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Falls the Shadow    by William Lashner order for
Falls the Shadow
by William Lashner
Order:  USA  Can
William Morrow, 2005 (2005)
Hardcover, Audio, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Victor Carl, struggling lawyer, and his partner Beth, another struggling lawyer, are asked to file an appeal for a convicted murderer who has already served three years of his jail time.

The struggling lawyers are cajoled into taking the Frenchman's case (he claims he never murdered his wife) by the money waved under their noses. Never ones to turn down a fat fee, Victor and Beth get caught up in a devious plot that never seems to wind down. Instead it meanders from the main stream into small tributaries that eventually lead right back to rejoin as rushing waters.

William Lashner is a storyteller par excellence with nary a slip in his clues, or in the direction that leads to a crackerjack of a conclusion. He fleshes his characters out - both physically and in personality - so well that I feel as though he's writing about people I actually know. His action never slows down, moving at a good clip throughout this wonderful novel. And he reveals a warm side to Victor with his gentle, pro bono handling of a child abuse case - much to Victor’s surprise.

Lashner has honed his comedic sense to a sharp edge and drolly injects it into scenes that needn't have it to survive but benefit from it nevertheless. I guess by now you've guessed I liked Falls the Shadow as much as I did William Lashner's previous work.

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