Black Maps

Black Maps, a novel by Peter Spiegelman

“Nothing about this stylish, literate mystery reads like a debut, as Spiegelman handles the complex plot with verve…John March is one of the most intriguing new PIs to come along in quite some time.” — Publishers Weekly (starred review)

John March walked away from his family’s venerable merchant bank, for the life of rural deputy sheriff—a life that would explode in personal tragedy and professional disaster. Years later, March is back in his native Manhattan, working as a private investigator and running from his grief and the expectations of his wealthy family.

In Black Maps, March takes the case of Rick Pierro, a self-made man who has almost everything, and who’s in danger of losing it all—to blackmail. From blue-collar beginnings, Pierro has risen nearly to the top at white-shoe investment bank French Samuleson, and along the way acquired all the trappings of success: the Park Avenue apartment, the trophy wife, the perfect children. His promotion to the executive suite at French seems certain when the fax appears. Anonymous and poisonous, the fax implicates Pierro in the vast money-laundering schemes of Merchants Worldwide Bank, a now-defunct financial institution that is currently the focus of an aggressive Federal investigation.

Dodging an ambitious prosecutor and a vindictive FBI agent, March follows a bloodstained trail to Wall Street insiders and outcasts, and finds that his client may be just the latest victim of a brutal serial extortionist, diabolically adept at psychological and physical intimidation. The more March learns, the more his questions mount about his client, his client’s lovely wife, and the secrets that lie hidden beneath the glossy surfaces of their lives.

And even as he navigates the treacherous waters of the Pierro case, March must struggle with the complicated currents of his own life: the lingering guilt and depression over the trauma that ended his career as a cop; the tenuous, isolated existence that he’s built in its wake; the cautious overtures of reconciliation from his demanding family; and the allure and promise of his beautiful new neighbor.