Ezekiel “Zeke” Edison is new to the private eye biz, but that doesn’t keep pretty, young Paulette Mallory from turning to him for help. She tells Zeke that Jonas Dawson, a lawyer with mob connections, is going to kill her. She knows this because Dawson strangled her aunt, Pamela Keller. That’s ominous enough, but things get complicated when Paulette tells Zeke she was her aunt in a previous life.

Zeke finds that hard to believe, but he sees that Paulette truly feels vulnerable. So he takes a look into things. When he does, a couple of bruisers try to make him back off. Big mistake. Zeke’s previous job was playing middle linebacker for the Chicago Bears. His best friends, George A. Black and Regina Green, are also no strangers to laying a hurt on people.

Throw in shady big-city politics, any number of cops, some honest, some not, and a pair of hit men nicknamed Paganini and Chopin and Zeke’s first case case is summed up by a time-honored expression. “Welcome to the game, rookie.”