A Lewis Cole Mystery
Pegasus Books, 2016, HC, 256 pp, $25.95
After the last two reads, Oceans of Insight and The North Water, Storm Cell, by Brendan Dubois is a light and quick mystery. It is Dubois' tenth novel in his Lewis Cole series. In this novel Cole, a former intelligent analyst for the Department of Defense, tries to unravel the legal mess in which friend Felix Tinios has become trapped.
Felix and Lewis had partnered up in the past, and formed a friendship while helping others. Although it is obvious Felix is more than just a security consultant, with a penchant for blurring the legal lines, Lewis is convinced he is not guilty of murder. Unfortunately there is a huge amount of evidence, including a video of Tinios entering the building of the deceased, his gun left at the scene, and of course, fingerprints. The State is going for the death penalty.
The confusion for Lewis sets in when Felix won't let him visit him in prison. Felix has also hired hack attorney Hollis Spinelli, instead of his usual lawyer, Raymond Drake. While Lewis is puzzling this out, two FBI agents, Krueger and Zimmer, approach him with the alarming news that the feds are watching the case. Felix had done some nebulous work for them in the past, and they don't want him using that as leverage to get out of this murder charge. Felix's life is on the line and Lewis had better figure this out in a hurry.
The murdered man is Fletcher Moore, chairman of the Tyler, New Hampshire board of selectman. He seems to be an all-around good citizen. As Lewis delves deeper, however, he discovers shady land deals involving a casino. He also suspects that Felix's longtime lawyer Raymond Drake is being held hostage in his own home. In among this Lewis is being plagued by a hired enforcer, Tyler, who threatens to burn down his home if he doesn't cease his investigation. Of course Lewis objects to this and there are a few old fashioned brawls. When Lewis discovers that Hollis Spinelli has in fact hired Tyler, he realizes that a dirty lawyer is representing his friend and he finally slips his research analyst composure and is jettisoned into action.
This novel is well plotted and paced. If you haven't read the first novels you may be a little out of depth for the first few chapters, but Dubois does a good job of offering back history without bogging down the plot. It reminded me at times of the Robert Parker Spencer novels, especially the Felix Tinios character who I found similar to Hawk. All around entertaining and a very satisfying read.