Mission Flats: A Novel
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Before the New York Times bestselling success of Defending Jacob, William Landay wrote this critically acclaimed first novel of crime and suspense—perfect for fans of John Grisham, Scott Turow, and Dennis Lehane.
“Landay writes with eloquent intensity.”—The New York Times Book Review
By a shimmering lake in western Maine, a body lies sprawled in a deserted cabin. The dead man was an elite D.A. from Boston whose beat was the city’s toughest neighborhood: Mission Flats. For local police chief Ben Truman, investigating the murder will mean leaving his quiet home and joining a vengeful manhunt in a world of hard streets and harder bargains. The cops have zeroed in on a suspect, a ruthless predator targeted for prosecution by the murdered D.A. But Ben distrusts the Boston police—especially when he uncovers a secret history of murder and retribution stretching back twenty years. As past and present collide, as tribal loyalties threaten to lynch an innocent man—or let a guilty one go free—one thing remains certain: The most powerful revelations are yet to come.
Includes an excerpt of Defending Jacob
“A crackling debut that answers the question: Who will be the next Grisham?”—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“An inventive, gripping suspense debut . . . Landay deals out pertinent details with the finesse of a poker player. . . . A rich, harrowing and delightful read.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“[Landay’s] tale is reminiscent of his fellow Beantown writer Dennis Lehane, which is a true compliment.”—Rocky Mountain News
“Waiting for a new Landay novel is like waiting for a guy from Cremona to build a violin: anxious but worth it.”—Lee Child
Winner of the CWA John Creasey Memorial Dagger Award for Best First Crime Novel
shouldn’t. Did your client tell you he broke into my hotel room last night with one of his goons and put a gun to my head?” Beck shook his head. “Maybe I’m not the best cop for Harold today.” “I see. But you haven’t taken out a charge against him, have you?” I did not answer. “Harold said you helped get his daughter back.” “It wasn’t a big deal.” “It was a big deal to him. Chief Truman, Boston PD is on a rampage looking for my client. It’s important they not find him. Do you understand
you say worse—” Another of Kelly’s looks. “Ah.” We went on walking. “Chief Truman, I came here to tell you what Leo Stapleton would have told me: Don’t be in such a hurry to meet the Harold Braxtons of the world. They’ll come to you when the time is right.” “In a town like this, I’m more likely to meet a woolly mammoth than a Harold Braxton. I need to do this. I need to. You’ll have to trust me on that.” Kelly stopped to look up at the sky. It was a clear-blue fall day. He puffed out his
water pipe filled with concrete and fitted with two L-shaped handles. Vega holds up five fingers, then four, three, two—on one he points at Trudell. Trudell smashes the door with the pipe. The stairwell echoes with a sound like a bass drum. The door does not budge. Trudell steps back, drives the pipe into the door again. The door shakes but it holds. The other cops watch, increasingly uneasy. “Come on, big man,” Vega encourages. A third strike. The bass-drum sound. A fourth—this time with
killed?” “Party in Grove Park. There were twenty or thirty people there. You want names?” I got a yellow legal pad from a side table, and Braxton wrote out some names in neat block letters. “That all you got?” he asked. “Is there anything else you want to tell me?” “I want to talk to you, Chief True-Man.” “It’s Ben. Why me?” “Because you and me need each other.” “Yeah? Why do I need you?” “You need to prove you didn’t do it, same as me. They’re going to put it on one of us, right? You
need to know what really went on that night. If the tip about the red-door coke did not come from Raul, where did it come from?” Nothing. I had the sense the real Julio Vega was retreating like a boat on the horizon. I prodded, “Listen to me, Julio, it’s not too late. You can still make this come out right. You can go back and make it right for Artie.” Then, unexpectedly, Vega’s reserve simply collapsed. Maybe he gagged, finally, on the acid he’d been forced to swallow. Remorse and guilt and