cover image The Substitution Order

The Substitution Order

Martin Clark. Knopf, $27.95 (352p) ISBN 978-0-525-65632-6

Prominent Virginia attorney Kevin Moore, the narrator of this exceptional legal thriller from Clark (The Jezebel Remedy), is reduced to working in a fast-food sandwich shop after a drug and alcohol binge led to the suspension of his law license and the end of his marriage. He’s hoping to keep his head down and wait for reinstatement, but his life is upended when he’s approached at the sandwich shop by a stranger who calls himself Caleb. Caleb represents an organization that monitors the information received by “virtually every group with a disciplinary board” to identify people vulnerable to being coerced into participating in a fraud scheme. In Kevin’s case, Caleb asks him to agree to a lie—that he committed malpractice a few years earlier by failing to execute a purchase order for land that cost a client millions. When Kevin refuses, he’s set up for a probation violation and framed for even more serious charges. Clark does a masterly job combining Kevin’s plans to get himself out from under with a powerful portrayal of human frailty. John Grisham fans won’t want to miss this one. [em]Agent, Sloan Harris, ICM. (July) [/em]