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Leo Maxwell Books In Order

Publication Order of Leo Maxwell Books

Bear is Broken (2013) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Lion Plays Rough (2014) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Fox is Framed (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Panther's Prey (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
Wolf's Revenge (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

The “Leo Maxwell” series written by Lachlan Smith is a combination of contemporary legal thrillers and classic Private Investigator novels. The series began in the year 2013 with the release of “Bear is Broken”.

“Bear is Broken”, the first novel in the series, is a winner of the Shamus Award and it was also one of Kirkus Reviews best books.

Like some legal thriller writes, Lachlan Smith is a lawyer too. He specializes in employment law and civil rights, after getting a law degree from UC Berkeley.

“Bear is Broken” is the first novel in the “Leo Maxwell” series and was released in the year 2013. The whole time that Leo Maxwell was growing up, he was stuck in Teddy’s (his brother) shadow. His brother is a reviled but successful criminal defense attorney, and has just about as many acquittals as enemies. Leo has attempted to be just like Teddy in just about every way, he even followed him into the same profession. He too is a lawyer.

The brothers are having lunch and Teddy gets shot in public, with the gunman getting away through a crowd. Teddy is in a coma as a result, and Leo realizes that only he can find the guy that shot his brother. The enemies Teddy made are in the police department and the scum on the street. Leo pieces together all of the layers of Teddy’s puzzling past, and finds that the list of potential suspects is a lot longer than Leo realized.

He has to dig through San Francisco’s seedier side, the deeper he digs the more he finds questions. Like Teddy and the ex-wife he is no longer close to, Teddy’s ethics as a lawyer, and about that murder that tore the family apart many decades back. The shooter is still out there, and there are many that would kill Leo to make sure it stays that way.

Fans of the novel find that this kicks off a great series, and puts Lachlan Smith on the map as an author to read and watch. Some found that this was one of the best debuts they had read in years. This is a fast paced read, not to mention well plotted, that keeps readers hooked on the action. Sometimes, readers were left running around in circles, just trying to figure out who the killer was.

“Lion Plays Rough” is the second novel in the “Leo Maxwell” series and was released in the year 2014. Teddy is now disabled after being shot in the head, and is currently depending on Leo, who is now working as a criminal defense lawyer in Oakland. He is on the lookout for the huge case that is going to make his reputation as a lawyer while he works as a junior lawyer in the tiny criminal defense firm that his ex-sister in law owns. He thinks he may have found it when a woman is close to running him down, and shows up where he works to try to have him defend her brother, who is facing a murder charge.

There is a problem, he has not actually met this client when he goes out to dig into what appears to be a great tip on a thriving scandal going on in Oakland’s police department. He takes some pictures that look like they expose the deep corruption within the Department. But finds out that when he takes them to the District Attorney, all is not as it would seem, not with Leo’s client and certainly not with the attractive woman that hired him. His client is really getting counsel by Nikki Matson, a notorious gangland attorney based in Oakland. Even more, Leo’s client does not even know that Leo was hired to defend him; he says he does not even have a sister.

Leo makes him enemy number one within both the Oakland police and with Nikki’s big client (one of the most feared gang leaders in Oakland). Both sides want him to keep quiet before he is able to expose much of the scandal that looks to set the city on fire and set off a huge amount of repercussions. He gets hounded on all sides, and quickly finds that he is framed for killing someone. He even gets sent to prison with a huge price tag on his head.

Should he even be able to make it through, he is still marked for death, that is unless he will be able to bring those responsible for the killings to justice. Bodies begin to stack up, right when Leo closes in on those pursuing him, and those pursuing Leo close in on him. The truth is a lot more sinister, right as Leo has to face off with the only person that he never would have thought would be guilty.

This novel shows that this series is something to take seriously, not just the first novel. Fans of the novel enjoy the well written characters (even the bad guys are well written) and many plot twists found in the book. This has a complicated plot that keeps things moving quickly and the pages moving. Readers found this one pulls you right in and does not let go for a moment.

“Fox is Framed” is the third novel in the “Leo Maxwell” series and was released in the year 2015. A San Francisco judge has just ordered a new trial for Lawrence (the father of Leo and Teddy), who killed their mother over twenty years before. The judge did this because there was proof of shocking prosecutorial misconduct. Lawrence is the only suspect in the killing of a prison snitch, and Leo takes Nina Schuyler’s side to give Lawrence a proper defense Lawrence against current and past murder charges.

Nina handles things in the courtroom, while Leo works the streets, and is forced to face the bad stuff in his life. All while he is on the trail of corruption that leads right to City Hall.

Fans of the novel found that this is quite tense and full of twists, all while racing toward a conclusion that was highly unexpected. This was another roller coaster ride of a novel from the series that left some physically exhausted, yet they would gladly take the ride again. Here is a novel with a complicated murder, and even more complicated ending; it is a clever courtroom drama, that is for sure.

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