In this 32nd book in the series, Hawke is shot and almost killed while protecting a bookie named Luther Gillespie - and Gillespie and most of his family are subsequently assassinated. The culprits are part of the Ukranian mob who control the city of Marshport near Boston.
To regain his sense of self after his prolonged convalescence Hawke has to destroy the entire mob element in Marshport and set up a trust fund for the remaining Gillespie child. So Hawke and Spenser spend a lot of time talking to mobsters, thugs, and cops and cooking up a plan to achieve the goal.
It's a thin plot, but the pleasure of these books is not so much the story as it is visiting with familiar characters. I always enjoy the conversation and clever patter among Hawke and Spenser.....and everyone else.
A side issue of the story involves Hawke and his current lady, Cecile, who would like Hawke to be a different kind of guy. I alway enjoy lovable pets in stories and some of my favorite scenes are Spenser and Susan at home, catering to the whims of their pooch Pearl.
An enjoyable fast read.