Hyde, Patrick

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Hyde, Patrick


Son of an industrial union official; married; children: Madeleine. Education: Brown University, B.A., M.A., 1978; University of Wisconsin at Madison, J.D., 1980; attended Goddard College.


Home—Washington, DC. E-mail—[email protected].


Writer, novelist, and attorney. Wisconsin Law School, Legal Implementation Research Project, research associate; trial lawyer in Pikeville, KY; U.S. Solicitor of Labor, Special Litigation Division, attorney, 1982-88; attorney in private practice, 1988-2001; policy advisor to the U.S. government, 2001—. Member of executive board, National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, Washington, DC, Chapter; member of the Advisory Commission on Sentencing to the Washington, DC, City Council.


Washington, DC, Superior Court Trial Lawyers Association (former president); Mystery Writers of America (member of executive board; vice president, Mid-Atlantic Chapter; bylaws and legal committee chair).


Special Achievement Award, U.S. Secretary of Labor.


The Only Pure Thing, Beckham Publications Group (Silver Spring, MD), 2006.

Contributor to periodicals, including CLIO: A Journal of History, Capital Crimes, Defender, and Washington City Paper.


Novelist and attorney Patrick Hyde is a specialist in internal labor union affairs, criminal law, and labor law. He has served as a lawyer representing coal miners and other disadvantaged laborers in Kentucky, and has worked on more than 1,300 criminal cases, participating in more than one hundred trials, as an attorney in private practice.

In his debut novel, The Only Pure Thing, Hyde introduces veteran criminal defense attorney Stuart Clay, who operates in the sometimes seedy back alleys and hidden nooks of Washington, DC. When mobster Benny Batiste is found dead in the DC suburb of Georgetown, his headless body is discovered first; later, his severed head is found jammed onto the top of a downtown parking meter outside a popular nightclub. The police quickly arrest Cleveland Barnes, a mentally impaired homeless man who is found wearing Batiste's bloody shoes. When Clay is assigned to represent Barnes, he quickly concludes that his new client did not have the means or mental capacity to be the murderer. Yet many involved in the case seem to be in a rush to convict Barnes of the crime, even while ignoring the dead man's clear connections to organized crime. Determined to exonerate Barnes and find the real killer, Clay and his assistant—and lover—Cyndi Oh begin a dedicated investigation into the crime, focusing on a prostitute seen with Batiste on the night he was murdered. Soon, Clay and Cyndi realize that the case is much more complicated than they had originally thought, and that a wrong move on their part will put them in the path of individuals who have no qualms about killing. Big-money economic deals, political maneuvering, voodoo rites, and jilted lovers make the case even more complex.

Throughout the story, Hyde "keeps a few surprises up his own sleeve, and creates a page-turner that will surprise the most jaded mystery reader," remarked Susan Illis on the New Mystery Reader Web Site. Hyde "has whipped up a tangled complex tale replete with a diverse set of mad characters enhanced with his knowledge of the legal profession," commented BookIdeas.comreviewer Norman Goldman, who concluded that "the plot's well-pacing with its twists and turns continually deceive readers, keeping them off balance until the last page." In assessing the novel's intricate story line and detailed Washington, DC, setting, Booklist reviewer David Pitt called Hyde a "crime author who recognizes that a carefully evoked setting can steal the show."



Booklist, November 1, 2006, David Pitt, review of The Only Pure Thing, p. 32.

Library Journal, December 1, 2006, Jo Ann Vicarel, review of The Only Pure Thing, p. 99.

Mystery Scene, winter, 2007, Joseph Scarpato, Jr., review of The Only Pure Thing.


Armchair Interviews,http://www.armchairinterviews.com/ (September 3, 2007), Amanda Schafer, review of The Only Pure Thing.

BookIdeas.com,http://www.bookideas.com/ (September 3, 2007), Norman Goldman, review of The Only Pure Thing.

ForeWord Magazine,http://www.forewordmagazine.net/ (September 3, 2007), Alan J. Couture, review of The Only Pure Thing.

Front Street Reviews,http://www.frontstreetreviews.com/ (September 3, 2007), Sarra Borne, review of The Only Pure Thing.

Mystery Writers of America Mid-Atlantic Chapter Web site,http://www.mwa-ma.org/ (September 3, 2007), biography of Patrick Hyde.

New Mystery Reader,http://ww.newmysteryreader.com/ (September 3, 2007), Susan Illis, review of The Only Pure Thing.

Patrick Hyde Home Page,http://www.patrickhyde.com (September 3, 2007).

Reader Views,http://www.readerviews.com/ (September 3, 2007), review of The Only Pure Thing.

Sleuth Editing,http://www.sleuthedit.com/ (September 3, 2007), biography of Patrick Hyde.

Spinetingler Magazine,http://www.spinetinglermag.com/ (September 3, 2007), Tracy Sharp, review of The Only Pure Thing.