What the Hyena Knows

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You might think that P.I. Mike Duncavan, disgraced ex-cop and disbarred lawyer, would have little pride left - but pride was one of the deadly sins that brought him down in the first place. So when his friend, criminal lawyer Stanley Janda, asks Mike for help in defending an accused child killer, he has some serious qualms. Janda's client, Justin Ambertoe, a gay freelance photographer, was seen loitering near the scene of the crime, an abandoned building in a Chicago ghetto, about the time the little boy was murdered. Out of loyalty to his friend, Mike takes the case, but as the investigation proceeds, the State's evidence against Ambertoe mounts, and so do Mike's own doubts about his client. Maybe Ambertoe really is the killer. But if pride has been Mike's downfall, persistence is his strength. Doggedly following a few feeble leads, he eventually uncovers a scheme so bizarre, so diabolical, that no one - not the police, not the prosecutor, not even his own ex-partner - will believe him. The sweep of Mike's investigation takes him through Chicago's seedy back streets, to a west Texas game ranch where African animals are bred for "hunting," to a South African village where witchcraft flourishes and ritual sacrifice is routine. In a deadly cat-and-mouse game, Mike becomes as much quarry as hunter, and wonders whether the forces he's battling might even be supernatural.A Chicago native, Thomas J. Keevers is a trial lawyer and former homicide detective with the Chicago Police Department.