The Big Law: A Novel

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9780060191337: The Big Law: A Novel

An emerging master of the thriller pits brooding hero Phil Broker against the legendary Witness Protection Program, which has unwittingly hidden his ex-wife's killer. In The Big Law, Logan unfurls a sublime premise--The Fugitive in reverse--and graces it with ingenious plotting and fascinating explorations of the forces that drive men both to selfless heroism and murderous greed.

The Big Law's intricate mechanics are set in motion by one fatal choice: Broker's naive ex-wife Caren decides to blow the whistle on her feckless husband, Keith Angland, a St. Paul cop who's moonlighting as an informant for the Chicago mob. Unwisely for her, she confides in Tom James, a disaffected reporter nursing dreams of the perfect crime. Seeing a way out of his dead-end life and into his dreams, Tom cajoles Caren into entrusting him with the suitcase full of greenbacks the mob has paid her informant husband. When Caren is killed, Tom frames Angland, absconds with the suitcase, runs to the FBI (known to its employees as the Big Law), and wangles himself a berth in the Witness Protection Program. Only Broker senses something amiss in Tom's testimony, and he sets out to find the truth. But to do that, he must find Tom, who has the Big Law and a big suitcase full of cash on his side.

Logan probes the inner workings of the Witness Protection Program. as no novelist has before. He also brings to this tale an unsurpassed knack for combining white-knuckle action with subtle characterizations and direct, lyrical prose. The Big Law proves how thoroughly he deserved to be called "one of the best of the new thriller breed." (Publishers Weekly)

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Review:

The follow-up to The Price of Blood, one of Amazon.com's 10 best thrillers of 1997, The Big Law gets off to an exciting start when ex-cop Phil Broker gets a call for help from his ex-wife Caren. Caren left him years ago for Keith Angland, his former buddy on the St. Paul police force. Now, apparently, Angland's turned into a cowboy cop, maybe even a Mob-controlled rogue; at the very least, he's assaulted Caren and threatened her life. Broker has been out of uniform for a couple of years, busy caring for his 1-year-old daughter in a rural upstate backwater while his new wife is away on peace-keeping duty in the Balkans. He's heard rumors that Angland is being watched by the Feds, suspected of fingering an informant, but it doesn't touch him personally until Caren turns to him for help. She flees St. Paul and heads for Broker's hideaway with a suitcase full of money, an incriminating tape, and Tom James, a reporter with a gambling jones and a career that's on the skids. James hopes that latching onto Caren---not to mention the $2 million she's absconded with--will turn his luck around. When Caren is killed, the reporter frames Angland, steals the money, and talks his way into the Witness Protection Program, which looks like the perfect ticket out of his dead-end life, especially with Caren's tape as a bargaining chip. The Feds think James walks on water, but Broker isn't convinced. Setting out to find James where the "Big Law" has hidden him, he discovers just how far over the edge both James and Angland have fallen, and who pushed them. An explosive thriller with plenty of action, edge-of-your-seat pacing, and an appealing hero who readers will look forward to encountering again. --Jane Adams

About the Author:

Chuck Logan is the author of eight novels, including After the Rain, Vapor Trail, Absolute Zero, and The Big Law. He is a veteran of the Vietnam War who lives in Stillwater, Minnesota, with his wife and daughter.

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