But you know what? It's a fine series of books. I liked every one of them (Brand of Fear and The Perdition Express are the other two). this one's about a missing daughter. You know how that goes. It's never really about a missing daughter, and as the back cover says, you get to follow Crockett through "the sleazy massage parlors, topless bars, and narcotic hideouts of the midwestern college town" where he lives and works. Not to mention you'll run across the funniest torture scene around, not that there's a lot of competition.
Brad Lang doesn't write P. I. novels these days, but he has some cool websites, including Hardboiled Heaven and Classic Movies. I highly recommend you check those out, and if you run across any of the Fred Crockett books, give 'em a try. Maybe you'll like them as much as I did.
Update: Check out this material on Steve Lewis's Mystery*File.