Cal Claxton, former prosecutor in LA, now current one man show in Oregon, has been busy since I last encountered him (in Matters of Doubt). His niece joins him when Gertie, his accountant, becomes ill.
He also has another assistant, Timoteo Fuentes, a DACA recipient, who has convinced Cal to hire him. Timoteo wants to become a lawyer, and the first part of that involves a lot of filing and research. The first big case he sees come into Cal’s office, however, is one that hits too close to home: his sister’s murder.
It is not necessary to read books one through seven to get here as this does stand on its own; however, to fully understand why Cal quit the big city and moved north, it is helpful to have read them.
Timoteo, his sister, and the entire extended family are undocumented, which makes investigating the case much harder – no one in the community wants to talk to a big white dude who is also a lawyer, especially potential witnesses.
Perseverance pays off, though, and Cal is on the case. But nothing is simple, and as injuries and bodies pile up, the investigation becomes more dangerous for everyone.
As with Matters of Doubt, I’ll note that those who fall on the more conservative side of the aisle will be unlikely to enjoy this book. Cal is clearly what those sorts of people would call a social justice warrior, their voices dripping with derision.
Cal has a good heart and a better head. The investigation is fairly straightforward – although Cal has stopped turning up at every dead body before it’s even cold, so that’s a change of pace from the last one I read.
I’m giving it a solid four out of five stars.
Thanks to Poisoned Pen Press and NetGalley for the reading copy.