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A Detroit Thriller

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Don’t Look for Me. By Loren D. Estleman. 283 pages. $26.99.


Estleman is a detective fiction writer in the vein of James Crumley and Elmore Leonard. His detective is one Amos Walker, a hard-boiled, wise-cracking, hard-drinking, hard-loving, resourceful rogue who can look death in the eye without blinking. His latest Amos Walker book is set in Detroit, a city Estleman knows very well. In fact, the book is laced with Detroit history and geography, some of which gets a bit tiresome at the time, but only because his occasional digressions on Detroit slow down the plot, and as a reader, you really want to know what happens next.

The case begins with a rich husband looking for a wife who has vanished, leaving a note that reads only “Don’t look for me.” Walker takes the case, understanding that a guy like his client doesn’t want to involve the police if he doesn’t have to. While searching for the missing wife, Walker meets a nubile young woman named Smoke, who soon hops in bed with him. He also stumbles over the dead body of the manager of an herbal remedy store where the missing missus used to buy her supplements. Then when two Israeli agents nab him, he begins to realize that his missing person case has inadvertently led him to something bigger, an old nemesis who wants him dead and western civilization destroyed. When the Israelis are murdered Walker realizes his bed-mate Smoke may be in trouble, so he tries to protect her, only to be surprised by what he finds.

In the end, after saving the free world, Walker finds himself alone again, and, nosing around, solves the case of the missing wife. A very good read.