Lautrec

Norman Zollinger, Author Dutton Books $16.95 (0p) ISBN 978-0-525-24784-5
Zollinger has crafted a compelling mystery set in the Southwest he portrayed previously in Riders to Cibola , Passage to Quivira , etc. Jack Lautrec is a lawyer of the old school who always gets personally involved with the lost causes--and often with the lowlifes--he defends. This time the cause is Luis Esquibel, a young Hispanic artist accused of murdering his model, a black woman who was hiding from a radical Muslim group set on destroying her. The case and its resolution seem obvious, at first: Esquibel was caught burying the body by two cops on patrol. But Lautrec senses that there's more than meets the eye, especially since his client's not talking. The irascible, handicapped lawyer must do battle with his old enemy, the D.A., and with the brutalizing prison environment to find the real killer before the system does in the sensitive Esquibel. When the case turns controversial and someone takes a shot at Lautrec while he's unwillingly walking his neighbor's dog, he wins the reluctant help of his stuffy civil law partner and daughter Martine, who wants her father to upgrade his clientele--but not for the expected reasons. There are entertaining false leads and trails, but the real charm of Lautrec is the combative yet loving relationship of Lautrec pere and fille. (June)
Reviewed on: 06/05/1990
Release date: 06/01/1990
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