The Dog Killer of Utica
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.X