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    Review of PAST DUE by William Lashner (see his website)

    William Morrow, May 2004

    Lawyer Victor Carl is behind on his rent, has lost his cable, and now his partner is thinking about quitting. When a client, Joey 'Cheaps' calls to say he may have a big find, Carl doesn't put much faith in it--Cheaps didn't earn his nickname for nothing. But when Cheaps ends up murdered, Carl decides he's got to find out the truth--and maybe make some contingency fee money while he's at it.

    The evidence quickly points to a twenty-year-old drug case--a case where hundreds of thousands of dollars of cash ended up missing and where the principal drug dealer simply vanished. The clues are a series of photos taken of a naked woman--with no facial shots. If Carl can figure out who the woman is, he thinks he'll have a shot at finding Cheaps' killer--and maybe even the missing money. But Cheaps isn't the only recent death connected with the old drug case and Carl soon learns, painfully, that there are those who want the past to stay buried.

    Author William Lashner writes a powerful story. With his dying father and troubled love life, Victor Carl makes a sympathetic, if damaged protagonist giving the reader someone to pull for as the entire world seems to turn against him. As Carl becomes obsessed with the photos, even his relationship with real-world women deteriorates, just when multiple women seem inexplicably available. Lashner blends emotional growth with action and conspiracy to hook the reader at multiple levels.

    I recommend PAST DUE highly. For the first twenty pages, I was afraid the book would be too literary for my genre-fiction taste, but Lashner's compelling writing hooked me in and I dropped almost all of my plans for the day because I needed to find out what would happen next. Very nice indeed.

    See more reviews of mysteries by William Lashner.

    Four Stars

    Reviewed 3/14/04

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