Reviews for Lion & Lamb

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From Booklist, Copyright © American Library Association. Used with permission.

The newest from Patterson and Swierczynski (The House Husband, 2017) has a setup you’ll either accept or you won’t: in Philadelphia, two rival private investigators, Veena Lion and Cooper Lamb, lead the defense and the prosecution respectively in a high-profile murder case gearing up for trial. Will these adversaries find common ground in their search for the truth? Some readers might find the name play with the lion and lamb metaphor a bit too cute, but the authors seem to know they’re pushing it and there’s a solid, well-developed story here, and some interesting characters, too. While the writing is purportedly a collaboration, the prose style primarily resembles Swierczynski’s (readers of Secret Dead Men, The Blonde, and the Anthony Award–winning Expiration Date will recognize his signature playfulness). Patterson fans who read anything with his name on it will need no convincing for this one, while those who have found the quality of his recent output to fluctuate depending on the strength of his cowriter can be reassured that this is a well-crafted legal thriller.

Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

PI rivals combine their wits to solve a spectacular murder case. Just after leading his team to a win in the NFL playoffs, Philadelphia Eagles star quarterback Archie Hughes is found shot to death in his powder-blue Maserati, putting the City of Brotherly Love in freak-out mode. Archie was their GOAT, or Greatest of All Time; fans, bettors, and bookies had been counting on him to deliver a Super Bowl win. The police are all over the murder investigation, but the district attorney asks private investigator Cooper Lamb to help. Lamb doesn't want to work with the DA, so he recommends his rival, Veena Lion, whom he considers to be the second-best PI available. So Lion works for the city while Lamb works for the superstar’s widow, the much-beloved entertainer Francine Hughes. The two PIs find that they have one goal in common, which is to learn the truth. As they dig into the case, they learn disturbing facts about Archie Hughes that suggest Francine may have had a motive for his murder. Through all of this, the happily divorced Lamb cracks wise with his young son and daughter and brings his year-old associate, a Rhodesian Ridgeback named Lupe, with him to important meetings. The kids call the pup Loopy. The PIs’ names are a perfect setup for silly jokes, with occasional utterings of “Rowrr” and “Baaaaa” by children and investigators alike. The two adults like each other, by the way. Though generally rivals, they aren’t competing on this case, and their main tension is sexual. He cheerfully suggests sleepovers, and she cheerfully deflects said propositions. Will they, or won’t they? This fast-moving yarn replaces noir with humor—if only the world could do the same. The authors are apparently noodling with the idea of making this enjoyable read the first of a series. Go for it, guys. Great storytelling. Patterson’s fans will love it. Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

Publishers Weekly
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This easygoing mystery from bestseller Patterson (the Alex Cross series) and Marvel comics writer Swierczynski centers on rival Philadelphia PIs Veena Lion and Cooper Lamb, both of whom have been hired to investigate the slaying of Eagles quarterback Archie Hughes. Archie was found shot to death in his Maserati on a freezing January night and missing his watch and Super Bowl ring. Chief among the multiple suspects is Archie’s wife, Francine Pearl Hughes, a Grammy-winning singer and film star who’s possibly even more famous than her late husband. Veena has been tapped by the Philadelphia district attorney to help build the case against Francine; Cooper is working on her defense. As their investigations develop, questions about Archie’s own innocence muddy the waters. The expected romance between Cooper and Veena is artfully handled, and Patterson and Swierczynski keep the core mystery breezing along, populating it with endearing characters including Cooper’s two preternaturally clever kids and his Rhodesian ridgeback puppy. Though the final reveal is a bit of a letdown, readers won’t much mind. This is a fun ride. Agent: Robert Barnett, Williams & Connolly. (Aug.)