The murder of a prominent Scottish lawyer reopens an old case and new wounds.
When a hung-over Maddalena di Rio Shannon, deputy Procurator Fiscal, wakes up next to a strange man, at least they’re both fully clothed. And she knows who he is: Doug Mason, a defense attorney with the Glasgow law firm JCG Miller. Before they can reflect on their semi-compromising situation, Doug gets a text that his boss, Julian Miller, has been killed. Although Maddy has a reputation for interfering in cases long before they come to trial, she resists the temptation to visit the crime scene and instead lets DI Alan Coulter, the lead detective, handle the initial investigation. Coulter learns that Miller, his associate Bill Crichton, and Tom Hughes, a successful real estate developer, had dined together. Crichton left early; Hughes and Miller stayed on until the early hours; then Miller went to his office, where he was shot at his desk. After Maddy discovers by chance that Crichton and Miller’s wife are romantically involved, Crichton begs Maddy to keep his secret shortly before falling from the third floor of his house. As the complications pile up (a missing file, a link to a negligence lawsuit that Maddy had tried and lost, a shipment of guns, a mysterious fourth man in league with Hughes, Miller, and Crichton), Maddy must deal with her long-distance lover, ward off Mason’s advances, and decide whether she wants a reunion with her newly reappeared father. She’s 40 and drinks too much, her career is “on a shoogly nail,” her mum’s “a pain in the bahookie,” and she should let others handle the Miller case. But she won’t give it up, despite a warning that she may be the next target.
Glasgow is as much a character—and as contradictory a mix of light and dark—as Dolan’s very human heroine in this complex sequel to Potter’s Field (2015).