Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Guest Review: Hell Bent: A Brady Coyne Novel

*Review written by Guest Reviewer Bella Foxx*

Hell Bent: A Brady Coyne Novel
by William G. Tapply

*I am very honored to have another Guest Reviewer here today. Please welcome my friend Bella Foxx who graciously agreed to share her review with us. This book is a mystery and one genre that I don't read a lot of. I'm thrilled to bring you a mystery review.

Here is her wonderful review:

Synopsis: Boston area attorney Brady Coyne finds his own past crashing in on him when a divorce case he takes on for an ex-girlfriend soon becomes a murder disguised as suicide.

Publishers Weekly: After two dozen adventures (One-Way Ticket, etc.), Tapply's Brady Coyne, a refreshingly decent lawyer, remains a pleasure to see at work. After a seven-year absence from Brady's life, Alexandria Shaw, a former lover, walks into his Boston office and asks him to handle her brother's divorce case. Gus Shaw, an independent photojournalist who lost his right hand in Iraq and is suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, promises to be a difficult client, but soon after Brady and Gus talk, Gus is found dead, an apparent suicide. Though no evidence suggests murder, Alexandria is convinced her brother didn't kill himself; Brady agrees to probe, with predictable results. While Brady tends to telegraph important aspects of the case, his investigation reveals a lot of the hidden collateral damage of the Iraq war: bereaved families, physically or psychologically wounded vets and the people who try to help those who have suffered.

Bella Foxx's Review:
Although this is not the first Brady Coyne adventure William Tapply has written, it is the first I have read. I found that not reading any others did not affect my ability to follow the storyline and the history. An old girlfriend of Coyne's shows up and not having read any other of his novels I do not know if she was ever mentioned or even a character in his novels, Tapply gives you their history without getting to deep into it. This is important because it could have detracted from the central plot line, which is the investigation into the death of the girlfriend's brother Gus Shaw, an apparent suicide, but it does not. Another subplot nicely rounds out the fact that Brady Coyne is a good guy, a compassionate lawyer (remember, this is fiction!). The book has a teaser at the beginning, a prologue that looks like newspaper articles from 30 years ago, there is also a misdirection, an attempt to make you look the wrong way, I figured out who the bad guy was and why, but not the whole why, before it was revealed. There is also a quick glance into the devastating effect war has on not just the people in the war zone, but their family, friends and how it can damage the rest of their lives. Overall, this was an enjoyable book, it was not a page turner or edge of your seat suspense, Brady Coyne is a lawyer, not a P.I. or adventure hero, but he gets the job done.

Be sure to check out Bella's blog Bella Foxx's New Life here.

Thanks Bella for being a Guest Reviewer here at Redlady's Reading Room!!


  1. I enjoyed your review, Bella.
    It was wonderful, now you have intrigued me to hunt for this book :)

  2. Great review Bella!

  3. Hi Bella! I don't read mysteries, but your review was great, very specific about what you liked or maybe didn't like as much, and loved your lawyer comment! :o) I think anyone who does enjoy the mystery genre would be curious about this book/series after your review! (from BonnieMN, Book Talk)

  4. Nicely done, SuziBell!! I have Tappley on my authors to look for list. This bumps him up towards the top. Thankin' you!

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