By Thom Geier
Updated June 20, 2007 at 04:00 AM EDT

When prominent Cleveland attorney Alex Jefferson is brutally tortured and murdered, the widow calls upon her ex-fiancé — a former cop turned PI and gym owner named Lincoln Perry who once decked Jefferson in a country club parking lot — to track down Jefferson’s long-estranged son. Before long, the son is dead too and Perry becomes suspect No. 1 in both deaths, holding off the authorities while trying to chase down the truth. Rugged, loyal to a fault, and a bit hot-headed, Perry is a complete throwback — the newfangled noir heroes apparently haven’t reached the Midwest just yet. But in A Welcome Grave, his third efficiently plotted mystery, Michael Koryta lands most of his punches. B