For the sake of his lover, Hastings risks his career and chases a stalker
For the past few weeks, Lieutenant Frank Hastings’s girlfriend has sensed that she was being watched. They are on their way home from a too-chic party when Hastings spots something moving in the bushes—a shadowy figure who appears to have a gun. He should call for backup; he should stay in the car. But to protect Ann, this detective is willing to risk everything. After a chase, Hastings apprehends the lurker, but what he thought was a gun turns out to be a shotgun mike. Is someone recording Ann?
Shut out of the case because it concerns his girlfriend, Hastings focuses on the murder of Flora Esterbrook Gaines—a seventy-year-old woman found murdered in her garage. Greed is the obvious motive, but finding a suspect proves tricky. Hastings divides his energy in a desperate attempt to uphold the law while at the same time protecting his beloved.
“[An] old pro.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Boils with life. . . . Complex and involving.” —Ross Macdonald on Disappearance
“Gives San Francisco an authentic urban grip the city hasn’t felt since Hammett.” —Booklist on Hire a Hangman
Collin Wilcox (1924–1996) was an American author of mystery fiction. Born in Detroit, he set most of his work in San Francisco, beginning with 1967’s The Black Door—a noir thriller starring a crime reporter with extrasensory perception. Under the pen name Carter Wick, he published several standalone mysteries including The Faceless Man (1975) and Dark House, Dark Road (1982), but he found his greatest success under his own name, with the celebrated Frank Hastings series.
Hastings, a football player turned San Francisco homicide detective, made his debut in The Lonely Hunter (1969), and Wilcox continued to follow him for the rest of his career, publishing nearly two dozen novels in the series, which concludes with Calculated Risk (1995). Wilcox’s other best-known series stars Alan Bernhardt, a theatrical director with a habit of getting involved in behind-the-scenes mysteries. Bernhardt appeared in four more books after his introduction in 1988’s Bernhardt’s Edge.