LION PLAYS ROUGH by Lachlan Smith


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Now that he’s solved the shooting that left his brother Teddy seriously disabled (Bear Is Broken, 2013), Oakland attorney Leo Maxwell is ready to juggle a trio of cases that put him on the hot seat.

Beware of women who knock you off your bicycle with their convertibles and then press you to take an iffy case. The woman in question is Lavinia Martin, who, instead of sending Leo a $200 check for his broken wheel, offers him $10,000 to protect her brother, who already violated his probation when Detective Eric Campbell found a gun in his car, from the charges that are sure to follow when the cops link that gun to a recent murder. The only trouble is that when Leo, who’s already skirted the law by photographing a meeting between Campbell and suspicious-looking private security agent Damon Watson, maneuvers his way into a meeting with the imprisoned Jamil Robinson, his supposed client insists he never hired Leo—in fact, his only sister is dead. Clearly, Leo’s been set up to take the heat off the police corruption case he thought he’d cracked, but by whom: Jamil’s heavy-duty attorney, Nikki Matson? The vanished Lavinia Martin? Campbell himself? Before he can answer this question, Leo will have to defend Marty Scarsdale, a client accused of molesting a 13-year-old friend of his daughter’s, and reopen the murder case of Jeremy Walker, who was shot to death last summer and whose mother now wants Teddy to marry her even more impaired daughter Tamara, who doesn’t even remember that she was in a therapy group with Teddy.

“We’re lawyers, not private detectives,” Leo’s boss, Jeanie, Teddy’s ex-wife, tells him. In his sophomore outing, though, Leo shines a lot more brightly as a private detective than as a lawyer.

Pub Date: Feb. 4th, 2014
ISBN: 978-0-8021-2216-2
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: Mysterious Press
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 2014


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