A Finalist for Private Eye Writers of America's Shamus Award for Best First P.I. Novel A Finalist for Left Coast Crime's 2013 Rocky Award When Hush Puppy, Pasadena socialite Sydney Everett's champion show horse, dies under suspicious circumstances, junior lawyer Jack MacTaggart is assigned to handle the insurance claim. But the case soon takes an unexpected turn, thrusting Jack into a spiraling web of blackmail and murder in which he finds himself both the prime suspect and the next likely victim.
In this acclaimed debut novel, the first in a series, former Los Angeles trial lawyer Chuck Greaves takes readers into the high-stakes worlds of big-firm litigation and professional equestrian show-jumping, where no one can be trusted, and where nothing is quite what it seems.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Seriously, this book is that good. I read mysteries the way that a slot machine takes quarters, and it is rare that one jumps out at me the way that HUSH MONEY did. Greaves is a superb writer, with a knack for evoking Los Angeles as a tangible presence in the story. Moreover, Jack McTaggart is a character who can hold his own with Archie Goodwin; snappy wit combined with an intelligence and physical ability that never seems overwrought. That's a truly difficult combination to pull off, and frankly I haven't really seen it done all that well since Stout's Nero Wolfe books. The twists and turns of the plot never seemed forced, the characters were well drawn down to the smallest supporting player, and best of all, it is the first book in a series. Anyone who likes a great mystery should be rejoicing.
A very absorbing book. Kept me up past bedtime, several nights in a row. The author Chuck Greaves seems a cross between Grisham and Carl Hiassen. Where Hiassen's characters are often over-the-top for the sake of comedy, Greaves has maintained more realism. The protagonist, a lawyer acting as private investigator, is a quick-witted wisecracker, and he is also the first-person narrator. Thereby, Greaves has taken a menacing crime story and delivers a laugh every minute.
And when I wasn't laughing, I was marveling at Greaves' originality in simile, metaphor and other literary devices whose names I forget. Something as mundane as a taxi standing in the rain is described so beautifully. There is a gem on almost every page.
Jack MacTaggart, the lawyer/PI, is not a perfect hero. Many of his wisecracks take the form of insulting people to their faces, but his insults sometimes seem counter-productive to his purposes. Still funny. In a similar vein, he is...
Since I never read the second book first, I purchased this one and read it. Turns out you really don't need to read the first on first. All the characters are interesting. This is a fun book to read and would make a good candidate for a beach read. I highly recommend both this and the follow on book "Green-Eyed Lady.
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