”If she were any better looking, there’d be a holiday for her.” That’s Patton’s typically snappy description of Dana Waverleigh, a femme fatale caught in a jam: She’s dating Portland, Ore., DA Max Travis and he’s hot on the trail of her ex-boyfriend, Jack Nitzl, in a home-invasion case. Trouble is, Dana had unwittingly tipped off Jack about a safe in the burglarized house and he’s threatening to implicate her unless she literally squeezes Max for info. Then there’s the little problem of Jack’s accomplice, Nicky Bortolotti, a crystal-meth head and potential loose cannon. Patton’s second Max Travis mystery (after 2000’s ”The Shake”) weaves a tantalizing plot around these colorful characters. Stylishly crafted without descending into neo-noir mannerisms, Dana reads like Raymond Chandler on crank.
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