by Bruce TierneyJune 2006
Mystery with a twist
You might remember the line about a newly acquired tattoo from Jimmy Buffett's classic '70s tune, Margaritaville. After a self-described hell of a night, Philadelphia lawyer Victor Carl will identify with Buffett's experience more than most. Awakening with a stinging pain in his chest, Carl discovers (to his immense surprise and chagrin) a classic-style tattoo, a heart and flowers, entwined by a banner emblazoned with the name Chantal Adair. Yikes! It has been a strange couple of weeks for Carl by any measure. He has taken a case in which, if all goes according to plan, a stolen Rembrandt will be returned to a suburban Philadelphia museum, and a career criminal will receive immunity in time to visit his dying mother. The plan, however, is about to be hopelessly derailed. Clearly, for instance, the tattoo is not part of the plan. And who on earth is Chantal Adair? William Lashner's Marked Man is number six in the popular series featuring the charmingly corruptible (perhaps the politically correct term is ethically challenged ) Victor Carl. Not a legal thriller in the Grisham/Turow sense, Marked Man is rather more along the lines of an Elmore Leonard novel, populated with colorful characters, an engaging (albeit flawed) protagonist and snappy dialogue to punctuate the offbeat storyline.