cover image Close to the Bone

Close to the Bone

William G. Tapply. St. Martin's Press, $20.95 (0pp) ISBN 978-0-312-14567-5

In his reliable, rewarding series featuring middle-aged Boston lawyer Brady Coyne, Tapply combines intelligent plotting with consistent, fully dimensional characterization and prose that flows as easily as the trout streams Coyne loves to fish. In his 14th case (following The Seventh Enemy), Coyne recommends Paul Cizek, a fishing buddy and a defense attorney with a reputation as a miracle worker, to defend a client's son involved in a fatal DUI rap. Cizek takes and wins the case, but privately explains to Coyne how his victories are eating at him. He detests the people he is defending--the child molester, the Mafia hit man and now an unremorseful alcoholic. When Cizek, depressed and separated from his wife, disappears and his empty boat is found drifting in a storm, the police assume accident or suicide. But Coyne's investigation, undertaken at the behest of Cizek's wife, and accruing dead bodies suggest more sinister possibilities. As Coyne searches the wreckage of his friend's life for clues, his own deepening relationship with journalist Alexandria Shaw also faces a crisis. Tapply treats his characters and his readers with respect, and the result is another winning entry in a very satisfying series. (Oct.)