Joseph Michael Ballista - "Joey Ballistic" to his mob buddies - knows most of the ways to make an illegal buck, or a "left-handed dollar." That's why he's in trouble again. But his crafty lawyer, Lucille Lettermore - "Lefty Lucy" to just about every prosecutor she's ever humiliated in court - is determined to free him by getting all his previous convictions set aside, starting with one for attempted murder. When she hires Detroit private detective Amos Walker to "look into" the old crime, she immediately has a problem: the intended victim was investigative reporter Barry Stackpole, Walker's only "real" friend. Walker's not thrilled to help get his buddy's would-be killer off the hook. But money's money. It won't be easy. For starters, though Joey's ex-wives grudgingly talk with Walker, he knows they're not really leveling with him. And two new murders tied to the case aren't likely to make them chattier. Walker, friendless and desperate for answers, follows a string of leads old and new straight into a war of nerves and bullets in Detroit's seedy crime-ridden underbelly.
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