Another death knell for one of Boston attorney Brady Coyne’s (Hell Bent, 2008, etc.) old friends.
It’s been ten years since Brady last saw Ken Nichols, his neighbor in Wellesley before they both got divorced. Now that Ken’s in Natick for a veterinarians’ convention, he’s asked if they can reconnect. It’s a short reunion, though, because the night after they have some drinks and catch up on old times, Ken’s stabbed to death in his hotel room, his body discovered by his alluring ex-wife Sharon, with whom he’d also evidently wanted to reconnect, though in a more comprehensive way. Sharon’s not exactly the ideal client. She doesn’t call the police before she calls Brady, doesn’t call the police after she calls Brady, and tells an improbable story about letting herself into an unlocked hotel room whose door couldn’t possibly have been ajar. So naturally Det. Roger Horowitz and Det. Marcia Benetti like her for the murder. Looking further afield, Brady finds only a pair of wraithlike suspects—a fleeing figure in a hooded sweatshirt, the mysterious “Clem” Ken spoke to at the convention—and Ken’s relatives, his ailing father Charles and his daughter Ellen and son Wayne, both in degree programs. Or rather he doesn’t find Wayne, provoking Brady, who’s having issues with his own son Billy, to something like actual engagement.Weak-tea suspects and a sleuth who’s just too nice and too invested in the finer things in life to be seriously interested in detection, or indeed in the law.