Miami, 1981. When Detective Max Mingus and his partner Joe are called to the scene of a death at Miami's Primate Park, it looks like another routine — if slightly bizarre — investigation. Until two things turn up: the victim's family, slaughtered; and a partly digested tarot card in the dead man's stomach. The King of Swords.
An increasingly bloody trail leads Max and Joe first to a sinister fortune-teller and her scheming pimp son, then to the infamous Solomon Boukman. Few have ever met the most feared criminal in Miami, but rumours abound of a forked tongue, voodoo ceremonies and friends in very high places.
Against a backdrop of black magic and police corruption, Max and Joe must distinguish the good guys from the bad - and track down some answers. What is the significance of the King of Swords? What makes those who have swallowed the card go on a killing spree just before they die? And can Max find out the truth about Solomon Boukman, before death's shadow reaches his own front door...?
Nick Stone was born in Cambridge in 1966, the son of a Scottish father and a Haitian mother. His first novel, Mr Clarinet, won the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger, the International Thriller Writers Award and Macavity Award for Best First Novel and was nominated for The Barry Award for Best British Novel.