Cal Claxton is determined to reinvent himself as a small town lawyer in the aftermath of his wife’s suicide. Once a hard-charging L.A. prosecutor, he now lives in solitude in an old farmhouse overlooking the Oregon wine country. When a scruffy, tattooed kid shows up asking for help in solving his mother’s cold case murder, Cal wants to say no. Times are tough, and he’s no private eye, anyway. But the kid, who calls himself Picasso, has ridden a bicycle all the way from Portland in the rain, and something about his determination impresses Cal.
It turns out Picasso is homeless, joining the legions of kids who are drawn to Portland’s Old Town. He is also a gifted artist painting a mural on the side of a health clinic run by an idealistic doctor named Anna. Things take an ugly turn when Picasso is charged with the murder of a prominent Portland businessman. The evidence against him is overwhelming, but Cal steps in to defend Picasso at Anna’s urging. Suddenly Cal finds himself pitted against the police, the media and some of Portland’s most powerful citizens.
Is Picasso being framed? And if so, is there a connection between the two murders? Cal’s desperate search uncovers a dark web of blackmail, deception and a lineup of suspects from Portland’s A-list. As he peels back the layers of truth, he also peels back the layers with which he’s insulated himself.
Praise for MATTERS OF DOUBT:
“In Cal Claxton, Warren Easley has created a character you can root for — a man who has experienced loss but still believes in a better future, a lawyer who vigorously pursues justice for the most vulnerable clients. MATTERS OF DOUBT proves that legal thrillers can indeed be thrilling.” – Alafair Burke, author of IF YOU WERE HERE.
“This is a strong debut for Easley, who, although he isn’t a practicing lawyer himself, writes like he knows what he’s talking about. Cal, carrying a heavy load of guilt over the circumstances surrounding his wife’s death, is a well-designed, sympathetic character—definitely capable of carrying a series.”— Booklist