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    Review of THE NIGHTWALKER by Roy Lewis


    Allison & Busby, 2001

    With his marriage in trouble, lawyer Eric Ward has thrown himself into his job. He's good at what he does but some of his current cases don't look promising. The owners of a toxic waste dump are willing to talk settlement, but the leader of the neighborhood group Eric is representing wants revenge for his son's illness. The muckraking dumpster-diver is holding out for vindication rather than the slap on the wrist that he could get. Finally, a newspaperman comes to him with rumors about insurance fraud involving the man Eric suspects has taken up with his wife. When one of his clients is killed and another suspected of the murder, Eric's life gets more complicated in a hurry.

    Author Roy Lewis (see other reviews of novels by this author) switches between Eric's point of view and that of DCI Charlie Spate. Spate is working the cases for the police and hopes to pin something on a mobster who has his hands in both prostitution and drugs in the northern England city of Tyne. Spate has problems of his own--having been drummed out of the Met and suffering from an acute case of lust for one of his female detectives. Neither man trusts the other and both insist on working the case from their own angles.

    THE NIGHTWALKER is an interesting mystery filled with characters with histories, pains, and goals that are certain to be frustrated. Unfortunately, Lewis doesn't completely deliver on the potential of his characters or the story. Eric and Spate both seem too beaten by the world to fight back with all of their force--and often seem to approach the mystery with that same attitude.

    Two Stars

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