A new Deets Shanahan investigation Private investigator Howie Cross is beaten to a pulp by a couple of thugs, though he has no idea why. Temporarily out of action, he asks Deets Shanahan to take on his one current case. But Shanahan is in no hurry to get involved. It's straightforward enough, in principle: Hugh Dart wants his wife traced. The only thing is, Dart has just finished a 35-year sentence for murdering her. Dart had had the opportunity to murder Barbara, and the motive: he'd taken out a $100,000 life insurance policy for her just before her death. What's more, he was ? is ? definitely dodgy. But if the investigation is just a wild-goose chase, who called in the thugs?