"Dirty Harry of Literary Criticism" Frank Lentricchia launches book two of his new mystery series, featuring Eliot Conte, a PI who's "part Mike Hammer and part William S. Burroughs... an instant original," according to the Washington Post. Eliot Conte's story is pure noir, as he hunts for a local dog killer in ways that don't always adhere to the law. This novel features the hard diction and the fast pace of the best Italian-American crime fiction. Lentricchia's portrayal of upstate New York--Richard Russo territory--is equally unnerving and poignant. After the events of The Accidental Pallbearer, Eliot Conte decides to leave the private eye game and return to his great love: teaching American literature. He has also embarked on a relationship with Catherine Cruz, the attractive and smart policewoman he met while unravelling the story of his father's involvement with a major Mob hit in the 70s, back in the days when Utica was "the Sin City of the East." But the peace doesn't last long: one of Eliot's students, a Bosnian Muslim, disappears, leaving a trail of texts and emails that suggest a terrorism plot underway, and meanwhile, the tightknit community is disturbed by a series of brutal murders of pet dogs. Eliot thinks there's more to it than a random madman, and that, in fact, the killings might be a message meant for Eliot himself. With the help of Catherine and a teenage hacker, Utica's most reluctant'and most opera-loving'private detective gets back into business.