A Michael Knight and Lex Devlin Mystery by John F. Dobbyn
Review: Friendships past and present, new and old, are tested when a man is murdered and another is charged with the crime in Frame-Up, the second thriller in the Michael Knight and Lex Devlin series by John F. Dobbyn.
Three boys grew up in the same neighborhood in Boston. Best friends as youths, they took different paths as adults. Lex Devlin went to Harvard Law School and became one of Boston's more prominent trial attorneys; Matt Ryan became a priest; and Dominic Santangelo took over as Don for one of New Englands most notorious crime families. A half century later, two other young men became friends while attending Harvard Law, but they, too, took divergent paths upon graduation. Michael Knight became a junior partner in the firm headed by Lex Devlin; John McKendrick became legal counsel for the local mob. All their lives come together when McKendrick is killed by a car bomb, and Peter Santangelo, Dominic's son, is accused of the murder. Dominic asks Devlin to defend his son, but everything about Dominic and his "profession" offends Devlin. Is their past friendship enough of a reason to get involved?
Matt Ryan, now Monsignor Ryan, brings the two old friends together, and Devlin agrees to defend Peter and though Michael Knight has a personal connection to the case, Devlin assigns him to investigate. He follows leads to London and Amsterdam, where a criminal syndicate is involved in trafficking forged art masterpieces. It soon becomes clear that there is no one involved he can truly trust … but then again, can Michael be trusted to be objective?
Frame-Up is an electrifying thriller, not so much a legal thriller (despite the abundance of lawyers present) but rather one of international intrigue. The relationship between Devlin and Michael is one of father-figure and son, mentor and apprentice, reasoned counsel and impetuous zeal; it's an appealing combination and one of the strongest elements of the story. Still, this is a murder mystery, with a plot that is well paced, replete with credible misdirection, that keeps the reader guessing as to who killed John McKendrick and why. Frame-Up will appeal to those who appreciate an exciting, gripping story with well-drawn characters; it is highly recommended.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Frame-Up.
Acknowledgment: Oceanview Publishing provided a copy of Frame-Up for this review.
Review Copyright © 2010 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Location(s) referenced in Frame-Up: Boston, London, Amsterdam
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Frame-Up by John F. Dobbyn — A Michael Knight and Lex Devlin Mystery
Publisher: Oceanview Publishing
Publication Date: March 2010
List Price: $25.95
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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