trusted friend, retired NYPD detective Johnny MacClough. They soon discover Zak's trail is not only icy cold, but paved in layers of blood and intrigue.
Their search leads them to a tranquil college town on the Canadian border. There, they stumble blindly into an underworld of murderers and international drug smugglers. Even as they pick up faint traces of Zak, MacClough is haunted by the specter of a twenty-year-old kidnapping case that had catapulted him to the rank of detective.
Distracted by his grief and the search for Zak, torn between his loyalty to MacClough and his desire for truth, a vulnerable Klein falls under the spell of a mysterious young woman. But is she what she claims to be, or she too have her own dark secrets? And what of the genius computer hacker Klein takes on in order to find his missing nephew? Will these desperate measures lead to Zak or to disaster?
They Don't Play Stickball in Milwaukee is both a taut thriller and an exploration of the ties that bind. Where do love and allegiance end, and where does the truth begin? These are the dilemmas Dylan Klein must face.
When ex-insurance investigator Dylan Klein, now a detective story writer, searches for a favorite nephew missing from his college near the Canadian border, he encounters all kinds of grief: ransacked rooms, evasive school officials, suspicious deaths, a drug king-pin's daughter, even a scary little romance with a hip friend of his nephew who may know more than she's letting on. With the help of pal Johnny, an ex-cop, Dylan wades through the false leads. Crisp prose, entrancing plot, and a unique pair of protagonists make this well worth reading. - Library Journal
On the trail of a missing nephew, Dylan Klein, a former insurance investigator who's now a noir novelist, finds himself on the campus of an upstate New York college engaged in some highly inventive sex with Kira Watanabe, a Japanese girl half his age, who seems determined to re-create a steamy chapter from one of Klein's own books. He ought to be a happy man. But his nephew Zak is still missing, and the girl might just be a high-priced whore hired to watch Klein by the drug dealers on whom Zak claims to have a computer disc full of information. The novel provides Klein with a fuller sex life than is granted most tired-out 40-year-olds, the narrative pace never lets up and the caper has plenty of unusual angles. Johnny MacClough is Klein's best pal, a former cop once disgraced by a questionable arrest and subsequent death. Valencia Jones is a young student arrested for possession of a designer drug. It's her plight that sends Zak into hiding. A drugged-out ski bum is murdered on a ski slope owned by the college, the dean of which takes a very dim view of Klein's sleuthing efforts. This is Coleman's third Klein caper (Life Goes Sleeping and Little Easter), and, allowing for the florid bed scenes and a singularly unconvincing moment when Klein gets sloshed and questions his love for the alluring Kira, it's an exceedingly handsome effort. (Dec.) - Publishers Weekly
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