Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page 32.
- Review Date: 2008-08-11
- Reviewer: Staff
After two dozen adventures (One-Way Ticket, etc.), Tapply’s Brady Coyne, a refreshingly decent lawyer, remains a pleasure to see at work. After a seven-year absence from Brady’s life, Alexandria Shaw, a former lover, walks into his Boston office and asks him to handle her brother’s divorce case. Gus Shaw, an independent photojournalist who lost his right hand in Iraq and is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, promises to be a difficult client, but soon after Brady and Gus talk, Gus is found dead, an apparent suicide. Though no evidence suggests murder, Alexandria is convinced her brother didn’t kill himself; Brady agrees to probe, with predictable results. While Brady tends to telegraph important aspects of the case, his investigation reveals a lot of the hidden collateral damage of the Iraq war: bereaved families, physically or psychologically wounded vets and the people who try to help those who have suffered. (Oct.)
Veteran's death raises questions
While we should be duly impressed with Archer Mayor's 19 Joe Gunther novels, it must be noted that William G. Tapply has penned no fewer than 24 novels featuring Boston attorney Brady Coyne. His latest, Hell Bent, reintroduces a ghost from Coyne's past, old flame Alex Sinclair, whom he has not seen in the seven years following their rather acrimonious split. She has not paid the visit to reignite the old romance, though; she really needs the services of a good lawyer. It seems that Alex's brother, Augustine, once a notable photojournalist, has returned from Iraq with post-traumatic stress disorder, ostensibly from the explosion in which he lost his hand and thus his career in a single disastrous moment. Since his return stateside, Augustine spends his days working in a camera shop, and his evenings in a loosely knit therapy group, serving out his time, never far from an all-consuming depression. His wife has filed for divorce, and Alex wants Brady Coyne to represent Augustine's interests, since her brother shows little inclination even to fight for his kids, a decision that Alex is sure he will regret once he gets better. Sadly, he will never have the chance to get better; shortly after his first meeting with Coyne, Augustine is found dead in his small apartment, an apparent suicide. Something does not set right with Coyne, however, and bit by bit he begins to unearth evidence suggesting murder. Hell Bent is crisply plotted, like all of the Coyne novels to date, and full of the requisite twists and turns that keep even the veteran mystery reader on edge.