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Falls the Shadow

by William Lashner

      Victor Carl bends to the pleading of his partner, Beth Dillinger, and takes on the appeal of Françoise Dube, a chef who was previously found guilty of murdering his estranged wife. The delivery of a large retainer helps to convince him that defending Dube is the right thing to do. Victor really thinks Dube is guilty, but true to his own ethics, must give his client his very best effort to prove him innocent.

Victor has no illusions about himself, but he's far from the self-described dork he would like you to believe. He is witty, and charming, but less than a fashion plate. He performs very well in the criminal courtroom, but life is still not as good as he would like it to be. Then he meets dentist Bob Pffeffer, a self-confessed do-gooder who has no personal qualms about manipulating the lives of others to conform to what he thinks is right. He always seems to have the right answer and the right connections to solve every problem.

Lashner is a master at characterization, and a genius at plotting. You feel that you know these people intimately, and feel their complicated emotions as they race through the innovative, multi-level plot. I fell in love with Victor when he was appointed the pro-bono attorney for a four-year-old boy, whose sister had been given away. What a touching, inspiring sub-plot!

Falls the Shadow is a highly entertaining, suspenseful novel with edgy, inspired dialogue. Allow plenty of time to read this book, because you won't want to put down this legal thriller. I can't wait for Lashner's next book.

The Book

William Morrow / HarperCollins
May 1, 2005
Mystery / Suspense
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The Reviewer

Beverly J. Rowe
Reviewed 2005
© 2005