Sunday, August 10, 2008

Shoot the Lawyer Twice-Michael Bowen

Shoot the Lawyer Twice
Michael Bowen
Poisoned Pen, Oct 2008, $24.95
ISBN: 1590585291

Married couple, Milwaukee based copyright attorney Rep and University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee Professor Melissa Pennyworth wonder how they got involved in this entangled fiasco that makes the DNA helix look like Lego construction. The mess apparently started at sea on Lake Michigan when undergraduate student Jimmy Clevenger arrives at Carolyn Hoeckstra’s boat and blithely gives her a choice between sex and swimming. She chose the water. Later she filed attempted rape charges that ended in a hang jury; she followed that up with a piracy suit in federal court.

At about the same time, thriller writer Taylor Gates plans to write a novel based on a WWII document that might be a fake but paints the Vatican as the good guys. Meanwhile Professor Harold Angstrom wants out of a contract he signed to write a centennial history of the Goettinger Corporation, who’s CEO happened to be Carolyn’s father and just died suspiciously. The situation spins further out of control when an avaricious extortionist professor is apparently murdered and an amoral reporter seeks the scoop while Rep struggles with a stuffed nose and his spouse is caught up the middle of a politically uncorrected scenario.

Total satirical chaos as the above and much more occur with no or limited connections between the events except for driving the Pennyworth couple into wanting to dive into the Great Lakes. The story line is fast-paced and humorous as the eccentric cast sends even the amiable lead pair seeking shelter. Rep and Melissa are learning that sometimes good and honorable intentions leave the Samaritan trapped in hell although still might prove safer than PUTTING LIPSTICK ON A PIG.

Harriet Klausner