Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Mystery Book Review: A Killer's Kiss by William Lashner

Mysterious ReviewsMysterious Reviews, mysteries reviewed by the Hidden Staircase Mystery Books, has written a review of A Killer's Kiss by William Lashner. For our blog readers, we are printing it first here in advance of its publication on our website.A Killer's Kiss by William Lashner

A Killer's Kiss by
A Victor Carl Mystery

William Morrow (Hardcover)
ISBN-10: 0-06-114346-4 (0061143464)
ISBN-13: 978-0-06-114346-5 (9780061143465)
Publication Date: August 2007
List Price: $24.95

Synopsis (from the publisher): There's nothing easier—or more dangerous—than falling into bed with an old lover. Especially when you're Victor Carl.

Once upon a time, Victor was engaged to a woman named Julia. She was beautiful and elegant and not the kind of woman to end up with a second-rate lawyer on the edge of insolvency. Victor always assumed she'd burn him, and she did. Now she's back, trailing an expensive perfume that reeks of trouble.

Julia's husband has been murdered, her fingerprints are all over the crime scene, and $1.7 million in cash is missing. Julia is suddenly in desperate need of a fall guy. Is that why she turns up on Victor's doorstep on the night of the murder, with her lipstick fresh and her heels high? It's all enough to make Victor doubt the healing power of love.

But in Victor's world lust trumps reason seven days a week. As he reaches for his old lover, he convinces himself that Julia truly wants to make amends for the past, that they might have a future together, and that the Beatles were right—all you need is love. Until two cops troop into his apartment and start fingering Victor for the murder.

Suddenly, Victor Carl, a man who has spent a lifetime making bad decisions for the worst reasons, is no longer fighting to rekindle a lost love. He's fighting to save his life.

Review: The seventh mystery in the Victor Carl series, A Killer's Kiss by William Lashner, is one of the most entertaining novels of the year ... and a first rate mystery as well.

"Who was that?" She stood there, trim and tawny, long legs falling out of a towel wrapped tightly around her body. To see her standing in my living room was to see a future devoid of want and strife, all my dreams satisfied, all my hopes fulfilled. She was a worker's paradise in one stunning figure. I stared for a moment, I couldn't help myself. "It was the cops," I said finally. "Really, what did they want?" I looked at her for a moment longer and then turned back to the window. "They came," I said without turning around, "to tell me that your husband's been murdered."

What a terrific way to start a book. attorney Victor Carl finds himself in the middle of a murder investigation in which he is intimately involved. The husband of an ex-girlfriend, someone with whom he is still desperately in love, has been murdered, and if he's not the prime suspect, Julia, the victim's wife, is, and therefore he is too by association. Victor has to figure out a way to prove that not only is he innocent, but Julia as well. Only he's not quite sure Julia is innocent. Then there's the missing money. One point seven million dollars. Julia doesn't have it and apparently knows little about it. But several people are looking for it, and finding the money seems to be more important than finding the killer.

It's hard not to like Victor Carl. He's sarcastic and quick with a verbal comeback but he's also charming and witty. He's not above negotiating when he's clearly in no position to do so. He cares deeply for others but not at the expense of neglecting to look out for himself. And he's devious. His maneuvering to get all the principal parties together in the same place at the same time toward the end of the story is quite clever. Better yet, the unexpected final plot twist makes for an apt conclusion to this exceptional book.

Unfortunately, A Killer's Kiss will be the last of the Victor Carl mysteries for a while. In a postscript, the author states he and his character are going to take a break. Until he returns, Victor will be sorely missed.

Special thanks to Authors on the Web for providing a copy of A Killer's Kiss for this review.

Review Copyright © 2007 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved.

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