David Berlinski. A Clean Sweep (1993) 230 pp.
I might as well get it all out on the table: I do not like Blacks, Hispanics, Mexicans, Chicanos, Chicanas, Orientals, Chinese, Filipinos, tough Israelis, hell, anyone from the Third World, American Indians, Eskimos, Gays, Lesbians, the Gay Olympics, body builders, men who wear their hair in pony tails, women over thirty, women in sweatpants, women with long necks and short hair, happy hours, radio talk shows, boom boxes, country music, vanity license plates, people who love to dance, men who wear tooled cowboy boots, or the word gal.
I dont care what happens to the rain forests. I really dont.
And that, my friends, is San Francisco ex-lawyer-turned-private-detective Aaron Asherfeld in a nutshell. Except that he is also a colossal wise-ass and has three ex-wives. Asherfeld is hired by a corrupt Berkeley city councilman named Lawrence Mad Bad LeRoy Williams to recover a quarter of a million dollars owed to him by Roger Ellerbee, who owns a computer company on the Peninsula. No one—including his wife, business partners, lawyer, or investors—knows where Ellerbee is, and when Asherfeld receives a photograph in the mail of Ellerbee engaged in a bit of bondage with a woman dressed in leather knee boots and a corset, he begins to think he knows why. Then Mad Bad LeRoy is murdered, his brains blown out with a high-powered rifle right in front of Asherfeld, and what started out as a relatively simple missing persons/extortion case turns into something much more serious. Asherfelds investigation takes him all over San Francisco and the Bay Area and introduces him to a wide variety of characters—many of whom appear on his do not like list, and many of whom have absolutely ridiculous names—before he puts all the pieces together.
Setting: San Francisco; Berkeley; Oakland; Atherton