The City in These Pages

John Grant

City Hall is on Lewis-and-Clark Street, so it was the 14th Precinct that got the call, and very soon the 14th Precinct, in the persons of Detective Sergeants Moto and Pincus, was on the spot, bending down and looking into the car at the condom-shrouded figure of Ratty Scarlatti but not touching anything because the m.o. and the scene-of-crime crew hadn't gotten here yet, being stuck in the traffic jam on Eighth thanks to the burst sewer there...

It might seem like just another case for the gallant boys of the 14th but, as the days progress and Moto (look, just don't make any jokes about his name, okay?) and Pincus delve deeper, the body count rises inexorably, with each murder reaching a new height of ludicrous surrealism – if not downright impossibility. It seems there's an avenger on the loose in the enigmatic city.

Yet is the unknown perpetrator truly seeking vengeance? Is the motive instead to patch up this version of reality in the least implausible fashion possible before its inhabitants begin to suspect there's something fundamentally awry? Or are there operators moving at an even deeper level than reality?

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