In the second legal thriller in Reeve’s (All Good Things, 2018, etc.) series, drug dealers, corrupt cops, and a murder keep Seattle attorneys Jack Hart and Harmony Piper on their toes.
Jack is a lawyer at Piper, Whatcom & Hardcastle, as is Harmony, who’s still traumatized by the murder of her father, Humphrey Piper; later, she elects to work as an in-house attorney for Tokyo-based businessman Higuro Yamashita. Police officer Mark Oden, Jack’s former foster brother, has been working undercover in a heroin-distribution ring for the past three months, unbeknownst to Jack. Mark receives a call from his next-door neighbor Bobbie Ryan, whose husband, Garrett, has been abusing her. The next thing readers know, Garrett is dead, Bobbie is in shock, and Mark is found unconscious in the Ryan house with his service revolver in hand. A single bullet was fired from the gun—and it may be the one that ripped through Garrett’s head. Jack and Harmony are convinced that Mark has been framed, but by whom? The drug dealers? Mark’s father, who’s a drug kingpin in a separate organization? The police? Jack and Harmony are civil attorneys, so they must find an expert in criminal law to defend Mark. The section dealing with their search is like a short primer on what to look for in legal counsel—and what to avoid—when one’s life depends on it. Jack narrates this action-packed story, but Harmony proves to be the star of the courtroom scenes. This time around, Reeve develops Mark more fully as a character, and he and Harmony make a solid team for this continuing series. Betsy, a neurotic dog who followed Jack home last year—and never left—will be a special treat for canine aficionados. As Jack says succinctly, “there was something menacing about Betsy, as if she carried a rage that she might unleash at any moment. I loved her madly.” The twisty plot is satisfying but not overly complex. This entry works fine as a stand-alone, but it’s even better if one reads the previous book first.
An engaging tale with plenty of miscreants, sharp prose, and enjoyable characters.