September 30, 1996 12:00 PM

by Michael Nava

Page-Turner of the Week

HENRY RIOS IS IN A REALLY STICKY situation. At the start of this haunting mystery, the Los Angeles criminal lawyer learns that one of his oldest friends, Superior Court Judge Christopher Chandler, has just been murdered—and that the prime suspect wants to retain him. Further complicating matters is the fact that the man, a handsome young waiter named Zack Bowen, claims to have been the very married jurist’s longtime lover.

Luckily for Zack, Rios can’t resist an apparently lost cause (or, given his own sexual orientation, a good-looking guy). But in order to help his new client, he’s going to have to do some serious sleuthing. And, in this case, that appears likely to lead him down several dangerous byways into the secret life his late friend kept so carefully closeted.

As the many fans of the four previous Rios mysteries know, Nava—like his hero, a gay Mexican-American attorney—can devise as canny a plot as he can a defense motion. His latest, though, has something special—the scent of memory that lingers as poignantly as a departed lover’s cologne. (Putnam, $22.95)

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