“She could be innocent, but have no money for our fees… Innocent clients are a pain in the a***.”
Maverick lawyer Peter Tanner is back and, this time, there is more time for his character to be opened up and pulled apart like a defendant’s alibi. After his introduction through last year’s Cyanide Games, there were fingers crossed that there would be more to come. He is still at his smart, witty and sneaky best however we see more this time of what is behind his brilliant courtroom poker face.
In The Burden of Lies, we not only get a fast-paced, roller-coaster thriller (Did she do it? No, wait, yes, no, wait, no…) but we get to see a whole lot more of Tanner’s life and his character. Sure, he’s a smart-mouthed lawyer (the adjective there is probably redundant) but he is also a grieving widow attempting to move on, the father of a teenager, and a man confronting some of his own personality quirks that are not always likeable. Really, though, how can you not love a character that informs you, “What I wear to court is bespoke. Only the arguments I make are off the rack.”
Tanner is defending Tina Leonard, self-made construction mogul, who is accused of killing her partner. Leonard built up a million-dollar business in defiance of her Greek father who thought she should be at home with the family, and there is a lot to like and admire about her – so how could she be a murderer? As Tanner wades through construction and corruption, the one-liners getter sharper while the story gets as murky as the water at Botany Bay.
There’s also a lot to like about his female characters – they are real, they are smart and they are multidimensional.
This is another great read from Adelaide’s own Richard Beasley (though he lives in Sydney now). For those who like a good crime, mystery and/or legal novel, Beasley has it covered for you.
Roll on, the next Peter Tanner novel!
Reviewed by Michelle Baylis
Rating out of 10: 8
Distributed by: Simon & Schuster
Released: December 2017
RRP: $29.99 trade paperback, $12.99 eBook