Cover image for Veritas : a novel
Veritas : a novel
Lashner, William.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Regan Books, 1997.
Physical Description:
453 pages : 25 cm
Format :


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In his debut work, Hostile Witness, Lashner created one of the great new protagonists in legal thrillers: tough-talking Philadelphia lawyer Victor Carl. Wrapping up the affairs of a late heiress whose death turns out not to be a suicide, Carl climbs onto her family tree and finds the answer to her murder.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Jackie Redmann was an heir to the Redmann pickle fortune--was because she evidently committed suicide by hanging herself. Her sister, Caroline, isn't convinced and asks burned-out Philadelphia lawyer Victor Carl for help. Hoping to grab a piece of the Redmann family fortune, Carl agrees and, with a determination born of soul-deep avarice, quickly uncovers a potential killer in the midst of mobsters, New Agers, fortune seekers, and the other members of the Redmann clan. Among the secrets that Carl uncovers is the fact that the family fortune may have been built upon a long-ago swindle (giving an ironic twist to the name of the family estate, " Veritas" ). In true Ross Macdonald fashion, Lashner invents a past that never relinquishes its hold on the present, wreaking havoc in subtle, often deadly fashion. Interestingly, though, the man who unlocks the secrets of the past isn't an empathetic hero like Macdonald's Lew Archer, but rather the amoral Victor Carl, blind to both present and past in his quest for profound wealth. This unique updating of the Macdonald formula offers extremely entertaining reading. --Wes Lukowsky

Publisher's Weekly Review

You can see the dollar signs light up in the eyes of Victor Carl, Lashner's money-hungry Philadelphia lawyer (first seen in Hostile Witness), when he learns that his new client, Caroline Shaw, is one of the filthy rich Reddmans. Caroline wants Victor to use his mob connections to get to the bottom of her sister Jacqueline's death. The police think it was suicide, but Caroline is convinced that it was murder and had a lot to do with all the money her brother Eddie owes a loan shark. There are bigger skeletons than gambling debts, however, in the family closets of Veritas, the Reddmans' exquisitely misnamed mansion. Victor soon discovers that the history of the Shaws and the Reddmans provides ample proof of the old saying that at the source of every fortune is a crime. He also gets trapped within the storm clouds of a brewing gang war that may hold the answers to the Reddman mystery, if only he survives long enough to find them. Energized by crisp and delightfully venal first-person narration, this guided tour through the lifestyles of the rich and nasty teems with clever plot twists and (literally) buried secrets, with greed and revenge running neck and neck as the winning motive of a patient murderer. Think Danny DeVito in the Victor Carl role, and Lashner on the hot list of up-and-coming legal thriller writers. 75,000 first printing; $125,000 ad/promo; simultaneous Harper audio; foreign rights sold in Germany and the U.K.; translation rights: HarperCollins; first serial rights: Ray Lincoln; dramatic rights: ReganBooks. (Feb.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved