CRIMINAL INTENT by Sheldon Siegel


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Siegel trudges his priestly San Francisco attorney Mike Daley (Special Circumstances, 2000, etc.) against evil cinematic types, one of whom has clobbered another to death with an Oscar.

Director Richard “Big Dick” MacArthur had wrapped up the sequel to his hit The Master only days before and had supposedly enjoyed the pre-release screening with his son “Little Richard” MacArthur, his latest wife, Mike Daley’s ex-niece Angelina “Angel” Chavez, and a group of close associates. But the party was a bust. Hours after showing the none-too-successful vehicle for the untalented Angel, Big Dick turned up fatally battered and Angel was discovered parked by the Golden Gate Bridge in the family Jag, coked to the gills, a bloody Oscar in the trunk. Notified of the mess while still in the sheets with his secret lover, the beautiful Judge Leslie Shapiro, Daley springs into action as quickly as a middle-aged former priest and semi-successful attorney can. Things couldn’t be murkier. Besides being auteur of the shaky new movie, MacArthur was a lead investor in the effort to create a film studio in the newly hot district near the Giants’ new ballpark, a project for which money is slipped to politicians after being washed through neighborhood businesses in order to soften the opposition of the usual anti-everythings. The project is starting to look like a loser, and Big Dick’s grouchy fellow investors were the bulk of the party guests on the fatal night, so the about-to-be-shed Angel wasn’t the only one with unloving feelings for MacArthur. Indeed, the sole straight-arrow in attendance prior to the bashing was MacArthur’s lawyer, and he’s gone missing. Freeing Rosie’s niece will take days of interrogation, miles of driving, and much cooperation from Mike’s brother the p.i. and the junior members of the law firm, one of whose sons is about to be called before Judge Shapiro on a drug rap. Busy, busy, busy.

All talk and no tension. A legal cozy in a great big village.

Pub Date: Aug. 26th, 2002
ISBN: 0-399-14917-1
Page count: 416pp
Publisher: Putnam
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 15th, 2002


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