The death of a Vietnamese immigrant brings former death claims investigator Dave Brandstetter out of retirement.
As an insurance investigator, Dave Brandstetter built a reputation unraveling suspicious deaths. Now, well into middle age, he has decided to retire for the sake of Cecil, the young TV reporter who loves and cherishes him, and has too often risked his own life for Dave’s work. But retirement does not come easily.
Dave never did it for the money. He always had that. Nor did he tirelessly work cases in hopes of chasing renown. It was always the pursuit of the truth that drove Dave. He enjoyed the truth’s habit of coming into direct conflict with bigotry, allowing him to surprise the small-minded along the way.
It doesn’t take much arm twisting, then, to get Dave back in the saddle when an old friend in the public defender’s office asks him to help Andy Flanagan, a shiftless young man accused of murdering a Vietnamese businessman to defend the Old Fleet — a shantytown of houseboats that has been earmarked for development. Beneath the surface of this oil-slicked slum lurks an international conspiracy so appalling that Dave will regret postponing his retirement.