Bear is Broken by Lachlan Smith
(Mysterious Press, 2013, 256 pages)
Bear is Broken by Lachlan Smith has a dramatic beginning. Leo Maxwell and his superstar criminal defense lawyer brother, Teddy, are having lunch in a restaurant in San Francisco. The restaurant is crowded, but a lone gunman manages to walk in, shoot Teddy in the head, and leave without being caught. Teddy is in a coma with a small chance for survival. Teddy is not well-liked by the police dept. Leo who is a newly minted lawyer decides that he needs to search for the person who shot his brother. Leo’s suspect list includes Teddy’s ex-wife, Teddy’s secretary, Teddy’s investigator, Teddy and Leo’s father who is in prison for murdering their mother, an ex-girlfriend or two, and some criminal types.
Bear is Broken is the first novel by Lachlan Smith. Smith describes himself as “a lawyer who writes novels.” There are currently 4 novels in the Leo Maxwell Mystery series.
A few reviews mention a comparison between John Grisham and Lachlan Smith. There is some courtroom drama in Bear is Broken, but I consider this book more of a “whodunit”. The plot in this novel does get resolved, but questions linger as to what will happen to certain characters. If you read this book, be prepared to want to read the next one, too.