Author: Richard A. Thompson
Published: January 15, 2008 by Poisoned Pen Press
Series Name: Herman Jackson, Bail Bondsman
Main Character: Herman Jackson, Wide Track Wilkie, Rosie the reformed gun moll, The Prophet
Herman Jackson chose St. Paul as his permanent place of exile from Detroit, where his former life as a bookie got to hot to hold onto. Now he leads a respectable life as a bail bondsman, selling second chances to losers and looking over his shoulder. When a young woman leaves him a priceless antique violin as security for her brother's bail bond, it's really the beginning of an elaborate con game. But the game is barely begun when she is murdered in front of his office. And the police are calling him the prime suspect...unless he gives them the violin "as evidence." With his criminal past, Jackson can't afford to be a prime suspect for jaywalking. But neither is he prepared to give in to extortion. Soon he is on the run, trying to solve the murder while he is pursued by one real and one phony cop, a band of urban Gypsies who claim first rights to the violin, and an unknown killer who also wants Jackson dead. Then the violin, reputed to carry a 400-year-old curse, begins to take on a life of its own. And suddenly Jackson's life back in Detroit doesn't seem so dangerous at all.