The Flinch Factor (Rachel Gold Series #8)

( 2 )

Overview

Several years have passed since we last saw Rachel Gold. The stunning and savvy attorney was then engaged to be married. Since, she’s become a mother, then a much-grieving widow, and now she is embroiled in a lost cause—the Frankenstein Case—where she represents a blue-collar neighborhood fighting a powerful developer intent on bulldozing their homes to erect a swanky gated community. Who’s pushing her here? Of course, her mother.

Rachel’s strategy will be based on the wild card...

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Overview

Several years have passed since we last saw Rachel Gold. The stunning and savvy attorney was then engaged to be married. Since, she’s become a mother, then a much-grieving widow, and now she is embroiled in a lost cause—the Frankenstein Case—where she represents a blue-collar neighborhood fighting a powerful developer intent on bulldozing their homes to erect a swanky gated community. Who’s pushing her here? Of course, her mother.

Rachel’s strategy will be based on the wild card that is the judge on the case—a judge so wacky he’s known to the St Louis Bar as The Flinch Factor (think the spawn of Judge Judy and Pee Wee Herman).

Plus Rachel gains another new client: Susannah, sister of Nick Moran, the heartthrob of every woman whose kitchen he remodeled. Nick has been murdered, found slumped on the front seat of his pickup along an isolated lane known to the vice squad as Gay Way, his pants unzipped, a coil of rubber tubing on the seat, an empty syringe on the floor. His female groupies are, to say the least, stunned. Gay? No way.

Although Susannah seems the classic blindly adoring younger sister, a skeptical Rachel agrees to check it out. To her surprise, she turns up facts and witnesses suggesting that maybe, just maybe, Nick’s death was staged as an overdose during sex. Then things rapidly grow darker in what increasingly becomes a real Frankenstein of a case….

Kahn, master of the plot twist, writes with warmth and humor but maintains an almost Old-Testament respect for justice. For fans of the Kellermans and Scott Turow, who says, "The Flinch Factor is another welcome addition to the wonderful Rachel Gold series, a clever engrossing legal thriller punctuated by sharp humor and many unexpected developments."

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Both tough-minded and kind, Rachel Gold struggles with two difficult cases in Kahn’s enjoyable eighth mystery featuring the St. Louis attorney (after 2002’s Trophy Widow). First of all, Rachel is representing residents of a comfortable middle-class neighborhood in their hopeless fight to keep a ruthless real-estate developer from bulldozing their homes to build a gated community. Second, she agrees to help the grieving sister of Nick Moran, a contractor she knew whose death the police have written off as a drug overdose. A trial lawyer himself, Kahn handles the legal details briskly. Even better, as the investigations begin to overlap, Rachel’s tense skirmishes with antagonists are balanced with warm interactions with her family and friends—and zany encounters with notoriously eccentric judge Howard Flinch. Rachel may cite Raymond Chandler, but this relaxed, cheerful novel has few traces of noir. (June)
From the Publisher
"Interesting and quirky characters. Michael Kahn is a wordsmith with some great turns of phrase, humorous descriptions and catchy dialogue. A lawyer who knows the ins and outs of the law, and the skinny on how it’s done. Kahn shows the inside seam on the underbelly of real estate development, deceitful developers and their ravenous lawyers. The Flinch Factor is a great read. Pick it up, but only if you can afford to lose a night’s sleep, because you won’t be able to put it down."—Steve Martini

"The Flinch Factor is another welcome addition to the wonderful Rachel Gold series, a clever engrossing legal thriller punctuated by sharp humor and many unexpected developments."—Scott Turow

"Back from a 10-year sabbatical, ebullient St. Louis attorney Rachel Gold (Trophy Widow, 2002, etc.) is faced with a Frankenstein civil suit that just won’t be settled.

Nick Moran, the dishy contractor who did great work for Rachel and, evidently, every other eligible female in Missouri, has been found dead in his truck along Forest Park’s Gay Way, his pants down, his manhood exposed, a lethal dose of heroin in his veins. Since his sister Susannah Beale is certain that he wasn’t using or gay, she wants Rachel to find out how he really did die. The only lead Rachel and her old buddy, raffish Professor Benny Goldberg, can dig up concerns a man whose truck, labeled Corundum, was spotted at the scene. Their search for that man sparks an unexpected connection with Rachel’s other big case: the suit she’s pressing on behalf of Muriel Finkelstein et al., who don’t want to leave their great neighborhood and its great schools so that developer Ken Rubenstein’s Ruby Productions, fortified by taxpayer dollars, can bulldoze it, put up luxury homes and sell them at an obscene profit. Rubenstein has offered Rachel’s clients 10 percent over the appraised value of their homes. Then he offers 15 percent and intimates that he’s willing to go even higher. The residents refuse until Rubenstein offers to walk away from the development entirely if only Rachel will promise not to initiate any legal actions against him in the future. Who could turn down an offer so clearly to her clients’ advantage? Only Rachel, who makes a counteroffer that gives her just enough wiggle room to drive both cases to an eminently predictable but highly satisfying climax dependent on the peculiar judicial gifts of the Honorable Howard Flinch.

The tale sags as it lumbers toward its foreordained conclusion, but it’s all worth it to hear Judge Flinch tell a witness who’s taking the Fifth: “You’re plenty incriminated already.”—Kirkus

"Even better, as the investigations begin to overlap, Rachel’s tense skirmishes with antagonists are balanced with warm interactions with her family and friends—and zany encounters with notoriously eccentric judge Howard Flinch. Rachel may cite Raymond Chandler, but this relaxed, cheerful novel has few traces of noir." — Publishers Weekly

Library Journal
Legal mystery aficionados will be pleased to see St. Louis attorney Rachel Gold back again after a long absence. This is the eighth outing (after Trophy Widow).
Kirkus Reviews
Back from a 10-year sabbatical, ebullient St. Louis attorney Rachel Gold (Trophy Widow, 2002, etc.) is faced with a Frankenstein civil suit that just won't be settled. Nick Moran, the dishy contractor who did great work for Rachel and, evidently, every other eligible female in Missouri, has been found dead in his truck along Forest Park's Gay Way, his pants down, his manhood exposed, a lethal dose of heroin in his veins. Since his sister Susannah Beale is certain that he wasn't using or gay, she wants Rachel to find out how he really did die. The only lead Rachel and her old buddy, raffish Professor Benny Goldberg, can dig up concerns a man whose truck, labeled Corundum, was spotted at the scene. Their search for that man sparks an unexpected connection with Rachel's other big case: the suit she's pressing on behalf of Muriel Finkelstein et al., who don't want to leave their great neighborhood and its great schools so that developer Ken Rubenstein's Ruby Productions, fortified by taxpayer dollars, can bulldoze it, put up luxury homes and sell them at an obscene profit. Rubenstein has offered Rachel's clients 10 percent over the appraised value of their homes. Then he offers 15 percent and intimates that he's willing to go even higher. The residents refuse until Rubenstein offers to walk away from the development entirely if only Rachel will promise not to initiate any legal actions against him in the future. Who could turn down an offer so clearly to her clients' advantage? Only Rachel, who makes a counteroffer that gives her just enough wiggle room to drive both cases to an eminently predictable but highly satisfying climax dependent on the peculiar judicial gifts of the Honorable Howard Flinch. The tale sags as it lumbers toward its foreordained conclusion, but it's all worth it to hear Judge Flinch tell a witness who's taking the Fifth: "You're plenty incriminated already."
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781464201417
  • Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
  • Publication date: 6/4/2013
  • Series: Rachel Gold Series , #8
  • Edition description: Large type / large print
  • Pages: 250
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 22, 2013

    Highly recommend!

    Oh what fun! Another of Michael Kahn's delightful thought-provoking crime books. As a native of St. Louis I really enjoyed the tour of high (and low) spots as the book progressed. Kahn really draws his characters with vengeance, from a stupid judge to a sleazy lawyer, to clever, literate (and vulgar) law professor! And he tops it off with a smart woman lawyer/sleuth! I wish there were more of Kahn's books in this series

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  • Posted July 3, 2013

    Well worth the wait

    I had read all of Michael Kahn's books featuring Rachel Gold. I kept looking for more but was unsuccessful until I received a notice of this book availability after eight years. I quickly became reacquainted with her family, friends, and associates. You don't need to be from St. Louis to appreciate the local references. All cities have a flavor of their own and St. Louis is one of the tastiest I have come across. His first book, written under the name of Michael Baron, "The Mourning Sexton"is one of my favorite stand alone books written by any author. I have kept it for about eight years and will never give it away. This new Rachel Gold book is a winner!

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