When Malachy Foley (Applaud the Hollow Ghost, 1998, etc.) defied the Illinois Supreme Court by refusing to disclose what Marlon Shades told him about the shootout at Lonnie Bright’s that left one cop dead and two injured, Foley knew it would cost his law license. He didn’t expect it to cost his life. But now that he’s applied for reinstatement to the Attorney Registration and Disciplinary Commission, his life is exactly what’s being threatened by a series of anonymous letters and midnight break-ins. Even Stefanie Randle, the Commission’s attorney, tries to warn Mal of the danger he’s in after she overhears Justice Maura Flanagan telling Stefanie’s boss what dire consequences are likely to stem from prolonging the inquiry. Mal’s so stubborn that the more people tell him to drop his petition, the more he wants to push it forward, and he enlists a strange set of allies, including his British socialite landlady Helene Bower, shady Breaker Hanafan, whose connections you don’t even want to know about, and a street crazy Mal knows only as “Yogi,” whose harmony with the cosmos persists even after he’s beaten senseless by Mal’s enemies. But the people who can help Mal most are those who want to help least: the cops who were at Bright’s apartment the night it all went down.
Walker (The End of Emerald Woods, 2000, etc.) is at the top of his form here, weaving his puzzle skillfully into a jolting tale of loyalty and betrayal.