St. Martin's, Nov 2003, 24.95, 320 pp.
Political kingmaker Jimmy D'Ambrosio knows that spousal trouble when one runs for elected office means trouble for the candidate. Jimmy D worries about Albert, husband of the US Senator from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts candidate Ellen Stoddard. Jimmy D asks old friend Boston based attorney, Brady Coyne to hire the most discreet private investigator to determine why Albert is acting strange.
Brady employs private eye Gordon Cahill, who learns what is bothering Albert, but dies in a car accident that looks more like deliberate murder before he can meet with Brady. Knowing that Gordon concentrated on Albert's Southwick, New Hampshire cabin, Brady travels there, but stirs the pot enough that someone else is also killed. Cops in two states are interested in Brady, his unidentified client, and solving two homicides.
SHADOW OF DEATH is a strong Coyne entry, perhaps the best in the last decade. The story line moves at a rapid pace as Brady is caught between client confidentiality and the homicides. The support characters propel the tale forward while Brady seems refreshed as if he rolled back the clock twenty years. Fans of the hero or the New England who-done-it scene will enjoy William G. Tapply's latest story runs on all cylinders.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner