Nils Shapiro is going through a rough patch. He is still getting the breakup of his marriage, something not helped by the fact that he and his ex-wife are still meeting and sleeping together at times. His private detective business is just chugging along with nothing exciting on the horizon. All of that changes when a friend of his, detective Anders Ellegaard calls to ask Nils' help.
A woman has been murdered in Anders' jurisdiction. Maggie Somerville's body was found in her bedroom covered with the dust of hundreds of vacuum cleaner bags. The dust means no forensic evidence will be forthcoming. There seem to be a couple of suspects. There's the ex-husband, with whom Maggie shared child custody. Maggie has a boyfriend, Andrew, who is a crude bully Nils has known since childhood when he bullied Nils and his friends. Then there is the mystery woman. The majority of calls on Maggie's phone are to a woman no one in her family or friends has ever heard of. Who wanted Maggie dead?
Andrew runs a call center manned by Somali refugees. It turns out that the FBI has an interest in the Somali community and has been using Andrew as a resource. They want Anders and his police force to put the investigation on hold until their case is made and they expect Nils to do the same. Will the men back down or will they find justice for Maggie?
Matt Goldman was a television writer before he started writing mystery novels, working on shows such as Seinfeld and Ellen. This book is the first in the Nils Shapiro series. Nils is an interesting character, caught up in his own life crisis but determined to bring the killer to justice. He doesn't care much about what others think, even government agencies once he commits to a case. This book is recommended for mystery readers.