Wolf’s Revengeby Lachlan Smith
The latest novel in Lachlan Smith’s critically acclaimed mystery series pits underdog defense attorney Leo Maxwell against an unforgiving prison gang.
Leo Maxwell is no ordinary attorney. He spends as much time tracking corrupt politicians and gangland leaders across the Bay Area to piece together the facts of a crime as he does crafting courtroom rhetoric. But Leo has never quite recovered from discovering his mother’s murdered corpse as a child, or from growing up in the shadow of his brilliant older brother. In Wolf’s Revenge, the fifth novel in Lachlan Smith’s Shamus Award-winning series, attorney-detective Leo Maxwell seeks an exit strategy from his family’s deepening entanglement with a ruthless prison-based gang. Caught between the criminals and the FBI, Leo charts his own path in defending a young woman who was manipulated into brazenly murdering a member of the Aryan Brotherhood in San Francisco’s Tenderloin neighborhood.
When the consequences strike heartbreakingly close to home, Leo, his brother Teddy, and the rest of the family are forced into a winner-takes-all confrontation with men who don’t care how many innocents they harm in achieving their goals. As Leo’s world collapses, long-held secrets are revealed, transforming his perspective on the aftermath of the tragedy that derailed his childhood and fractured his family twenty-one years ago. Leo comes to realize there’s no such thing as fair play in the battle against a prison gang that’s already being punished to the full extent of the law. The question then becomes who will get revenge first—the Maxwells or the sadistic gang leader who pursues them?
“Smith again puts Leo Maxwell through the wringer in his superlative fifth mystery featuring the San Francisco attorney . . . Operating at the top of his game, Smith is as good as anyone writing today at combining a mystery with the overlay of existential dread that noir fans relish.” —Publishers Weekly (boxed & starred review)
Praise for Lachlan Smith
“Lachlan Smith has done the impossible—written a riveting debut novel that stands with the best legal thrillers on my bookshelf.” —Linda Fairstein, bestselling author of Night Watch, on Bear Is Broken
“Smith has created a wonderfully readable pair of brothers in Teddy and Leo Maxwell. . . . Lion Plays Rough is as good as Bear Is Broken, which is high praise indeed.” —Huntington News, on Lion Plays Rough
One thought simultaneously heartened and chilled me. If the man I’d noticed earlier had taken my niece, this likely was no random abduction. Far more probable was that Carly had been targeted by a man named Bo Wilder. If Wilder had ordered this, it was to send a message, either to my brother Teddy or to me. Wilder had no reason to hurt Carly.
Not unless one of us had given him one.
Whenever I passed an usher or security guard I shouted my alarm about a lost girl. I’d run a near-complete circle of the stadium before my phone vibrated. It was Teddy. “We found her,” he said. “A guy brought her back.”
I slowed to a walk, but only for a moment. Then I began to jog again. I arrived at our section and slowed, trying to look casual as I came down the stairs, my hard breathing reminding me how long it’d been since I’d ridden my bike. The man with the prison muscles was there. Carly stood looking down at a little green-shirted mascot doll he must have bought for her. I came down the steps behind them and grabbed the guy’s arm.
He turned, his smile betraying no sign of the pressure I was exerting just above his massive triceps, his arm as thick around as the leg of a sedentary man, his head shaved bald. I pulled out my cell phone and suggested that Carly pose for a picture with the man.
His expression didn’t fade as I snapped a series of shots. His hand remained on Carly’s shoulder, but his eyes never left my face.