Matthew Hope is a divorce lawyer in the town of Calusa, Florida, where the Gulf waters are warm and the women on the beach topless. One such woman, Michelle Benois Harper—a striking beauty with cascading black hair—enters Matthew’s office revealing swollen eyes and a bruised and battered body. After making a statement with the cops saying her husband did it, her body is found on the beach, burned beyond recognition.
George N. Harper is a hulking man with pockmarks, flaring nostrils, and rheumy eyes—the ugliest accused man Matthew has ever seen. But something’s not quite right about the case—Harper loved his wife. Yet the cops and lawyers are ready to hang the man who could extinguish such a beautiful woman, and it’s up to Matthew to prove his innocence.
An instant classic in the Matthew Hope series from Ed McBain, Beauty and the Beast pairs the good-hearted lawyer with a client who tests his prejudices and proves beauty may be skin deep, but ugly is in the bones.