William G. Tapply
St. Martin’s, Sep 2007, $23.95
Twentyish Robert Lancaster calls attorney Brady Coyne from the New England Medical Center to inform him that his dad, the lawyer’s law school roommate and fishing friend, was in the emergency room after three thugs beat him up as a warning to pay off his gambling debt within a week or else. Brady quickly learns the physical message was delivered by those in the pay of Boston mobster Paulie Russo, son of the North End crime kingpin Vincent. He also finds out that the victim owes nothing, but that Robert, being a chip off the old block, has run up the debt. Apparently like his dad, he has a horrific gambling addiction too.
Not long after Brady tries to mediate with the Russo mob on behalf of his father-son clients, three thugs escort him to meet Paulie. The gangster chip off the old block wants Robert to intercede with his grandmother, Superior Court Judge Adrienne Lancaster, on a Russo case. Brady informs the Judge, who plans to remove herself from the case until a CD arrives starring a taped up Robert with demands including Brady serve as the middle man. As Brady struggles to free the son of his friend, his girlfriend Eve, who left him to spend time with her dying father, calls.
Except for the Judge recusing herself from the Russo case, this is not a legal thriller, but instead an entertaining crime tale that is a weaker Brady Coyne entry even if the attorney and his pals discuss 2004 as a one time aberration with the Buckner Syndrome being the norm. The story line is a ONE-WAY TICKET as Brady struggles with keeping the Lancaster duo safe from the mob, who demands payment in terms of fixing their court case. Fans of the series will enjoy the entry, but know the Red Sox are not in top form in this tale.