Harvey Mapes is a 26-year-old security guard who spends his nights in a guard shack outside a gated community in Southern California, reading detective novels, watching reruns, and waiting for his life to finally start…which happens when Cyril Parkus, one of the wealthy residents, asks Harvey to follow his beautiful wife Lauren.
The lowly security guard jumps at the opportunity to fulfill his private eye fantasies and use everything he's learned from Spenser, Magnum, and Mannix. But things don't exactly go according to the books…or the reruns. As Harvey fumbles and stumbles through his first investigation, he discovers that the differences between fiction and reality can be deadly.
(This book was previously released under the title The Man With the Iron-On Badge and nominated for Best Novel by the Private Eye Writers of America)