This review is from: Return to Dead City (Kindle Edition) Mike Reuther's book is a gritty look at a flawed city which is transitioning from a once attractive hard working neighborhood burg to one that has decayed into a refuge for "city" drug dealers. The consequences and collateral damage to the residents are too much for them to bear. Jobs are diminishing, corruption is rampant. The town's only tourist attraction, a minor league ball park and players, are a metaphor for the burg itself. It is in badly need of gentrification.
Then one of the players is murdered and the protagonist P.I. Crager is mysteriously hired to solve the murder that an overwhelmed police force is unable to do. Crager fits the mold of the town. He too is flawed. He was a former cop who got out before his pension vested and lives more on alcoholic calories than from food. He is tormented by his past. He hangs out at a local bar named Reds' with some of the unemployed or half crazy river rats who spend endless hours there. When he eats at Myrna's for breakfast, it is usually after a binge or after spending the wee small hours of the morning with his so called girlfriend Pat. Crager doesn't like attachments except when he is on the job.
But Crager is no dumb drunk. He is aggressive, indeed reckless in his pursuit of the murderer. Suspects abound in this noir "whodunit". Which one has the most compelling motive and will Crager live to solve the case.
I enjoyed the atmosphere created by Reuther and the mix of baseball, corruption, investigative work, and trying to guess the outcome. It's a good read.(You'll also see how Reuther gets his own name in the book; likely a job fantasy of sorts