William Lashner,
A Killer's Kiss
(Morrow, 2007)

William Lashner's series character, Philadelphia lawyer Victor Carl, is what you might call ethically challenged. He wants to do the right thing and wishes he were a better man than he is, but has a way of giving into temptation. When his old girlfriend, who dumped him because she couldn't see a future with a scruffy, not overly successful lawyer, turns up again, married to a rich man, Carl succumbs and enters into an affair with her, an action he knows is not going to end any better this time.

The same night he takes up with her again -- while she is still in his apartment, in fact -- two cops show up at the door. Her husband has been murdered, his old/new girlfriend has left fingerprints all over the crime scene and Victor himself is a suspect. Oh, and $1.7 million is missing.

Lashner's plot is fast-moving. He begins the book at a breakneck pace and then keeps amping up the action to move even more quickly. The only way Carl can clear himself is to get to the bottom of what is going on, but the problem is that the deeper he digs, the more involved he becomes.

You'll have fun scampering through the pages with Victor Carl, discovering that people are not always who they pretend to be, that the good guys are not always good and the bad guys aren't always bad, but that everybody is full of surprises.

In an afternote, Lashner declares that he is going to rest Victor Carl for a while in order to concentrate on novels with other lead characters. Having discovered Carl with this book, I'm glad there are six others to keep me busy while I wait for Lashner to get back to him.

review by
Michael Scott Cain

10 May 2008

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