The Loveless Lawyer (A Nick Williams Mystery) (英語) ペーパーバック – 2019/10/12
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Monday, January 9, 1967
The new year has arrived and it's cold.
Nick and Carter feel it more than most since they're just off the plane after three weeks in Brazil.
Meanwhile, Jeffery Klein, Esquire, Nick's ex-lover, ex-lawyer, and ex-friend, is back in town.
He needs Nick's help.
Jeffery is being blackmailed. And not for chump change.
After some husbandly nudging from Carter, Nick agrees to look into who might be behind the outrageous demands for money.
Almost before they know it, Nick and Carter have discovered the real scandal behind the blackmail.
It's juicy. It's salacious. And it goes back quite a few years.
And, to their surprise, tracking down the blackmailer leads from San Francisco to Sacramento and the office of the Golden State's newest governor, former actor Ronald Reagan.
What will the Gipper think when he realizes what's been happening under his very nose?
Oh boy. This one made me cry. In public.
Jeffery Klein is back, and his story, which has been familiar to Frank Butterfield’s readers since the very beginning of this monumental series, is finally laid bare. Jeffery is the loveless lawyer of the title, and as the layered meanings of that title begin to resonate through the narrative, the tragedy of Jeffery’s life – in opposition to the triumph of Nick’s – can’t help but bring tears to the readers’ eyes.
Jeffery is the lost lamb, the fallen angel, the self-loathing gay man who has absorbed all the hateful prejudice against his kind that America in the not-too-distant past could dish out. His story is a reminder to me that, when I run across gay folk who believe and do things I can’t imagine any self-respecting gay person doing, I need to remember where we all came from. Nick and Carter and Jeffery, and all of the original part of Nick and Carter’s team, are of my parents’ generation. Even my generation struggled with the damage society inflicted, far more than we should have had to.
As Frank Butterfield is wont to do, he reintroduces the cast of characters at this pivotal finale, reminding all of us of what has happened over the last span of time since the first book appeared in 2016. We have watched Nick and Carter grow from young men who don’t fully understand the amazing stacked deck they’ve been handed, to international celebrities, both notorious and revered, who meet with presidents and grab headlines. Early on in my reviews I likened them to gay superheroes, sort of like a gay Batman and Robin, who fought injustice with their money.
This is the end of the series. But not the end of Nick and Carter. The author is starting a new series, which will carry the shared love and life of these two remarkable men forward. From Butterfield’s other books, we know rather a lot of what will happen in their lives, but not the details. Now we’ll get the details. Nick and Carter are done. Long live Nick and Carter. And thank you, Mr. Butterfield.
As a sidenote, if you haven't read The Amorous Attorney yet, go back and check that one out first.
The characters are so alive and genuine. Nothing felt forced. It is longer than most of the preceding novels , but The Loveless Lawyer remains light, fun, and totally enjoyable. Every word counts. Every event is necessary.