cover image The Seventh Enemy

The Seventh Enemy

William G. Tapply. Otto Penzler Books, $20.5 (234pp) ISBN 978-1-883402-99-0

Boston lawyer Brady Coyne, last seen in The Snake Eater, offers to put up his old friend, TV-show environmentalist and sportsman Walt Kinnick, for the night, little suspecting he'll be drawn into a fast-paced mystery surrounding an emotional disagreement over gun control. Kinnick, an avid hunter, has come to town at the behest of Gene McNiff, leader of Second Amendment For Ever (SAFE), to testify against assault-weapon control. McNiff declares Kinnick ``dead meat'' when he unexpectedly supports the bill. Kinnick moves on to his remote Massachusetts cabin, where he receives a telephone death threat, after which he's shot and seriously injured during a stroll in the woods, an event that the local sheriff dismisses as a hunting accident. Coyne learns that his friend has earned first place on SAFE's published enemy list-on which he himself is named seventh. With some help from Alexandria Shaw, a persistent and personable reporter, Coyne winds his way toward a disturbing finale in his fine 14th adventure. Tapply expertly delivers a straightforward mystery that resists simplifying the issue it addresses. (Jan.)