Westerfield’s Chain by Jack Clark
Private Eye Nick Acropolis follows a case to a deserted pharmacy in Chicago’s West Side — but when he’s hired by the daughter of the pharmacy’s missing boss, they discover an intricate scheme of fraud and murder… First in a series, previously published by Minotaur Books and a finalist for the Shamus Award
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It was another nothing case. That’s the only kind private eye Nick Acropolis seemed to get lately. But this one leads to Westerfield’s Pharmacy, which sits in the heart of Chicago’s West Side ghetto, surrounded by ruins.
Nick was a real cop years ago, a homicide detective, and there’s something about the drugstore that gets the old juices flowing. There’s no customers for one thing. No pharmacist either, and nobody seems to know where the boss, Eugene Westerfield, has gone.
And then Becky Westerfield shows up. She’s taken a sudden leave from medical school to look for her father, who didn’t call on her 25th birthday. Becky knows something must be wrong. Eugene Westerfield would never forget.
Becky and Nick join forces, going from one of the poorest neighborhoods in the country to one of its wealthiest suburbs. They visit housing projects, the morgue, and a decrepit nursing home, hidden away between railroad lines.
Becky discovers a city she never knew existed, and Nick surveys some depressing old haunts. Together, they eventually find Eugene Westerfield. But along the way they stumble into an intricate scheme of fraud and murder. Becky discovers that her father isn’t the man she’d thought he was.
“A likeable protagonist and spirited, uncluttered prose: a promising debut by a Chicago cabbie who may drive a hack but doesn’t write like one.” — Kirkus Review
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