This sexually-charged murder mystery takes place almost entirely in Portland, Oregon, where Henry Brown, a family man and degenerate gambler, is found lying on his bed, naked, face up, in the room of a cheap residential hotel by the housekeeper assigned to clean his room.
The cause of his death is not immediately known, but evidence found in the room suggests he was not alone when he died. Henry’s brother-in-law, Mark Ellis, asks his long-time friend, Maxx Duggan, to find Henry’s killer.
Friday, February 15
Henry Brown had returned to his room after several hours of drinking and reminiscing with an old friend. He had stripped naked, tossed his clothes on the only chair in the room, and was about to hop into bed and sleep off his drunkenness when he heard someone knocking on his door. Damn! I just moved here two days ago. Who could that be?.
“Who is it?” Henry heard no response. He was curious to know who knew he was now staying at the Alcazar Hotel, so he opened the door several inches and looked out into the hall. His visitor quickly pushed past him, having heard approaching voices. Henry heard them too, so he rapidly closed the door. He felt uncomfortable standing there naked, and stumbled momentarily as he turned to grab his jeans.
“I must say, I’m surprised to…” Before Henry could finish his sentence, he felt a needle jabbed viciously against the back of his neck. He reacted impulsively, placing his left hand over the point of injection, questioning in his mind what had just happened. He immediately became drowsy, his heart rate slowed, and it became difficult for him to breathe.
As Henry’s body relaxed involuntarily, he grabbed for the back of the chair, but in the process his knees buckled, and he collapsed to the floor. The visitor then grabbed Henry between his arms and rib cage and with little effort dragged his naked 162-pound body to the bed, plopping him down face up, his right arm dangling precariously over the edge, drool seeping from the side of his mouth.