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The ninth novel of Gail Bowen’s popular series finds Canada’s favourite amateur sleuth, Joanne Kilbourn, on holiday at a cottage borrowed from a lawyer friend, one of a cluster of summer homes owned by lawyers from the same prestigious firm. When one of them kills himself the night after a long talk with Joanne, she is pushed into investigating just what her neighbours are involved with, an investigation that has startling – and fatal – consequences.

Bowen’s depiction of this community of lawyers, each in his or her way now divorced from the ideals of justice and mercy that once motivated them all, is both compassionate and hard-nosed. There is Zack, the charming but controlling paraplegic; Blake and Lily, whose daughter, Gracie, struggles to keep her dignity as her parents’ marriage falls apart; Noah, who would rather practise carpentry than the law, and his wife, Delia, who is consumed by worry about the firm. The mounting stress among these lawyers is palpable as Joanne delves into their lives. And Joanne faces her own personal anxieties too when she discovers that her former lover, Inspector Alex Kequahtooway, is mixed up in what seems to be some very sordid legal business.

From the Hardcover edition.

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