But this savage murder is only the first and Brady is soon trying to find the connection between these long ago friends and the savage murders dogging their family.
Brady Coyne never meant to become the private lawyer to New England’s upper crust, but after more than a decade working for Florence Gresham and her friends, he has developed a reputation for discretion that the rich cannot resist. He is fond of Mrs. Gresham—unflappable, uncouth, and never tardy with a check—and he has seen her through her husband’s suicide and her first son’s death in Vietnam. But he has never seen her crack until the day her second son, George, leaps into the sea at jagged Charity’s Point.
The authorities call it a suicide, but Mrs. Gresham cannot believe her son, like his father, would take his own life. As Brady digs into the apparently blemish-free past of this upper-class prep school history teacher, he finds dark secrets. George Gresham may not have been suicidal, but that doesn’t mean he wasn’t in trouble.
It is a small paper square with uneven edges, dark blue in color and bearing a smudged portrait of a long-dead king. It doesn’t look like much to Brady Coyne, but the stamp known as the Dutch Blue Error is one of a kind—a philatelic freak worth at least one million dollars. It is the prize possession of Ollie Weston, a wheelchair-bound Boston banker, and it is valuable enough that for its sake, several good men will die.
A fellow collector contacts Weston, claiming to have found a second copy of the Error—a claim that, if truthful, would destroy the stamp’s value. Weston sends his attorney, kindhearted Boston lawyer Brady Coyne, to purchase the rogue stamp for two hundred fifty thousand dollars, but just before the hand-off, the collector is killed and the stamp disappears.
Find the stamp and Brady will find the killer—but that will involve risking another one-of-a-kind item: his life.
But this time, the visitor shows up looking for his help—and creating potential mayhem in Stoney's life to prove he's serious. In exchange for making those problems go away, Stoney must go to the far corner of Maine, sign on as a guide at a high end fishing lodge, and look into a couple of suspicious deaths. A govern ment ‘operative' was found shot dead in a staged murder/suicide pact involving a local sixteen year old girl. Now Stoney has to uncover what the dead agent was investigating and got him killed—without being killed by the very same people.
Working as a guide on Casco Bay, Stoney is out with a client on an early morning fly fishing expedition when they find the charred remains of a recent corpse on a small, uninhabited island. A couple of days later, Calhoun's client turns up in the driveway of Stoney's cabin in the woods--shot dead in the front seat of his SUV.
In the midst of a couple of inexplicable murders, both of which clearly have something to do with Stoney, past or present, it's up to him find out the truth...or risk becoming the next victim.
Now both Brady and Evie are considered prime suspects in the murder of a man with deep ties to the local community. Released by the police after intense questioning, they return to Boston, whereupon Evie disappears without word or much of a trace. Realizing just how little he knows about Evie's life, Brady Coyne must now delve into her past if he is to uncover the truth about the dead body in his front yard and find the missing Evie in time.
For two years, Eddie Donagan was on track to become the greatest Red Sox pitcher of all time. Then one day, without warning, he went from unhittable to ineffective—forcing him to drop out of the Majors before he even hit his prime. Attorney Brady Coyne met Donagan before he turned pro, and stays friends with him even as the faded star drifts into depression, disappearing from his wife and child for days at a time. Finally, the Donagans are thrown into crisis—but it isn’t Eddie’s disappearance that causes it. It’s his son’s.
One morning, ten-year-old E.J. leaves for his paper route and never returns. Soon, the family receives a ransom demand, and Brady agrees to be the go-between. He finds that the son’s problems stem from the father’s, and that Eddie Donagan has a dark side no amount of natural talent could overcome.
Dalton Lancaster could have been a lawyer, but his heart wasn’t in it. He quit Yale after his first year, and used his inheritance to go into the restaurant business, where he might have had some luck if he’d spent more time selling food and less time playing blackjack. As he gambled away his savings, restaurants, and family, his lawyer, Brady Coyne, stuck by him. So when Dalt is beaten up, but not robbed, by three mobsters, Brady can’t help but think his friend is gambling again. But Dalton says he has kicked his vice. The attack wasn’t a message to him—it was to his son.
Having inherited his father’s addiction, Robert is in even deeper trouble than his dad ever was. When he fails to square things with his creditors, he’s kidnapped, and Brady is forced to gamble on a long shot: that Robert Lancaster is still alive.
Brady is hired to seem him through the divorce. The client wasn't eager to accept Brady's representation, but before the divorce proceedings are very far along, the photographer is found dead in his rented apartment, an apparent suicide.
But something isn't right and Brady starts to think the suicide was staged. With very little to go on and with everyone around him wanting to quickly close the books on what appears to be a tragic case, Brady soon finds himself alone, in the midst of one of the most dangerous situations of his entire life, and facing people who do anything to avoid being exposed.
Six years after the leopard attack that ended his career as a professional hunter, Jeff Newton is broken, crippled, and ready to die. His only pleasure is the occasional visit from Brady Coyne, Jeff’s no-nonsense Boston lawyer who’s come to Cape Cod to pay his respects to the old man.
As always, Brady is entranced by the ex-hunter’s houseful of trophies, none more dazzling than the seven Mexican leopard figurines. Solid-gold statues with jewels for eyes, they are priceless, beautiful—and about to be stolen.
The thieves club Jeff, cut Brady, and escape with the golden cats, leaving the two men for dead. Jeff ends up in a coma, and Brady sets out to retrieve the trophies. If the old hunter ever wakes up, Brady wants the leopards to be there to greet him.