Take Five

Review in The National Post by Sarah Weinman

It’s been twenty years since Crang, the Toronto criminal lawyer with the single name and the smart mouth, last sleuthed his way through deep trouble and tricky cases. Now, as witty and nervy as he was in such best sellers as Straight No Chaser and Riviera Blues, Crang has returned, and as usual, he’s got problems.

A client has skipped out on him, still owing Crang a very large fee. The client, a woman of great beauty and even greater treachery, just happens to be the co-mastermind of the biggest marijuana grow-op business in Canadian drug history.

Crang cuts a few legal corners in his hunt for the fleeing client, but she soon becomes only the most elusive of his worries. Along the way, Crang finds himself confronting a major Toronto mob boss, a thug intent on maiming him, and an ugly case of murder. Will Crang survive the onslaught? Sometimes he can’t help wondering.

Crang remains the same, familiar off-beat guy from the earlier books. He loves vodka, jazz and smart repartee. His friends tend to be on the shady side of the law. Crang is still keeping romantic company with the delicious Annie, a freelance writer and a sharp-tongued match for Crang when batting around the dicey options that his practice in criminal law forces on him. Crang and Annie have just moved into their first house. It’s in mid-town Toronto, and, like everything else in Take Five, it comes with hints of danger.