The Flinch Factor (Rachel Gold Series #8)by Michael Kahn
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 causethe Frankenstein Casewhere she represents a blue-collar neighborhood fighting a powerful developer intent on bulldozing their
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 causethe Frankenstein Casewhere 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 casea 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.”
"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
Meet the Author
Michael A. Kahn is the award-winning author of several novels, praised by Publishers Weekly for their “intelligent, breezy dialogue and clever plotting.” A graduate of Amherst College and Harvard Law School, Mr. Kahn began his literary career writing free-lance feature articles for Chicago Magazine while teaching fifth grade in the Chicago public schools. Now a trial attorney in St. Louis, he wrote his first novel on a dare from his wife, who got sick of hearing him announce, each time he finished a paperback thriller that he’d purchased at an airport newsstand, “I could write a better book than this.” “Then write one,” she finally said, “or please shut up.”
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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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
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!