cover image Blood Flag: A Paul Madriani Novel

Blood Flag: A Paul Madriani Novel

Steve Martini. Morrow, $27.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-06-232896-0

Bestseller Martini’s uneven 14th novel featuring California lawyers Paul Madriani and Harry Hinds (after 2015’s The Enemy Inside) finds Paul and Harry flush with cash after sharing in the windfall from a whistle-blower who helped the feds nail some offshore tax cheats. Their bank balance enables them to take on a new client with a limited ability to pay, Emma Brauer, who is suspected of euthanizing her ailing 89-year-old father, Robert. Some months earlier, Robert became agitated when he received a safe-deposit box key in the mail, along with a paper that may have been a military ID. Some disturbing phone calls later prompted him to ask Emma to take the items out of the house. Right after she did, a burglar tore the place apart. Emma’s arrest leads to further tragedy. That Robert’s death has international implications raises the stakes, but the growing implausibility of the plot comes as a letdown after the book’s powerful opening sections. [em]Agent: Esther Newberg, ICM. (May) [/em]