When San Francisco attorney Dismas Hardy gets a call saying his wife never picked the kids up from school, he's worried. Frannie's a great mother. Turns out there's a good explanation: she's in jail. Unbeknownst to her husband, Frannie has just appeared before a grand jury--and refused to share a crucial piece of information about her friend Ron, who's accused of killing his wife. Now it's up to Dismas to race the clock and find a culprit, all the while wondering: Why would his wife go to jail to protect another man? Who really killed Bree Beaumont--and why? He's looking for the truth. But he's not quite sure he wants to find it ¦
Secrets and lies are the leitmotifs in Lescroart's 11th novel--a crisp, engaging thriller that could well be subtitled "This Time It's Personal." San Francisco lawyer Dismas Hardy has 72 hours to solve a murder that happened three weeks ago. Time is crucial because his wife, Frannie, has been jailed for contempt after refusing to reveal a secret (confided to her by her friend Ron Beaumont) to the grand jury investigating the murder of Beaumont's wife, Bree. The secret involves Ron's past--he kidnapped his own children rather than leave them in the custody of his abusive first wife, Dawn--and if Frannie spills the truth to the grand jury, Ron plans to skip town and go into hiding again with his kids. There are other secrets, too--related to Bree's powerful political position as an adviser, and rumored lover, to gubernatorial candidate Damon Kerry and as "a player in the big-money oil business." The murder investigation stalled when Carl Griffin, the detective assigned to the case, was shot to death days after Bree was killed. But throughout all the intriguing power plays, it's the close-to-home secrets affecting Hardy and his marriage that resonate most. The tug of competing loyalties and the sense that everyone has something to hide add depth and energy to a plot that has already been galvanized by Hardy's race to exonerate his wife, and solve the murder, in record time. The novel's pacing is reminiscent of classic Ross Macdonald, where a week's worth of events are condensed into a few hours. This winning thriller is the fifth starring Hardy, and it tops Lescroart's last one, The Mercy Rule, raising expectations for his next one. Agent, Barney Karpfinger. Simultaneous BBD audio. (Jan.)
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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January 31, 2001
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