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Surfer/lawyer J. Shepard lands in hot water.

Very hot water. Hot enough to get him suspended from his job with the California State Bar Association. The trouble starts with J.’s usual good intentions. When down-on-his-luck Dale Bleeker—once a top-notch prosecutor now in the bad graces of the California bar because of a career-threatening transgression more embarrassing than heinous—recalls how he had helped J. at a pivotal point ten years ago, there’s no chance that J. can turn his back and live at peace. So, despite serious misgivings about the unlikelihood of any good deed going unpunished, he plunges in. Dale can use a friend, all right. Innocently enough, he’s gotten himself involved in a UPL situation. That is, a passel of conniving, fast-buck operators have duped him into the “unauthorized practice of law.” What makes the situation perilous for Dale and soon enough for J. is the shrewd, greedy nature of the miscreants pulling the strings. They’re very highly placed and willing to kill to stay that way.

DeCure’s paeans to surfing set up crosscurrents that undermine the narrative flow from time to time, though less so here than in his debut (Reef Dance, 2002). But a tough, smart, funny, vulnerable protagonist and a pair of fetching females should keep you entertained.

Pub Date: Dec. 8th, 2003
ISBN: 0-312-27308-8
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: Minotaur
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 2003