This is the third entry in William G. Tapply's series featuring Boston attorney, Brady Coyne, and it's the best in the series thus far. By this book, Tapply had fairly well established Coyne's basic personality and habits, which would not change in any significant way over the rest of the series. His relationship with his secretary, his ex-wife and his two boys was pretty well set, as were a number of friendships that Coyne would carry through his literary life.
Several years before this book opens, as a favor to a wealthy client, Brady had agreed to represent a young baseball phenom named Eddie Donagan. Donagan was a pitcher soon to be signed by the Boston Red Sox and also soon to be the son-in-law of Brady's client. For a while, things went swimmingly. Eddie rose through the farm system and had a brilliant debut with the Sox. But then, for no apparent reason, he lost his mojo, or his magic, or whatever, and suddenly he couldn't pitch worth a damn. Overnight, he was out of baseball and selling sneakers at a local mall. He also left his wife and young son, E.J.
The book opens a couple of years later when Brady's wealthy client calls him on a Saturday morning to tell him that E.J., now ten, has failed to return home from his paper route. Brady is sure that the kid is just playing in the park or some such thing and that he'll return home shortly. But the client and his daughter, the child's mother, are panicked and insist that Brady come over to hold their hands.
Well, of course, E.J. does not return home and eventually kidnappers will call demanding a ransom. Naturally, this sort of thing is best left to the police, but if that were to be the case here, we would have no story involving Brady Coyne. Against his wishes and his better judgment, Brady is soon mixed up in a very confusing and dangerous case. The tale takes lots of twists and turns and contains more than a few surprises. But it's an engaging story, and it's always fun to spend an evening in the company of Brady Coyne. This is a book that will appeal most to those who enjoy a fairly traditional mystery story.