The sixth novel in the acclaimed Arthur Beauchamp series
Everything is going well for Arthur Beauchamp in his early middle age. Life is so good for the top-notch defence lawyer that, in a moment of career restlessness, he decides to switch sides, just the once, and prosecute a young man charged with murdering a clown. Beauchamp is confident he can prove Randolph Skyler is guilty. Confident, but still worried and surprisingly blind to how precarious the evidence is - and, worse, to the fissures opening in his personal life.
It’s a case Beauchamp will never forget, not even years later, when he’s happily remarried and retired to a bucolic life on Garibaldi Island in the glorious Salish Sea. As Beauchamp is about to learn, the older you get, the greater the chance is that the past will come back to bite you. In Deverell’s latest marvel in his Beauchamp series, Arthur has causes aplenty to sing a worried song.
This is the sixth novel in the Arthur Beauchamp series authored by Deverell, a trial lawyer, journalist, and the creator of the CBC television series Street Legal; his crime novels have won the Dashiell Hammett Award and two Arthur Ellis awards. Based on the case of a "thrill killer" whom Deverell successfully prosecuted in the 1980s, the novel begins with a 1987 trial in Vancouver of a young man accused of killing a down-and-out street performer. Arthur takes on the prosecution amid personal struggles with alcoholism and his difficult marriage to the unfaithful Annabelle. The second half of book leaps forward in time to his retired life in 2012 on rural Garibaldi Island. Now happily remarried to politician Margaret, he briefly comes out of retirement to defend Dogmar Zbrinjkowitz ("Dog"), a beloved figure on the island charged with trafficking marijuana. Arthur's peaceful, though still neurotic, existence is shattered when the defense attorney from the 1987 trial warns him that the convicted "thrill killer," who swore to take revenge against his prosecutor, is out on parole. Generously mixing personality and plot, Deverell authentically takes readers into the drama of the original court case and builds on its tension and malice that once again haunt Arthur.