by Pam Callow
Mira / 512 pp / $7.99

Review by Peter Moreira

Kate Lange has a great job, a bubbly personality, a loyal dog, a stylish fixer-upper in South End Halifax and a nasty habit of getting entangled in grisly murders. We learned all that last year in Pamela Callow’s wonderful debut murder mystery, Damaged. Now in its sequel , Indefensible, the junior lawyer at a prestigious law firm must defend her personality-challenged boss, Randall Barrett, whose ex-wife dies mysteriously while visiting Halifax from Toronto with their two children. Randall had left Toronto for Halifax after being cuckolded by Elise, and now she has come to Nova Scotia for a summer vacation. On the night of her arrival, she argues with Randall in front of the kids and hours later falls from a balcony to her death. It sounds like the run-of-the-mill fodder for crime fiction, but in Callow’s capable hands Indefensible exceeds the expectations of the genre. What makes Callow’s Kate Lange series so irresistible is the empathy she develops for her characters – all the characters. Whether it’s Lange or her questionable men she chooses as lovers or the unfortunate Elise, Callow makes us care about the people who populate her pages. Man, woman, child or dog – yes, even dogs – we care about them because the author is so adept at bringing them to life. Above all we care about Lange herself, and we care about when Callow will grace us with the next book in this splendid series. – Peter Moreira

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