Bear is Broken (Leo Maxwell Mystery) and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Qty:1
  • List Price: $24.00
  • Save: $5.71 (24%)
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Only 3 left in stock (more on the way).
Ships from and sold by Amazon.com.
Gift-wrap available.
Add to Cart
Want it Tuesday, April 22? Order within and choose One-Day Shipping at checkout. Details
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Condition: Used: Good
Comment: This book has already been loved by someone else. It MIGHT have some wear and tear on the edges, have some markings in it, or be an ex-library book. Over-all itâ?TMs still a good book at a great price! (if it is supposed to contain a CD or access code, that may be missing)
Add to Cart
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more

Bear is Broken (Leo Maxwell) Hardcover


See all 10 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from Collectible from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$18.29
$5.28 $0.01 $16.49

Frequently Bought Together

Bear is Broken (Leo Maxwell) + Lion Plays Rough (Leo Maxwell)
Price for both: $36.84

Buy the selected items together

Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Big Spring Books
Editors' Picks in Spring Releases
Ready for some fresh reads? Browse our picks for Big Spring Books to please all kinds of readers.

Product Details

  • Series: Leo Maxwell
  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Mysterious Press (February 5, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802120792
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802120793
  • Product Dimensions: 9.3 x 6.4 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #66,581 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

*Starred Review* Smith’s first novel offers a superior blend of amateur-detective mystery and belated-coming-of-age novel cunningly masked as a legal thriller. Rookie lawyer Leo Maxell is shadowing his brother Teddy, a superstar San Francisco defense attorney, quickly becoming immersed in Teddy’s courtroom magic and the constant rumors that Teddy’s success is built on witness-tampering. Then, seemingly out of the blue, Teddy is gunned down in a crowded restaurant, and Leo must acknowledge that his brother has cultivated real enemies. SFPD detectives make it clear that they think Teddy had it coming, and Leo is left wondering whether the cops are running an investigation or exacting vengeance. Determined to find the shooter’s motive, Leo becomes the Energizer Bunny of detection, relentlessly churning until he unburies a lead. Before long, he’s found secret clients, suspicious behavior in Teddy’s closest associates, and a duo of taser-wielding women lurking in Teddy’s digs. Tenacity trumps technique—fortunately, because Leo is no sleuth. His search is more a desperate urge to connect with his untouchable big brother than a quest for justice, about which he is fairly ambivalent. Smith combines a smart but clueless protagonist forced to drop his naïveté; a gathering of well-drawn, equally motivated suspects; and, yes, some plot-furthering sex and violence. San Francisco’s gritty streets and neighboring redwood forests add to the appeal, and the addictive characters and the quirky, sideways look at the system close the deal on a terrific debut. A perfect match with David Carnoy’s novels and Michael Connelly’s Mickey Haller series. --Christine Tran

Review

"Set in 1999, Smith's powerful legal thriller debut, the first in a series, grabs the reader by the throat and doesn't let go. . . Assured prose and taut plotting add up to a winner."  -Publisher's Weekly (starred review)

"Lachlan Smith has done the impossible - written a riveting debut novel that stands with the best legal thrillers on my bookshelf. In Bear Is Broken, Smith establishes a commanding presence, a gift for complex plotting, and an ability to create richly drawn characters who draw the reader into the action from the opening scene." -- Linda Fairstein, best-selling author of Night Watch

"Lachlan Smith brings the culture of the courthouse and the complicated relationship between two brothers to life in this excellent debut." --Alafair Burke, bestselling author of Never Tell

"Bear is Broken is a spectacular novel, managing to be both literary and suspenseful. Particularly admirable is Lachlan Smith's exploration of the relationship between Leo Maxwell and his tragically sidelined brother; never for a second does the twisting plot slacken. One of the best debuts I've read in years." --William Bernhardt, author of the best-selling Ben Kincaid series

"[A] debut novel that reads as if the writer has toiled at his craft for ages..." --Bookpage  
   
"
Smith's first novel offers a superior blend of amateur-detective mystery and belated-coming-of-age novel cunningly masked as a legal thriller ... a terrific debut. A perfect match with David Carnoy's novels and Michael Connelly's Mickey Haller series."  --Booklist (Starred Review)



"Smith doesn’t write like a novice." —The New York Times Book Review

“An absorbing debut novel...Bear Is Broken is an exciting read.” —New York Journal of Books

“This superior whodunit takes off at breakneck speed and leads readers on a wild ride through Frisco’s seamy criminal underbelly. It also examines the troubled relationship between brothers who, despite a history of shared tragedy, have never been able to become a family.” —Shore News Today

“Smith . . . deftly combines the thriller with the whodunit in this dark and disturbing debut. With a richly drawn protagonist in Leo and the potential for a sequel, Bear Is Broken marks what promises to be the start of a riveting series.” —Richmond Times-Dispatch

"The ending is as chilling as any I’ve read in a while. As with the beginning of this fine novel, it does exactly what it is supposed to do: leave the reader stunned and wanting more." —Bookreporter

“[T]he final showdown is hair-raising. . . . Sensitive, ingenious and suspenseful. A series is promised and very welcome indeed.” —Kirkus Reviews

"Enough plot twists to please any mystery fan. A good read-alike recommendation for readers who enjoy David Hosp and S.J. Bolton." —Library Journal

"To call this book a crime novel or a thriller is to sell it short. It is far more provocative than that." —The Mystery Reader

“It is always a pleasure always a pleasure to happen upon a debut novel that reads as if the writer has toiled at his craft for ages, and that is definitely the case with Lachlan Smith’s San Francisco thriller, Bear Is Broken.” —Bookpage

“Smith’s first novel offers a superior blend of amateur-detective mystery and belated-coming-of-age novel cunningly masked as a legal thriller . . . Smith combines a smart but clueless protagonist forced to drop his naïveté; a gathering of well-drawn, equally motivated suspects; and, yes, some plot-furthering sex and violence. San Francisco’s gritty streets and neighboring redwood forests add to the appeal, and the addictive characters and the quirky, sideways look at the system close the deal on a terrific debut. A perfect match with David Carnoy’s novels and Michael Connelly’s Mickey Haller series.” —Booklist (starred review)

“Smith’s powerful legal thriller debut, the first in a series, grabs the reader by the throat and doesn’t let go. . . . Assured prose and taut plotting add up to a winner.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

Bear is Broken is a bold, imaginative reinvention of the rich vein of San Francisco crime writing. As in the best of Dashiell Hammett, Smith traces his finger along the spider silk that binds the city bottom to top. Heroin addicts are a step removed from Pac Heights aristocrats; Sixth Street is a neighbor of Stanford University. His richly emotional and tautly told story is invigorated by the timeless American tension between our desire for order and our love of freedom. In other words, the prosecution versus the defense. With rapt attention, readers will have to wait until the final pages to discover the villain, but on page one we meet our hero–Leo Maxwell, our trustworthy, hard-working, greenhorn lawyer who just wants to do right by the only family he’s ever known.” —Scott Hutchins, author of A Working Theory of Love

More About the Author

I'm a lawyer who writes novels. I was a Richard Scowcroft Fellow in the Stegner Program at Stanford and afterward graduated from law school at UC Berkeley's Boalt Hall. While in law school, I worked at the San Francisco Public Defender's Office. From day one, I knew that I wanted to write about that world.

I'm an entertainer, not a documentarian, so nothing in the books comes from real life, most of which wouldn't be believable as fiction, anyway. What is real in the books is the drama of idealism colliding with the moral ambiguity of criminal law, and the sleepless anxiety of a young lawyer who has taken on far more than he can handle. I can assure you that Leo's practice is a good deal more exciting than the practices of most lawyers I know.

Look for Lion Plays Rough, the sequel to Bear is Broken, in February 2014.

Happy reading!

Customer Reviews

I did think the plot was drawn out a few chapters too many.
Luanne Ollivier
It is interesting and fast paced and full of surprises along the way including a really unexpected ending.
Shelly Itkin
Good writing, strong plotting and developed characters are always the ingridients for a good novel.
Daniel Lee Taylor

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 27 people found the following review helpful By D_shrink VINE VOICE on December 29, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Monkey Boy is the soubriquet that our narrator and protagonist, Leo Maxwell, a recent law school graduate who just passed his bar exam, was given by his brother,Teddy,a successful SF defense attorney, who was shot in the head by an unidentified shooter, while dining with Leo at a San Francisco restaurant. Whether Teddy lives or dies we won't find out until just near the end, so I won't spoil it.

While on his sojourn of righteous indignation while trying to solve his brother's shooting Leo has to try to take over part of his his brother's clients including one who the cops think is the person who actually shot Teddy, while Leo tries to prove otherwise. During this involved drama Leo must also clear up the case of his father convicted of killing his mother, his mother having an affair with the father of his current lover, and his current lover writing an expose of S&M sex practices in SF for a Master's thesis. That isn't all - did Teddy have an affair with his secretary Tanya and did she whack him because of jealousy or other reasons; was the tough PI,CAR, who worked for Teddy involved in his shooting and did he or Teddy abscond with a gang leader's money to front an S&M club, or in fact who did steal the gang leader's 100k to be used as a retainer to hire Teddy as his defense lawyer if neither of them did? Then there is the unsolved murders of an Asian Prostitute named Martha, who was playing both ends against the middle with a blackmail scheme, and Christine, Leo's lover's, thesis advisor who was also an avid S&M player and may have been killed by Leo's current heart-throb as she was determined to get her thesis approved. :)

You'll need to take notes to keep everyone straight, but it is all in good-natured fun until we can unravel all these mysteries.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By E. Burian-Mohr VINE VOICE on September 10, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
"Bear is Broken" starts out with a bang... literally. Big brother Teddy, a hotshot defense attorney in San Francisco, is having lunch with his younger brother Leo (AKA Monkey Boy), who just passed the bar. Teddy is about to give the closing arguments a case when someone walks into the restaurant, shoots Teddy in the head, and slips out without anyone getting a good look at the shooter.

Teddy is rushed to the hospital where he is not expected to survive or, if he does, it will be with great impairment. And Leo, who has always been the little brother gofer has to step up to the plate because a lot is going on.

First, of course, is Teddy... who is in critical condition. But there is so much more.

Leo needs to find Teddy's assailant, and prove to the cops that Teddy wasn't shot by one of his clients. And while he's at it, he might want to keep Teddy's thriving practice going, find out if his father actually murdered his mother years back, find out what Teddy's questionable investigator actually knows, deal with Teddy's assistant/former client/former lover who refuses to help Leo, have a wild fling with a suspect, wish for a wild fling with Teddy's ex, wander through an S&M club, solve the unsolved murder of a prostitute, and, hopefully, not end up dead himself. But wait! There's more!

You might want to take notes as you go along.

It's the stew of storylines that makes the book intriguing, but it's also what brings it down. You probably won't guess the ending, but when you get there, you may not be entirely sure what happened.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By maegabby on March 18, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Lachlan Smith can write beautifully: the opening is tense, felt, and very promising -- the main character Leo (first person narrator) is standing right there as his older brother, a successful and possibly crooked defense attorney, gets shot in the head. Leo, a newbie lawyer, wants to find his brother's shooter and keep his practice afloat. But the interest we have in Leo gets squandered in a complex plot with way too many villains, unnecessary complications, and sheer silliness. It feels like Chandler, with wealthy powerful families and their corrupt and crazy offspring...Chandler, that is, if Marlowe had no brains, no survival instincts, no moral compass, and very little wit. And the title, again so promising, has no resonance or payoff beyond what we'd imagine in the first few pages: it's another element to the novel that says more than it means.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
23 of 28 people found the following review helpful By E. Bukowsky HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 12, 2013
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
The opening of "Bear is Broken" is riveting. Twenty-six year old Leo Maxwell, the narrator, and his older brother, Teddy, are eating lunch at a San Francisco restaurant. Teddy is a hotshot criminal defense attorney whose winning record has scores of clients clamoring for his services. Leo has just passed the bar and believes that he ready to take on more responsibility. Their lives change in an instant when an unidentified assailant walks in, shoots Teddy in the head, and leaves the back way, where a car and driver are waiting.

In the novel's most engrossing scene, Leo delivers a strong closing argument for one of his brother's clients. This is a momentous rite of passage for a young man who is eager to prove his worth. Unfortunately, Lachlan Smith spends less time on courtroom theatrics than he does on creating a host of red herrings that muddy the waters. The answer to "Who shot Teddy?" is far from simple. The cops hated Teddy who, they insist, "bought witnesses, bribed jurors, [and] fabricated evidence" in his determination to help accused cop killers, wife beaters, drug dealers, and other "scum of the earth" escape punishment. In addition, Teddy has an ex-wife, Jeanie, whom he cheated on and neglected. The list of all the other individuals whom Teddy might have ticked off is long, but Leo is determined to go through his brother's dealings, professional and personal, in order to find the perpetrator and bring him or her to justice.

Ultimately, "Bear is Broken" sinks under the weight of a plot that veers off in too many directions. It is dizzyingly difficult to keep track of the characters, their history, and their motivations.
Read more ›
1 Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Search
ARRAY(0xa4a8939c)

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?