Friday, April 19, 2013

The Flinch Factor by Michael A. Kahn

First Sentence:  The year People magazine selected George Clooney as its Sexiest Man in the World, women in that part of the world known as St. Louis shook their heads.
Attorney Rachel Gold is in the midst of a case representing residents of a community in threat of losing their homes to a wealthy and powerful developer.  However, a contractor, Nick Moran, who had done beautiful work on Rachel’s home has been found dead in a scene suggesting gay sex and a heroin overdose.  Nick’s sister doesn’t believe any of it and asks Rachel to investigate.  The further Rachel investigates the more complicated and intertwined the two cases become.
Mr. Kahn has made me a very happy reader by bringing back Rachel Gold and her friends.  Better still is the fact that new readers, those who have no idea that this last book in this very good series came out 11 years ago, will have no problem making this their first Rachel Gold read.
The characters are wonderful, smart, interesting, and just quirky enough to completely enthrall the reader.  Rachel, a widow with a son and two step-daughters, is smart and capable but has her mom there to help her.  Benny, long time friend and brilliant professor of law with no fashion sense, is the friend everyone would like to have.  Add to the cast Jacqui Brand, partner in Rachel’s law firm, and Detective Tomaso, and these are characters you feel you could know and about whom you would care.  Even the unique, and often troublesome, Judge Howard Flinch, becomes someone you rather hope to see again.
Kahn’s voice is a pleasure to read.  I hate to say that men don’t often write female protagonists well.  Kahn does.  His dialogue is quick, sharp, natural and often very funny.  There are times you do laugh out loud.  At one point, Rachel is thinking about her widowed mother and the number of suitors she could have, were she so inclined.  “She has gone on record that the developer of Viagra deserves a special place in Hell.  I try my best not to think about the implications of that statement.”
The plot has very good twists.  The legal aspects of the cases are clearly explained and never overwhelm the reader.  The courtroom scenes were very well done and very visual.  The pacing of the story has realistic ebb and flow.  I even forgive the one portent which could have been left out.
“The Flinch Factor” is a true legal mystery and a very good read.

THE FLINCH FACTOR (Leg. Mys-Rachel Gold-St. Louis, MO-Contemp)-VG
Kahn, Michael A. – 9th in series
Poisoned Pen Press, 2013

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