cover image The Washington Lawyer

The Washington Lawyer

Allan Topol. SelectBooks, $16.95 trade paper (288p) ISBN 978-1-59079-266-7

Topol (The Argentine Triangle) successfully portrays the panicked terrors of that Washington staple, the public figure trying to escape a scandal by lying his way out of trouble. Sen. Wesley Jasper has slipped off to the island of Anguilla for some “mind-blowing sex” with his beautiful mistress, Vanessa Boyd, who announces that he had better marry her or she’ll go to the Washington Post with a CD she’s recorded of him having a meeting with a Chinese secret agent. Wesley retaliates by drowning Vanessa. To cover up the crime, he enlists the help of his friend, Washington power lawyer Andrew Martin, who loaned Wesley his beach house for the tryst. Martin, who’s in line for a seat on the Supreme Court, knows that if this gets out he’ll be pulled from consideration, so he calls friends on the island for assistance. Meanwhile, Vanessa’s plucky twin sister, Allison, has decided that the cover story of accidental death is a lie and throws herself into an investigation to find her sister’s killer. The story follows familiar patterns, but Topol ties up all the loose ends, and all the principals, except poor Vanessa, get what’s coming to them. Agent: Pam Ahearn, Ahearn Agency. (Mar.)