Review

Marked Man

by William Lashner



I probably should not reveal a trade secret here, but there are
more Victor Carls practicing law than there are Perry Masons. The
creation of William Lashner, Victor Carl is a rumpled knight whose
considerable legal acumen is matched neither by his office
management skills nor his personal habits. MARKED MAN, the sixth
installment in the Carl series, fully supports Lashner's ongoing
argument that a dramatic novel can be deep, funny, tragic and
exciting without sacrificing any of those qualities to
another.

In MARKED MAN, Carl wakes up after a night of drinking and
discovers that he has a tattoo on his chest. It's not like such an
occurrence is totally unheard of; it's just that the tattoo is a
name he does not recognize --- Chantal Adair. Intrigued, he wants
to find this mystery woman and begins nosing around a bit; the more
he finds out, the more important it becomes to track her
down.

Meanwhile, Carl is retained to help an elderly woman on her
deathbed locate her son, who has been missing for nearly 30 years.
Finding him is easy enough, but he has good reason for wanting to
stay hidden. Long ago he committed a crime, but is still facing
fallout from it --- not only locally, but also from the FBI and by
some unknown folks who aren't as restrained and polite as the
Feds.

All of this would be more than enough for Carl's plate, but he has
additional problems. Beth Derringer is having a life crisis that
may bring an end to their law firm. She also has a client with a
rough past who is seeking joint custody of her daughter. What
Lashner accordingly sets up, in a subtle and brilliant manner, are
three separate plotlines, two of which converge and all of which
ultimately will share a common theme with different yet bittersweet
endings. Carl is a bit of a smart aleck, and some of his remarks
are extremely funny --- at one point I was phoning my wife to read
a couple of them to her at the office. But MARKED MAN is by no
means a comedic novel; there are few winners here.

Lashner sustains and accelerates the momentum of a series that only
recently has received the popular acclaim it has deserved from its
inception. Its ultimate conclusion marks a turning point of sorts,
one that will have readers wondering what will come next. The only
certainty is that no one will be disappointed. Highly
recommended.

Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub on January 7, 2011

Marked Man
by William Lashner

  • Publication Date: May 29, 2007
  • Genres: Fiction, Suspense
  • Mass Market Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Harper
  • ISBN-10: 006072160X
  • ISBN-13: 9780060721602