Frank Behr arrives at his friend, Aurelo's martial arts studio and finds his friend has been murdered. Frank surmises that it must have taken three men to do this.
Many would walk away with sorrow but Frank wants to find and repay the killers. As he begins searching, he's asked to look into the disappearance of two private investigators from one of the prestige firms in town. At first, he declines but then, his old boss, Capt. Pomeroy, asks him to reconsider with the possibility that it might lead to a door opening to getting back on the police department if he succeeds.
Frank is told that there are "pea-shake" houses where gambling takes place in low rent, condemned buildings in Indianapolis. Someone has been attempting to take over this action and are killing or beating people who would be their competitors.
As the tension mounts, we follow Terry Schlegal and this three sons and a former con named Knute, as they carry out their plan to take over all of the pea shake houses. According to their financial adviser, this could be worth tens of millions of dollars.
The novel moves with breakneck speed with plenty of action and violence. The author knows how to write a thriller and captures the reader's attention, not letting go until the final page.
I enjoyed the story and the protagonist, Frank Behr is a good mixture of bravery, integrity and strength with just the right amount of tenderness. The Schlegel family were well described villains, unique in their madness and combined immorality.