BEAR IS BROKEN by Lachlan Smith



A newly minted attorney investigating his brother’s shooting ends up learning more about the victim than he’d ever wanted to know.

Hours after being sworn as a member of the California bar, Leo Maxwell is having lunch with his lawyer-brother Teddy when a stranger walks into the restaurant, fires a bullet into Teddy’s face and leaves. As Teddy hovers in a coma, Detective Anderson, who has no love for the man he tells Leo was as dirty as a lawyer can be in San Francisco, plans to arrest Ricky Santorez, Teddy’s most famous client, for the crime. Ricky has a grade-A alibi, since he’s spent the past several years in San Quentin after killing two cops who burst into his place by mistake and caught him with a highly illegal weapon, but Anderson says that a snitch fingered him for hiring the job. Since the snitch is Lawrence Maxwell, Teddy and Leo’s father, who’s been locked up for a dozen years for killing his wife, Caroline, Leo takes an even more personal interest in the case. His search for other suspects leads him to the family of Keith Locke, a client Teddy was defending against the charge of murdering thrill-seeking sociologist professor Sam Marovich, whose corpse he was found trying to push through a window of the sex club where Keith worked. The suspects are familiar types—Keith’s imperious father, Gerald, his fiercely protective mother, Greta, his sexually alluring sister Christine—but newcomer Smith juggles them with supernal dexterity, and the final showdown is hair-raising.

Sensitive, ingenious and suspenseful. A series is promised and very welcome indeed.

Pub Date: Feb. 5th, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-8021-2079-3
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Mysterious Press
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 2013


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