There’s nothing easier than falling in love with an old girlfriend. That’s what Philly lawyer Victor Carl finds out when he hooks up again with a femme fatale who’s definitely bad for his health.
In the middle of the night, a knock on Victor’s door can only mean trouble. Two cops invite themselves in, asking where Victor has been. They also ask him about a doctor named Wren Davis. Victor sends them packing. As soon as they leave, a beautiful woman steps out of Victor’s bedroom, a towel around her naked body. “Who was that?” she asks. “The cops,” says Victor. “What did they want?” she asks. “To tell me that your husband is dead.”
Her name is Julia. She's ridiculously lovely. Women like her date athletes and marry tycoons. They don’t hang out with second-rate lawyers on the edge of insolvency. But back in the day, Julia had agreed to marry Victor Carl. Then she deserted him, running off to marry a doctor. Now she’s back and she’s trouble with a capital T. Her husband has been murdered, Julia’s incriminated, and there are big bucks at stake. Naturally, Victor is on the case
A stained legal career spent defending mob enforcers, two-bit hoods, and other dregs of humanity has left Philadelphia lawyer Victor Carl jaded and resentful – until a new client appears to offer him an escape and a big payday. Caroline Shaw, the desperate scion of a prominent Main Line dynasty, wants him to prove that her sister Jacqueline’s recent suicide was, in fact, murder before Caroline suffers a similar fate. It is a case that propels Carl out of his courtroom element and into a murky world of fabulous wealth, bloody family legacies, and dark secrets. Victor Carl would love nothing more than to collect his substantial fee and get out alive. But a bitter truth is dragging him in dangerously over his head, and ever closer to the shattering revelation that the most terrifying darkness of all lies not in the heart of a Central American jungle… but in the twisted soul of man.
New York Times bestselling author William Lashner returns with a brilliantly twisty tale that probes the dark side of the law – and man.
A beautiful young woman is dead, her husband convicted of the murder. In seeking a new trial for the husband, defense attorney Victor Carl must confront not only a determined prosecutor and a police detective who might have set up his client, but also a strange little busybody named Bob.
Bob has the aspiration, one could even say compulsion, to help those around him. And it usually works out well for all concerned, except when it ends in blood. But Victor doesn’t know that… yet.
Thanks to Bob, Victor is suddenly dressing better, dating a stunning woman, and both his economic prospects and his teeth are gleaming. It’s all good, until Victor finds a troubling connection between Bob and the murdered wife. Is Bob a kind of saint or is this obsessive Good Samaritan, in reality, a murderer?
Filled with the keen wit, deep poignancy, twisting suspense, and dark realism that has entranced readers, impressed reviewers, and made William Lashner’s previous novels bestsellers, Falls the Shadow is a riveting novel sure to leave readers eager for more.
Lust will make a fool of any man, but it is only love that can truly ruin him. So says Victor Carl, the ethically adventurous Philadelphia lawyer who usually ends up doing the right thing, but, as his law partner says, often for all the wrong reasons.
Late one night Victor gets a panicked phone call from an old law school classmate. Guy Forrest claims he has just found the body of his fiancee lying murdered in the house they shared. The victim is Hailey Prouix, for whose love Guy had abandoned his children, his job, his wife, his life. Hailey had mesmerized every man she ever met – including, unbeknownst to Guy, Victor Carl. Convinced that Guy is Hailey’s killer, Victor agrees to represent him, all the while secretly vowing to see justice done, whatever the cost.
But when Victor’s certainty begins to crack, he embarks on a quest that will take him from Philadelphia to Las Vegas to the valleys of West Virginia and back again. He digs further and further into Hailey Prouix’s past and discovers that nothing is as simple as it had seemed, especially the woman he thought he loved.
Who was Hailey Prouix? Behind the answer lurks a killer. As Guy’s murder trial heads toward its shattering conclusion, Victor must find the brutal truth before the mechanism of retribution he himself has set into motion falls like a hatchet, smack on his client’s head.
Hard-luck Philadelphia lawyer Victor Carl is just itching for the opportunity to sell out. Then good fortune comes knocking at his door in the guise of William Prescott III, a blue-blood attorney from one of the city’s most prestigious firms. Prescott wants Victor to represent a councilman’s aide who is on trial, along with his boss, for extortion, arson, and murder. It’s the juiciest, highest-profile courtroom extravaganza in years – and all Carl has to do is show up, shut up, and follow Prescott’s lead. But it soon becomes clear that someone’s setting him and his client up to take a long, hard fall. Victor Carl may be desperate and unethical but he’s no one’s patsy. And to survive in this legal snake pit of secrets, lies, and lethal double-crosses, he’s going to play the game his way.
It must have been a hell of a night. One of those long, dangerous nights where the world shifts and doors open. A night of bad judgment and wrong turns, of weariness and hilarity and a hard sexual charge that both frightens and compels. A night where your life changes irrevocably, for better or for worse, but who the hell cares, so long as it changes.
It must have been a night just like that, yeah, if only I could remember it.
All Victor Carl knows is that he’s just woken up with his suit in tatters, his socks missing, and a stinging pain in his chest thanks to a new tattoo he doesn’t remember getting: a heart inscribed with the name Chantal Adair.
My apartment is trashed, my partnership is cracking up, I’m drinking too much, flirting with reporters, sleeping with Realtors. Frankly, I’m in desperate need of something hard and clean in my life, and finding Chantal is all I have.
Is Chantal Adair the love of Victor’s life or a terrible drunken mistake? Victor intends to find out, but right now he’s got bigger concerns. His client, a wanted man, needs to come in out of the cold, and he’s got a stolen painting for Victor to use as leverage.
But someone is not happy that the painting has surfaced. Or that the client is threatening to tell all. Or that Victor is sniffing around for information about Chantal Adair. The closer Victor comes to figuring it all out, the deeper into danger he falls, as the ghosts of the past return to claim what’s theirs.
Lashner’s latest, his fourth and longest, is another big and beautifully written saga, narrated by righteous, melancholy Philadelphia lawyer Victor Carl. Though the book is nominally a legal thriller, the Dickensian atmospherics command as much notice as the plot. A complex case connecting a recent murder to one 20 years ago counterpoints Victor’s hospital visits to his dying father, who is obsessed with unburdening himself of (mostly sad) stories from his youth. It’s a tribute to Lashner’s skill that these yarns hold their own against the more dramatic main story line. Victor has been retained by petty wiseguy Joey Parma (known as Joey Cheaps) about an unsolved murder a generation ago. The victim was young lawyer Tommy Greeley, and Joey Cheaps was one of two perps, though he was never caught. When Joey is found near the waterfront with his throat slashed, Victor knows his duty. This involves considerable legwork and clashes with an array of sharply drawn characters; Lashner is in his element depicting this rogue’s gallery, and Victor riffs philosophically on his encounters. Foremost among the shady figures is a femme fatale (improbably but appropriately) named Alura Straczynski, who sets her sights on Victor. It’s a move more strategic than romantic, but no less dangerous for him. The standard cover-up by men in high places waits at the end of Victor’s odyssey, but this novel, like Lashner’s previous ones, is all about the journey. Lashner’s writing – or is it Victor's character? – gains depth and richness with every installment.