The protagonist is down-and-out PI Phil Brennan, who takes on a case from a rather nervous and troubled young computer programmer named Gilbert Breville to go to the young man’s office and delete a program on his machine in exchange for a lot of cash. When he completes the task Phil finds himself up against other members of Gilbert’s family, and he finds the young programmer has been killed.
Brennan is quickly co-opted by Gilbert’s sister, Darcy, and the executive secretary to Gilbert and Darcy’s father’s company, Millie. Millie has an even stronger reason to want to protect the company from the evil plots of two other sisters, Gertrude and Stephanie that she eventually reveals to Brennan and to Darcy.
The multi-millionaire tycoon owner of the company Brennan has sabotaged, Everard, hires Brennan to find Gil’s killer and secure the company from its enemies, while at the same time Everard would also like to get rid of Brennan for interfering with his decision to give the company power to the crazy and ruthless sister, Gertrude. Brennan is constantly walking a tightrope around Everard, Gertrude and another sister, Stephanie, who has been known to waiver between the Gertrude and Gil/Darcy camps.
In the end Brennan is able to save the company for the more responsible members of the family, but it comes at quite an expense.
“Long, Hard Look” is a good, nail-bitting detective story.