cover image GRUDGE MATCH: A Chris Sinclair Thriller

GRUDGE MATCH: A Chris Sinclair Thriller

Jay Brandon, . . Forge, $25.95 (384pp) ISBN 978-0-7653-0892-4

A San Antonio criminal lawyer, Brandon is among the best in the legal thriller business at catching the real atmosphere of a trial—that combination of tedium and terror that makes the courtroom such a popular literary arena. His latest book about San Antonio district attorney Chris Sinclair (after 2003' s Sliver Moon ) has an absolute aura of authenticity, even though the plot contains many typical thriller elements. Because of Sinclair's zeal, police officer Steve Greerdon was sent to prison eight years earlier for taking part in an armed robbery. When new DNA evidence surfaces proving that Greerdon was innocent, Chris swallows his chagrin and gets him out of jail fast. But is Greerdon really the victim of bad justice or an incredibly clever killer? When two police officers who served with him are murdered, he's found on the scene, claiming a high-level police conspiracy to cover up the real criminals. Sinclair's lover, child psychiatrist Anne Greenwald, also gets involved in the case because of privileged information from a client, and Chris's teenage daughter finds herself being attracted to Greerdon's son. None of this is particularly new or earth-shaking, but Brandon makes his story move along smoothly by creating an involving portrait of a criminal justice system staffed (mostly) by people trying to do the right thing. Agent, Jimmy Vines at the Vines Agency. (June 2)

FYI: Brandon's novel Fade the Heat (1990) was an Edgar finalist.