William G. Tapply
Minotaur, Nov 9 2010, $24.99
Ken Nichols and Brady Coyne were once happily married neighbors living in the burbs. That was a seemingly a century ago as both are divorced with Brady the lawyer residing in Boston and Ken the veterinarian in Baltimore. A decade since the two men has seen each other, but Ken calls telling Brady he will be in town for a convention. They meet and have a drink together.
The next day, Ken’s ex wife Sharon finds him brutally stabbed to death in his Natick hotel room. She calls Brady, who is at dinner with he wife, his son, and his son’s friend, but readily rushes to the homicide scene as her lawyer. Brady wonders if Ken’s strange discussion with an intruder when they socialized last night is involved with his murder. As he makes inquiries, he learns a lot about his former neighbor’s apparent involvement with peddling date-rape drugs to pay off massive debts and another family homicide that obviously ties to the first one; he finds what he recalls of his neighbors were a façade to a darker life.
In all probability the last Coyne thriller as William G. Tapply died last year is a terrific walk off home run at Fenway Park. Coyne is his usual solid self uncovering truths about his neighbors that he would prefer not to know while struggling to connect with Billy who still blames his dad for the break up of their family in spite of their male bonding two years in Idaho; as he believes his father placed clients ahead of him and his mom; the Nichols case affirms his contention. Fans of the series will appreciate this great whodunit while wondering what happened to Sparky the Cat.