Friday, September 30, 2016

Review of "Lion Plays Rough" by Lachlan Smith

In this second book in the series, defense attorney Leo Maxwell works in Jeanie Maxwell's law firm in Oakland, California. Jeanie is the ex-wife of Leo's brother Teddy - a once formidable lawyer mentally disabled by a bullet to the brain. Leo now lives with/takes care of Teddy, who still does odd jobs in Jeanie's firm.

While going for his morning bike ride Leo is knocked down by Lavinia Martin in a speeding car. Later on, Lavinia tells Leo that her brother Jamil was set up for a murder charge by a corrupt cop, Eric Campbell. Lavinia then suckers Leo into taking photos of Campbell meeting with known criminal Damon Watson - who presumably wants the murder charge pinned on Jamil.

Well, things aren't exactly as they seem and Leo gets into hot water with both the district attorney and Nikki Madsen, who represents Jamil. Moreover, the corrupt cop issue is much more complicated than Leo was led to believe, and delving into it gets him into serious trouble: Leo gets beat up, accused of murder, thrown in jail, nearly run off the road, almost killed, etc.

Meanwhile, Leo also works on another couple of cases. He defends Marty Scarsdale, accused of raping a teenage girl; and he looks into the cold case of Jeremy Walker, who was shot the year before. As a result Leo's brother Teddy gets re-acquainted with Jeremy's widow, Tamara, a brain damaged woman he met in rehab.

By the end of the book Leo has finally figured out what's what at the expense of a lot of lives and limbs. For me, the plot is overly convoluted and too much of the book is devoted to Leo being beat up, imperiled, and so on. Still, there are interesting characters in the story, and it holds the reader's attention.

Overall, an okay book, mildly recommended to fans of thrillers.

Rating: 3 stars

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