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Saturday, September 22, 2012

Capitol Murder (Ben Kincaid #14) by William Bernhardt

Published in 2006 by Ballantine Books

Years ago I worked at a used book store and I was introduced to William Berhnardt's Ben Kincaid series by a co-worker. Pretty soon, all of us were reading the series and recommending it to others and they were moving off the shelf pretty briskly. Ben Kincaid does that to you - he is a likable guy with a rumpled suit and no ego that just wants to do what is best for his friends, family and, of course, his clients.

But, I haven't read a Ben Kincaid novel in a long time (8 years according to the other Ben Kincaid review on this blog: Murder One). The good and the bad thing is that William Bernhardt's Ben Kincaid is a lot like Janet Evanovich' s Stephanie Plum. Despite all of the different adventures and experiences, the characters just do not change. Read book 5, book 10, book 14 - it does not matter. Just jump right in. Of course, this is a mixed blessing. It is an invitation to being stale, but also a recognition that people like comfortable characters.

In Capitol Murder, an aide to Oklahoma's senior Senator is found dead in his secret hideaway in the capitol buidling itself just after a video of them involved in a sexual act is released. Ben Kincaid grew up with the senator and Ben is summoned to lead his defense. His investigator, Loving, digs up enough information to discover that there is a lot more to this case and the victim than meets the eye, including a hidden world of vampires and sex clubs.

Bernhardt decides to keep Kincaid's defense hidden from the reader. The reader learns about the strategies as the case proceeds, which is not the way most legal thrillers work. I found it frustrating and I found the back story on the victim to be quite ridiculous.

I have to give this book 3 stars out of 5

Reviewed on September 22, 2012.

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