MISSION FLATS by William Landay
Kirkus Star


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A crackling debut that answers the question: Who will be the new Grisham?

Young Ben Truman, who’s succeeded his dad as police chief of tiny Versailles, Maine, is reminiscing about his recently deceased mom as he perfunctorily goes about the business of inspecting deserted summer cabins. When he discovers the corpse of Boston public defender Robert Danzinger in one of them, his little backwater is soon overrun by a Massachusetts contingent out to reclaim its own. Determined not to be left out of the loop, Ben, helped by retired Boston cop John Kelly and his lawyer daughter Caroline, sprints to Boston, dogs the Beantown investigators, and acquires a new mentor, crusty bend-the-rules cop Martin Gittens, whose past includes shady interference in a crack-house raid ten years before that just may tie in with Danzinger and focus on a nonexistent snitch, a setup, a couple of dead cops, and a cover-up by the DA’s office. But why was Danzinger in Versailles in the first place? It’s a mystery that will make Ben himself a suspect, drive him to an alliance with drug kingpin Harold Braxton, and end in more death and a double-twist that few readers will see coming, but will leave them gasping—and mourning.

Stylish writing, wickedly convoluted plotting, and an insider’s view of big-city jurisprudence and police accommodation. You’ll barely finish this many-tentacled tale before you start clamoring for former ADA Landay’s next.

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2003
ISBN: 0-385-33614-4
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: Delacorte
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2003


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