Second book in the Peter Tanner series, THE BURDEN OF LIES follows on from CYANIDE GAMES, which it might be worth reading first. There's a lot of framework construction in the first book that will help with understanding Tanner, his family, his work life and some of the ways that all intersects - good and bad.
This second book revolves around a complicated story of corrupt bankers, drugs, shonky property deals and murder. Self-made property mogel Tina Leonard is on trial for ordering the murder of disgraced ex-banker Oliver Randall. Randall has only recently been released from jail following a major drugs conviction, and when he's found brutally murdered, the police are handed Leonard on a plate by the hired killer who did it. She lost her home, business and kids to the bank that Randall worked for, and his complicity in that, which amounted to fraud as far as Leonard is concerned, seems to be the perfect motive to the police, although Peter Tanner is less convinced.
Perfect timing really to bring out a book centred on nefarious goings on in the banking world. Add to that the possibility of blatant corruption and you've got a plot that is tailor-made for believability. Whilst there was a lot of heavy lifting to get Tanner into investigation mode in the initial book in the series, this one handles that phase with more aplomb. Tanner's role in the legal team being assembled to defend Leonard seems to work a little less clumsily, and his brief of disrupting the prosecution, finding some dirt on the investigation fits nicely. It allows him to segue nicely between digger around outside the court, and asker of tricky questions inside.
Once again the tactical thinking on display in the court room scenes was nicely done, and the connections that Tanner has throughout the legal and criminal world neatly established. It's this area that would make the first novel worth pursuing before commencing here, but if that's not practical, take some elements of Tanner's life, loves and methodologies as read, and press on. A really good choice for fans of legal thrillers in particular, and a good one for fans of general Australian thrillers as well.