Wednesday 27 May 2020



Corporate lawyer Elizabeth Carlyle is under a lot of pressure. Her prestigious New York law firm is working on the most high-stakes case in company history defending a prominent bank. When Elizabeth gets the news that one of her junior associates has lost his phone—and the secret documents that were on it—she needs help. Badly.
Enter ex-CIA officer Valencia Walker, a high-priced fixer who gets called in when governments, corporations, and plutocrats need their problems solved discretely. But things get complicated when the missing phone is retrieved: somebody has already copied the documents, and now they’re blackmailing the firm. When the situation gets murkier still—hinting that darker forces may be churning below the surface—Elizabeth and Valencia must maneuver and outmaneuver whomever is behind this and, most importantly, keep their hands clean.
This is a world of private security, private diplomacy, and private justice. A sharply drawn cast of characters—dirty lawyers, black-market traders, Russian criminals, and extrajudicial actors—all take part in this breakneck tour through New York. Authentic, tense, and impossible to put down, Clean Hands gives a vivid look at the connections between corporation, government, and underworld.

A cracking read from Patrick Hoffman with plenty of elements which I find incredibly interesting in my reading..... corporate shenanigans, power, black ops, surveillance, blackmail, patsies - a lot more than one getting played here, fall guys, victims, manipulation, secrets, hidden agendas, phone theft, hacking, espionage, leaks, investigations, big finance.

An interesting set-up and plenty of smoke and mirrors here and just when you think you have a handle on what's going on, Hoffman reveals a deeper layer of intrigue. I could bang on about elements of the plot, but won't bother. 
Interesting characters - two strong women, though one, Elizabeth the executive has been robbed of her power and control by the theft of a junior's phone. It's not a situation that sits comfortably with her, especially as her marriage seems to be at crisis point also. The other, Valencia never seems to lose her sense of identity or who she is, despite fleeting suggestions to the contrary.

Fast paced, fast moving, a busy book with lots bubbling away and a decent pay-off.

4.5 from 5

Clean Hands is Patrick Hoffman's third book. Every Man a Menace was enjoyed before. The White Van still sits on the TBR pile.

Read - May, 2020
Published - 2020
Page count - 288
Source - Edelweiss Above the Treeline early reviewer site
Format - ePUB read on laptop


  1. This might be one of those cases where our tastes are similar, Col. I like the premise a lot, and it sounds like an interesting look at legal life, corporate culture, and those 'backroom deals' while still keeping the pace. Glad you enjoyed it.

    1. I do think it's one you would enjoy, Margot. I hope so!