Scott Finn series, No 3
2010/ ISBN 9780230707238
Legal Thriller / Boston / Contemporary
by L J Roberts
First Sentence: Lian Kilbranish looked down at the lump of flesh
curled in front of him on the cement floor.
Boston attorney Scott Finn is hired by Devon Malley, a repeat offender,
to defend him against charges of theft at a high-end clothing store.
What Finn ends up with is taking care of Malley’s 14-year
old daughter, involvement in a 1990 art heist from the Isabella
Stewart Gardner Museum, criminals, police agencies and a member
of the IRA.
Let me start with the things I did like about this book, as it
won’t take very long. The description of Isabella Stewart
Gardner, her museum and now she created it was excellent. I hadn’t
realized that much of the financing for the IRA (Irish Republican
Army) came from stealing valuable art and ransoming it back. I particularly
enjoyed the characters of Sally, the thief’s 14-year-old daughter,
as well as Lissie and Kos, both of whom work with Finn.
Unfortunately, there were many things I did not like about the
book. Other than the description of the museum, there was very little
sense of place. The story could have been set in any city. We were
given area names and economic strata, but there was no read sense
of Boston. For other than those mentioned previously, there was
very little character development. There were good guys and bad
guys and other guys but most were quite forgettable. Other than
knowing Finn grew up in “the system,” I had no real
feel for him as a character and certainly no affinity was created.
Even the dialogue was indistinguishable, one character to the next.
As to the story, it is not really a legal thriller. A couple visits
to the jail and a couple short courtroom scenes does not a legal
thriller make. The story, and even the dialogue, was very predictable.
A considerable part of the story was told in the past. Unfortunately,
that was more interesting than the present. Only in the last approximately
50 pages did the story become gripping. There is an interesting
twist at the very end, but I was left feeling that Hosp didn’t
really finish the story, even knowing the missing object are, in
reality, never found.
I did finish this book but was certainly not impressed by it. I
doubt I’ll be reading more by Mr. Hosp.