cover image Ginger Snaps

Ginger Snaps

Webb Hubbell. Beaufort (Midpoint, dist.), $24.95 (360p) ISBN 978-0-82530777-5

Fans of Grisham-like legal thrillers featuring wide-ranging evil conspiracies may be entertained by Hubbell's second novel featuring antitrust lawyer Jack Patterson (after 2014's When Men Betray). Based in Washington, D.C., Jack returns to his hometown of Little Rock, Ark., after Dr. Doug Stewart, a friend of his late wife and a prominent chemist, is arrested by the feds. Doug was growing marijuana in his backyard, but that crime alone doesn't account for the authorities' dubbing him a national security threat and denying access to counsel. The case becomes even more baffling after the attorney learns that Doug alerted the government to what he was growing and that he was doing so for research. Jack, who must contend with U.S. Attorney Wilbur "Dub" Blanchard, his legal adversary from the prior book, in the courtroom, finds that his involvement in the case places his life%E2%80%94and his colleagues' lives%E2%80%94in jeopardy. Cartoonish villains, thin characterizations, and an implausible denouement are drawbacks. (May)