A do-gooder lawyer wants to track down the sole witness to the murder of a friend’s fiancee before the friend takes matters into his own hands.
Now that he’s developed the reputation as a lawyer who’s willing to help the common man—even if that man is still a boy—Cal Claxton feels responsible for his unofficial office hours at Portland’s Caffeine Central. In his latest murder case, though, he can’t just sit and wait for a presumed eyewitness to come to him because the murdered woman, Claudia, was recently betrothed to his closest friend, Hernando Mendoza. Cal wants to help more than anything, not only because he’s worried what Nando might do to Claudia’s ex-husband before the real killer is found, but also because he’s pretty certain the witness is firmly within his wheelhouse of troubled youth. The person who saw the crime seems to be a local graffiti artist going by the moniker “K209” whose distinctive tags appear to defy gravity. Kelly Spence, meanwhile, is worried that her identity as K209 will be found out, and she knows the killers saw her hanging above them the night of the crime. The placement of her tags is a tribute to her father, who taught her climbing skills before he died in an accident several years ago. Kelly can’t go to the police with what she knows because she doesn’t want to get in trouble for her city artwork. Will she connect with Cal, the one person who might be on her side, or will she be too afraid to tell anyone the truth as she hides from danger?
Alternating between Cal’s first-person narrative and the third-person story of Kelly, Easley (Dead Float, 2014, etc.) keeps the story simple and easy to unravel while engaging readers in more long-term relationships with the characters.