cover image Rich Blood

Rich Blood

Robert Bailey. Thomas & Mercer, $15.95 trade paper (390p) ISBN 978-1-5420-3727-3

Ambulance chasing attorney Jason James Rich, the protagonist of this excellent legal thriller from Bailey (the Bocephus Haynes series), is finishing a three-month stint in rehab mandated by the Alabama State Bar Disciplinary Commission for, among other things, taking a deposition while intoxicated, when he receives a call from his estranged sister, Jana Waters. Jana begs him to defend her against a charge of hiring someone to murder her husband, who was found in a lake shot in the head three times. Jason’s friends point out that he has never tried a criminal case, no less a high-pressure one coming so soon after rehab, and especially one with his deceitful and troublesome sister as a client. Despite their warnings, he returns to Guntersville, Ala., his hometown, where he soon enough finds his efforts to help hampered by Jana, a habitual liar. Moreover, a local drug dealer threatens to harm Jana’s two daughters and Jason if Jason puts Jana on the stand and thereby potentially exposes the dealer to jeopardy for his crimes. Well-drawn characters match the surprise-filled plot. Phillip Margolin fans will be enthralled. Agent: Liza Fleissig, Liza Royce Agency. (Sept.)