When a lawyer who’s already antagonized half the people in Maine winds up dead, every pine tree in Portland seems chock-full of suspects.
The last day of Paul Ramsey’s life was a disaster from beginning to end. He lost a $10 million civil suit he’d expected to win. He got word he’d be passed over for a senior partnership at his law firm in favor of a colleague who had nothing like his courtroom chops. He picked a fight with the wrong man at the Red Fox, where he’d gone to drown his sorrows. And that was all before a lobsterman found his corpse in Floater Alley two days later. Detective Sgt. John Byron’s first reaction when he hears about the case is satisfaction; there’d been no love lost between the two men. Byron knows from the get-go that his antipathy for Ramsey makes him one of a large and varied crowd. Even assuming that Julia Ramsey is as grief-stricken by her sudden widowhood as she seems, there’s Matthew Childress, the contractor furious over Ramsey’s successful defense of the driver who killed Childress’ daughter; Darius Tomlinson, who supplied Ramsey with drugs; the exotic dancers of the Unicorn, who supplied him with other creature comforts; Donny McVail, the Red Fox patron Ramsey baited minutes before he was killed; and many more contenders. Ironically, there’s much less solidarity among the members of the Portland Police Department, who seem to spend so many of their waking hours scheming against each other and keeping secrets, like Byron’s forbidden romance with Detective Diane Joyner, that it’s a wonder they can solve any crimes at all (Among the Shadows, 2016).
A sturdy, starchy police procedural most likely to appeal to readers with a hearty appetite for police routine.