The Four-Night Run
Review: Thirty-year-old defense attorney J. D. Scrbacek along with Ethan Brummel, a young legal college intern, had agreed to represent a known monster killer, Caleb Breest. Standing in for the state were two special agents from the State Bureau of Investigation, three police detectives and a team of four prosecutors, led by the first assistant county prosecutor himself, Thomas Surwin. Despite all the evidence against Breest, and coming as a huge surprise to all, Scrbacek is able to successfully win an acquittal for his client. Following the not guilty verdict, Scrbacek's car, parked behind the courthouse, was blown up with Ethan Brummel inside. It was not known if the bomb was intended for Caleb Breech or J. D. Scrbacek, but certainly not Ethan. When J. D. is later wounded in an attack that destroys his office, he knows someone is out to kill him, in The Four-Night Run, a novel of suspense by William Lashner.
J. D. leaves the bright lights and excitement of the area known as Casinoland and heads towards seclusion in Crapstown, an old and decrepit part of the city, where he meets a cast of sleazy characters who don't particularly trust him. He has no idea who he can trust; it seems everyone is after him. He finally meets someone who says he can help J. D. He takes him to visit a seer, a reader of tarot cards, who tells him he must look to his past, present and future to find the answer as to who is trying to kill him. J. D. thinks back and remembers who he has offended in the past, and while there are plenty of candidates, would any of them truly want him dead? He doesn't think so. Those J. D. has agitated or upset recently could possibly want to see him dead. But, again, he really can see no solid reason to justify murder. So, it must be someone from his future. But how can he rally against someone he may not even know yet? Somewhere he must find the answer or die. Before he can take his next steps, J. D. must first go on trial for his life in the darkness of Crapstown, before a jury of his enemies, known and unknown.
The Four-Night Run is an interesting adventure, compressing a lot of action and emotional highs and lows into a short period of time. The cast of characters is diverse but well-drawn. The settings are characters unto themselves, with the neon lights and gambling halls of Casinoland in stark contrast to the dark alleys and rusting steel of the failed factories of Crapstown. The storyline crosses several genres, from its opening (and at times riveting) courtroom scene to a morality play on the streets where anything goes and the concept of right and wrong are, at best, blurred. This is an ambitious novel, but uneven in its delivery. A good read, but not a great one.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of The Four-Night Run.
Acknowledgment: Thomas & Mercer provided an ARC of The Four-Night Run for this review.
Review Copyright © 2016 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Thomas & Mercer (Trade Paperback), August 2014
ISBN-13: 9781477822838; ISBN-10: 1477822836
Location(s) referenced in The Four-Night Run: New Jersey
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The Four-Night Run by William Lashner
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Format: Trade Paperback
Publication Date: May 2016
List Price: $15.95
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Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
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