Ask the Right Question

Michael Z. Lewin

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28 January 2016
232 pages

Meet Albert Samson - a detective in the tradition of Dashiell Hammett's Sam Spade, Raymond Chandler's Philip Marlowe and Ross Macdonald's Lew Archer.

But Samson's no hard-boiled clone. For one thing, he doesn't even own a gun. For another, he works in Indianapolis, the apparently unglamorous Midwestern city where he grew up. But the city and its problems are not the stuff of stereotypes. And Samson uses his wits and his contacts to solve his clients' problems and make something of a living.

Here, in his first fictional outing - nominated for an Edgar - he has the most unusual client in his history, a sixteen-year-old school girl. She wants him to find out where her biological father is. At home with your biological mother? Samson suggests, unable to take the kid seriously. But the girl is certain. Her 'father' cannot be her father: she can prove it. And things soon get seriously complicated.

The best private eye story since Ross Macdonald's last

Books and Bookmen

Fascinates throughout, and frequently amuses as well . . . very assured and satisfying indeed

Edmund Crispin, The Sunday Times

Brightly written with some crackling dialogue

Maurice Richardson, Observer