Defense attorney Monty Collins is handed the biggest case of his career: defending a priest accused of murder. But when the priest is reluctant to contribute to help his cause (not to mention extremely secretive about his past), Monty takes the unusual step of investigating his own client. And he finds a lot more than he bargained for. This debut novel, set in Halifax, Nova Scotia, benefits from its setting: the plot may be relatively familiar to legal-thriller fans, but the unfamiliar locale freshens up the story considerably. Readers who know the setting, too, will enjoy playing spot-the-landmark, as the author solidly anchors her story in the landscapes. Collins may not be a blindingly original character, but he's solidly built, and we like spending time with him. The novel's final paragraph seems to guarantee a sequel, and this isn't bad news. David Pitt
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