A newly minted member of Henley & Hargrove, Pasadenas oldest and snobbiest law firm, Jack MacTaggart is assigned to handle an insurance claim on behalf of socialite Sydney Everett. Hush Puppy, Sydney's champion show horse, has died unexpectedly, and attending veterinarian George Wells confides to Jack that the great horses death was anything but natural. Jacks investigation leads him into the high-stakes world of professional show jumping and down a path to romance, intrigue, and an old blackmail scheme that further implicates his client. After Jack reports his findings, another body is discovered. And this one is human.
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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