Dark Harbor

by David Hosp

A published author recently confided to me that it appears as if
half of the world is writing mysteries and the other half is trying
to do so. And if one were to break those numbers down by
occupation, it would seem as if part of the qualification for
membership to the Bar is indeed to publish a novel. Some have
wondered --- disingenuously, I believe --- if we really need
another attorney writing mystery and suspense novels. The answer,
in the case of David Hosp and his debut novel DARK HARBOR, is a
resounding "yes!"

Hosp creates a flawed but endearing protagonist named Scott Finn.
Finn's background takes a page or three from Horatio Alger. An
orphan from the streets of Boston, Finn was in the process of
flushing his life down a deep, dark sewer before reversing course
and channeling his tenacious, take-no-prisoners attitude and
aptitude into law school and subsequently into the courtroom. His
skills as a public defender attracted the attention of Howery,
Black & Longbothum, Boston's most prestigious legal firm, and
as DARK HARBOR opens he is on a fast track to become a partner in
the firm.

Finn is part of a team defending Huron Security, one of the firm's
most significant clients, from a wrongful death action when Natalie
Caldwell, lead attorney on the Huron Case (as well as Finn's friend
and former lover), is found brutally murdered. Caldwell appears to
be the latest victim of Little Jack, a serial killer who has left
the people of Boston terrorized and the police dumbfounded. Boston
Police Detective Linda Flaherty, however, isn't certain that
Caldwell's death is truly connected to the Jack murders.

When Little Jack is apprehended, Flaherty is strongly pressured to
close the Caldwell case along with the others. She stubbornly and
tenaciously pursues her own investigation and finds that the trail
leads directly to Finn, who, with Caldwell's death, has been given
the plum assignment of leading the team defending Huron. Finn is
outraged that he is under suspicion, and his umbrage grows greater
as he begins an investigation of his own to prove his innocence,
only to discover that the murder leads inexorably back to his own
law firm. Finn and Flaherty begin a delicate dance in which they
uneasily aid each other's investigation while Finn becomes a more
likely suspect --- and their grudging mutual attraction for each
other doesn't make things any easier.

Readers have to engage their suspension of disbelief at times in
DARK HARBOR --- most attorneys never encounter anything this
exciting in their day-to-day existence --- but it is still a fun
read. The most intriguing element of the book for me was the manner
in which Hosp has created an incredibly complex scam that he
explains in words of one and two syllables. This is a trait that he
no doubt acquired in the courtroom --- your average jury pool does
not consist entirely of PhDs --- but I can think of few authors
(David Hewson, Brad Meltzer, Jeffery Deaver, maybe one or two
others) who do this type of thing with the clarity that Hosp brings
to his work.

DARK HARBOR is an impressive debut by an author whose talent looks
to run deep, and long.


Reviewed by Joe Hartlaub on December 29, 2010

Dark Harbor
by David Hosp

  • Publication Date: June 1, 2005
  • Genres: Fiction, Thriller
  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
  • ISBN-10: 044657693X
  • ISBN-13: 9780446576932