The twenty-third novel in the Donald Lam/Bertha Cool series tracks very closely to the pattern that has now been well-established through the first twenty-two. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but it does mean that there are now very few surprises in store for anyone who's read several of the books in the series.
As always, a client comes into the agency's offices to retain their services. As is usually the pattern, Bertha will believe that the new client is a step up from the problem clients that the agency so often sees. She has already convinced herself and will attempt to convince her partner, Donald, that this is the case that will put the firm on the road to respectability and will keep them out of all the trouble in which they usually find themselves.
And, as always of course, she will be dead wrong.
In this case, the client is the representative of a large insurance company. One of their clients has been in an automobile accident. There is no doubt that the client is at fault; he rear-ended the other car and has admitted responsibility. The other driver, though--the victim--seems to have disappeared. The insurance company would like Cool & Lam to find her so that the case can be settled.
Donald and any other sensible person wonders why the company simply doesn't use its own investigators for this job, but Bertha can only see the dollar signs involved. The firm takes the case and almost immediately, of course, it blows up in their face. Everybody is lying; blackmail, murder and a variety of other offenses are involved, and only Donald Lam can sort it all out. Or at least we hope so; otherwise he's going to be left in very serious trouble, if he's not left seriously dead.
As I suggested above, anyone who has read a few of these novels knows exactly what there getting when they pick up another. This is a fun read, as good as most in the series, and it won't disappoint the fans of Cool & Lam.