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On the Ropes is a story featuring Duffy Dombroski, a social worker at Jewish United Services in upstate New York in the City of Crawford. Most of his clients are drug users, sex addicts, etc.
The book begins with Duffy receiving a phone call from his police friend, Officer Kelly, to help him try to calm a crack addicted, schizophrence prostitute named Walanda that he is trying to arrest. Duffy rushes out to help and Walanda begs Duffy to take care of her dog, Allah King, and to find her step-daughter Shony who has supposedly been taken by somebody named Webster.
Walanda leaves a message for Duffy from jail that she is afraid that they are going to kill her. Before Duffy can get to see her, Walanda is murdered in prison. Duffy then decides he must find Shony, as he feels he has let Walanda down.
Being a social worker and not a cop, Duffy soon finds himself in over his head trying to investigate a porn ring and a National Security issue. However he does have help from the Fearsome Foursome, that are his bar buddies that hang out with him at a dive of a bar called AJ's. His cop friend, Kelly, also hangs out there.
This was a very good book featuring a cast of colorful, wonderful characters. Not only is Duffy a social worker but also a boxer that is contracted to fight up and coming fighters to help their win statistics since he is not professional material. His boxing experience comes in handy in some of the scrapes he gets himself into. Allah King, whom Duffy soon shortens to just plain Al is quite the character himself. He is a bassett hound that went through training to sniff out explosives however he had other characteristics that did not qualify him for the job like going to the bathroom wherever he pleases and chewy up numerous objects. I very much look forward to more adventures of Duffy, Al and the AJ's crew.