By: Rob Leininger
Early in July, northern Nevada’s senior Internal Revenue Service agent, Ronald Soranden—disliked by every agent in the Reno IRS office—vanished without a trace. In September, he makes a dramatic reappearance, of sorts. His skull—stripped clean and white—is dropped through the slashed top of a Mustang convertible. The vehicle belongs to Lucy Landry, PI Mortimer Angel’s gorgeous young assistant now working with him on a seemingly unrelated embezzlement case.
But Mort is a former IRS field agent in Reno. He’d done his time during the tyrannical reign of Soranden, quitting, he says, “when I discovered I have a soul.” Now that his former boss’s head has appeared, he and Lucy find them themselves under the annoying surveillance of a pair of IRS enforcement agents.
When the FBI are brought in to investigate the murder, Mort and Lucy realize shocking details about their own case—primarily Soranden’s involvement. It becomes evident that events and suspects of the embezzlement case and Soranden’s murder are heavily entangled with those enmeshed in an ugly case of blackmail. Mort and Lucy are roped tighter and tighter into the Soranden investigation while they grapple with the deadliest situation of their PI careers. Mortimer Angel has been in harrowing, lethal situations before and has suffered incalculable losses, but none more horrifying than the trap embedded in Gumshoe Rock.