Saturday, February 17, 2018

Boston Attorney Brady Coyne Gets Tangled Up in a Messy Murder Case

This is another good addition to William G. Tapply's long-running series featuring Boston attorney Brady Coyne. As the book opens, Coyne is romantically unentangled and enjoying a burger, onion rings and beer for dinner at Skeeter's Infield, his favorite dive bar. Alongside is a former major league basketball star named Mick Fallon, whom Brady knows slightly.

Fallon is down in the dumps because his wife, whom he claims to love madly, has just filed for divorce. Fallon wants Brady to represent him, and although Brady's one-man practice generally involves wills and estates, Coyne agrees. Brady gets a nasty surprise at the deposition, though, because his client has not been honest with him. 

Brady tells Fallon that he's going to drop him as a client and will recommend someone else to represent him. But then Fallon's soon-to-be ex-wife is murdered and Fallon is the principal suspect. He begs Brady to forgive him and to represent him. Brady agrees to do so and sets about trying to find the Real Killer, assuming, of course, that his client isn't guilty.

It's a perilous and interesting undertaking and I enjoyed the story with a couple of reservations: Brady and Fallon are only casual acquaintances; they aren't Major Buds. I can understand why Coyne would agree to represent him in the divorce, but once Fallon has lied to him and basically left him hanging out to dry at the deposition, it didn't make much sense to me that Coyne would so rapidly forgive him and agree to represent him on the murder rap.

And therein lies the second problem. As I indicated above, Coyne has a very small, quiet practice that focuses on the financial needs of a few wealthy clients. He doesn't do criminal defense law and in earlier books, when one of his clients has been charged with a crime, Brady immediately has immediately hooked the client up with an excellent defense attorney. It's completely out of character for him to so casually and readily agree to defend someone on a murder charge. I enjoyed the book, but these two concerns kept nagging at me as I read it, and so three stars instead of four.

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