Blackmail is such an ugly word. Even uglier when it’s happening to you, especially when you don’t know who’s behind it, and defense lawyer Jefferson Bell doesn’t have a clue. Disgruntled client? Current mistress? One of a handful of pissed-off ex-mistresses? An opportunistic co-worker? A team of blackmailers looking for a big payday?
If the truth comes out, however, it will destroy his career and cause the end of Bell’s marriage. And he can’t let that happen, not after all the hard work he’d put in, not after all sacrifices he’d endured over the years. So following the advice of a friend, Bell visits a multi-purpose taco truck and procures what he needs to bring the extortionist down, and hard. Now he just has to find him. Or her. Or them.
With the help of his buddy and former client Rags Richland, Bell follows the trail through Chicago. When the blackmailer sets up an exchange, Bell attempts to seize the opportunity and spring a trap. But things go sideways, and Bell is no closer to learning his tormentor’s identity. To complicate matters, Bell’s situation has attracted the attention of the managing partner at his law firm, who gives Bell an ultimatum: fix things and make sure there’s no blowback on the firm. The ultimatum comes with a veiled part: Or else.
The more Bell searches, the more things come unraveled, and the more his desperation grows. And keeps growing, right up to the snapping point.
Then blows right past it.