Results of the Shamus Award in the year 2006.
Mickey Haller has spent all his professional life afraid that he wouldn’t recognize innocence if it stood right in front of him. But what he should have been on the watch for was evil. Haller is a Lincoln Lawyer, a criminal defense pro who operates out of the backseat of his Lincoln Town Car, to defend the clients at the bottom of the legal food chain. It’s no wonder that he is despised by cops, prosecutors, and even some of his own clients. From bikers to con artists to drunk drivers and drug dealers, they’re all on Mickey Haller’s client list. But when a Beverly Hills rich boy is arrested for brutally beating a woman, Haller has his first high-paying client in years. It’s a franchise case and he’s sure it will be a slam dunk in the courtroom. For once, he may be defending a client who is actually innocent. But an investigator is murdered for getting too close to the truth and Haller quickly discovers that his search for innocence has taken him face-to-face with a kind of evil as pure as a flame. To escape without being burned, Haller must use all of his skills to manipulate a system in which he no longer believes.
It is the Summer of Love as Cinnamon Kiss opens, and Easy Rawlins is deep in a conversation with his lifelong friend Mouse about robbing an armored car. It’s a cinch, Mouse says. This would be further outside the law than Easy has ever traveled—but his daughter Feather urgently needs a medical treatment that costs far more than Easy can earn or borrow in time.
Then another friend offers a job that just might solve Easy’s problem without the risk of jail time. He has to travel to San Francisco to investigate the disappearance of an eccentric, prominent attorney and his assistant of sorts, the beautiful Cinnamon Cargill. Easy can see there is much more to this story than he is told—Robert Lee, his new employer, is as shadowy and suspect as the man Easy is seeking. And the woman who fronts for Lee is as alluring and dangerous as they come. But Easy’s need overcomes all concerns. Far away from his usual network of contacts and support, he plunges into unfamiliar territory, from the newfound hippie enclaves of San Francisco to a violent and vicious plot that stretches back to the battlefields of Europe.
Los Angeles, 3:58 a.m.: Elvis Cole receives the phone call he’s been waiting for since childhood. Responding to a gunshot, the LAPD has found an injured man in an alleyway. He has told the officer on the scene that he is looking for his son, Elvis Cole. Minutes later, the man is dead.
Haunted throughout his life by a lack of knowledge about his father, Elvis turns to the one person who can help him navigate the minefield of his past— his longtime partner and confidant, Joe Pike. Together with hard-edged LAPD detective, Carol Starkey, they launch a feverish search for the dead man’s identity—even as Elvis struggles between wanting to believe he’s found his father at last and allowing his suspicions to hold him back. With each long-buried clue they unearth, a frightening picture begins to emerge about who the dead man might have been and the terrible secret he’s been guarding. …[more]
A film version of The Tempest, William Shakespeare’s final play, featuring the cream of Hollywood’s aristocratic British Colony? When the project is announced in 1948, it sounds like an idea that can’t miss. But then the whispers start about one of those British actors and a burlesque queen, and murder follows shortly. Enter Scott Elliott, top operative of Hollywood Security and the soon-to-be husband of the lovely Ella Englehart. To get to the altar, Elliott must dodge blonde bombshells and gangsters, and solve a mystery that echoes Shakespeare’s crowning work.
Harvey Mapes is a twenty-nine-year-old security guard who spends his nights in a guard shack outside a gated community in Southern California, reading detective novels, watching TVLand reruns, and waiting for his life to finally start…which happens when Cyril Parkus, one of the wealthy residents, asks Harvey to follow his beautiful wife Lauren. The lowly security guard jumps at the opportunity to fulfill his private eye fantasies and use everything he’s learned from Spenser, Magnum, and Mannix. But things don’t exactly go according to the books…or the reruns. As Harvey fumbles and stumbles through his first investigation, he discovers that the differences between fiction and reality can be deadly. With the help of his mortgage-broker neighbor and occasional lover Carol, Harvey uncovers a blackmail plot that takes a sudden and unexpectedly tragic turn…plunging him into a world of violence, deception, and murder…and forcing him to discover what it really takes to be a private eye.
Nick Petrov is a brilliant private investigator with a reputation for bringing missing children safely home. Launched to tabloid stardom when he apprehended a brutal serial killer named Gerald Reasoner, Petrov has become something of a celebrity. When a woman approaches him, begging him to use his unique gifts to find her missing daughter, Petrov’s instincts sound an alarm. He senses that she’s concealing something. But is she lying to get Petrov’s help or to set him up? Three days later, just as he has amassed all the answers he needs to close the case, they are swept away into oblivion.
Petrov awakes in a hospital bed, his memory of the past two weeks a complete blank, his personality altered. He is tempted to just put the trauma behind him and move on with his life, but there are too many things holding him back. When he returns home, he discovers a photograph full of strangers. In his office is a greeting card with a cryptic message inside, both the receiver…[more]