Barry Smith. The Do or Die Machine: A San Francisco Murder Mystery (2008) 208 pp.
Publisher’s description: “David Moore hops a plane from San Antonio to San Francisco following an urgent call from his former private-investigator and police-force partner, Sam Roth. Sam has information from David ’s estranged wife, Jennifer, which David hopes is a plea to save their marriage. When he hooks up with Sam, David finds something more disturbing. Sam’s troubles go deeper than Jennifer’s disappearance and are too much for him to handle alone. He’s over his head investigating the San Francisco mob. When they find Sam ’s car abandoned with Jennifer’s purse and keys inside, David awakens his long-dormant instincts for exposing corruption and violence. Waiting for David is a bloodthirsty army waging a drug-supply war; an imaginative, yet amoral scientist who gives people joy as long as they become willing slaves; and an ex-cop on whom David blew the whistle for planting evidence. David’s feel for the streets sustains him as he crisscrosses San Francisco’s landscape to uncover greed and violence. Worst of all, David rattles the cages of power. But fighting the machinery of falsehood means discovering a secret his wife had kept from him. Will David ’s enemies force him to live a life he has forsworn?”
Setting: San Francisco