The economy has hit the PI business hard, and Leonid McGill is getting job offers only from the criminals he’s worked so hard to leave behind. So how can he say no to the beautiful young woman who walks into his office with a stack of cash? She’s an artist, she tells him, who’s escaped poverty via marriage to a rich collector. A rich collector with two ex-wives whose deaths are shrouded in mystery. She says she fears for her life, and needs Leonid’s help. Though Leonid knows better than to believe every word, this isn’t a job he can afford to turn away.
Meanwhile, Leonid’s personal life grows ever more chequered: his favourite stepson, Twill, drops out of school for mysteriously lucrative pursuits; his wife takes a new lover, infuriating the old one and endangering the whole family; and Leonid’s girlfriend, Aura, is back but intent on some serious conversations … Is the client at his door who she seems and – if his family’s misadventures don’t kill him first – will sorting out the woman’s crooked tale bring Leonid straight to death’s door?