cover image Muscle Memory

Muscle Memory

William G. Tapply. St. Martin's Press, $23.95 (288pp) ISBN 978-0-312-20563-8

Readers will find Tapply's 16th novel featuring attorney-sleuth Brady Coyne a pleasure, but they will have to forgive Coyne if he's holding a grievance. For Coyne's client, former pro-basketball player and long-time drinking buddy Mick Fallon, not only repeatedly lies to him, he also gets Coyne knocked unconscious and embroiled in a hostage situation. There's one grievance Coyne is certain Fallon is not responsible for, however: the death of Fallon's wife, who was suing Fallon for divorce before she was murdered. A ""muscle memory"" accrues to any action repeated so frequently that it becomes second nature. In Fallon's case, muscle memory enabled him to ace late-game free throws, but since he has retired, the practice has underpinned his reflexive habit of lying to hide his decades-long gambling problem, which has led to an alarming debt to Boston's most notorious mobster. Enter Coyne, who's recovering from his own divorce and isn't yet ready for the relationship opportunities that present themselves. Tapply (Cutter's Run) integrates Coyne's personal travails and his professional obligations, marking this novel as a model addition in a mature series: smoothly written, accessible to new readers and solidly plotted. with a singular, self-contained story that satisfies on its own while advancing the book-to-book progression of the series. Picking up the latest Brady Coyne novel could easily become a muscle memory--that is, for those to whom it's not one already. (July)