Ellis's fine second Jason Kolarich legal thriller (after The Hidden Man) finds the former Chicago prosecutor, whose first wife and child died in a car accident, happily remarried with a new baby daughter and working as a defense attorney for the prestigious law firm of Shaker, Riley and Flemming. Jason is a rising star in the practice until he falls afoul of Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Moody, who blackmails him into working a dangerous undercover assignment aimed at exposing corruption in local government. When tragedy strikes again, Jason immerses himself in his undercover work to ease his personal pain. Several murders occur, but it's the unraveling of the complicated web of government criminal malfeasance that makes the novel a smart, compelling page-turner. Tough and quick with a wisecrack, Jason always takes the hard road when he could far more easily bend or compromise. Readers will eagerly await his next outing. (Feb.)
From the Publisher
"David Ellis understands political corruption like no other writer out there-and lucky for us, his pages throb with action and suspense. Trust me, you won't be able to put Breach of Trust down."
Dirty politics, Chicago style, is front and center in this sequel to Ellis's acclaimed series debut, The Hidden Man. Jason Kolarich, still grieving the loss of his wife and baby daughter in a car accident, decides to pursue what happened that night; he feels guilty that he wasn't with his family because he was waiting for a call from Ramirez, an informant. Ramirez was also killed that night, and Kolarich decides that solving that case may bring him some peace. He starts digging and, through a former client, finds his way into a lucrative contract as a state attorney to get closer to the files he needs. The next thing he knows, he's in the middle of an FBI investigation of the governor. Forced into a position he never sought, Kolarich turns informant as he works his way into the governor's innermost circle while searching for Ramirez's killer. VERDICT The reality of ex-Illinois governor Rod Blagojevich's trial (Ellis was the impeachment prosecutor) lends credibility to this intense, suspenseful tale set in a political cesspool. Ellis has turned out a sharp political thriller that should appeal to fans of David Baldacci and Vince Flynn. [See Prepub Alert, LJ 9/1/10.]—Stacy Alesi, Palm Beach Cty. Lib. Syst., Boca Raton, FL
From Edgar-winner Ellis, more about picaresque attorney Jason Kolarich (The Hidden Man, 2009), caught this time between a vengeful adversary and a violent thug with a taste for political hardball.
It's not unlikely that Kolarich exited the womb programmed to out-bawl the rest of the infant community, a born competitor. In part, at least, this explains why he waited so long for a certain phone call on a certain fateful day—too long, he would later bitterly acknowledge. Ernesto Ramirez, a former street-ganger turned good guy, had information for Jason, which he was prepared to part with only because Jason had applied the kind of unremitting pressure—think psychological water-boarding—under which Ramirez had finally cracked. And yet the information was less than essential; that is, Jason already had all he required to exculpate his client at the expense of Chris Moody, the government's endlessly ambitious lead prosecutor. Icing on the cake was all it amounted to, not much more than a chance to stick a gratuitous needle into the arrogant hide of a heartily disliked opposite number. And now the law of unforeseen consequences kicks in with three negative results: 1) Jason's wife and child die in a car crash that might possibly have been avoided if Jason had been at the wheel instead of at the phone. 2) As Ramirez had all but predicted, he is in fact murdered by the corrupt politico who needs him silenced. 3) Jason earns the ongoing rancor of a man to whom payback has the force of religion and who is every bit as competitive as he is.
A turn of the screw or two on the excessive side perhaps, but smart, tough Jason, who clearly does not jib at chicanery inside the courtroom or out, remains a keeper, warts and all.