When a brutal rapist is murdered, a loving father stands accused of the crime. Defense attorney Dismas Hardy must defend his brother-in-law and old friend Moses McGuire in a thrilling case that hits far too close to home. Moses McGuire has good reason to be concerned about his beautiful 23-year-old daughter, Brittany. She moves quickly from one boyfriend to the next, and always seems to prefer a new and mysterious stranger to a man she knows something about. But her most recent ex, Rick Jessup, isn’t willing to let her go, culminating in a terrible night when Brittany is raped. Within 24 hours, Rick Jessup is dead, Moses McGuire is the prime suspect in the investigation, and Dismas Hardy has been hired to defend his brother-in-law. Making things even more complicated, McGuire has fallen off the wagon, and his stay in prison could bring to light old secrets that would destroy Hardy and his closest colleagues’ careers. As the overwhelming evidence against McGuire piles up, Dismas Hardy focuses on planting doubt in the minds of the jurors - until, in a feat of legal ingenuity that is staggering in both its implications and its simplicity, Hardy sees a new way forward that might just save them all. But at what price? For the first time since 2009, Dismas Hardy, the author’s most beloved protagonist, returns in a masterful novel that showcases Lescroart’s extraordinary storytelling gifts: a cast of flesh-and-blood characters, morally complex situations, and relentless, nail-biting suspense.
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Time to try something different now, Mr. Lescroart
I have been a happily entertained reader of this series for about 25 years now, initially in print, and then for the last 7-8 years in audiobooks. It is fair to say that I have loved this work. The characters of Dismas Hardy, Abe Glitsky and their supporting crew have almost become real humans to me. It does help that I live and work in the same area, both geographically and professionally, as these people do, but really, that's not a big part of the appeal of the series. Mr. Lescroart and Mr. Colacci are a perfect combination, with complementary skills and genuine affection for their characters. One thing that really appeals to me is the fact that Dismas and Abe and the others have what seem to be real lives, with births and deaths and marriages and the range of complications that all of us live through during our brief stay here on planet Earth. It would take an encyclopedic review to attempt to give you the flavor of Mr. Lescroart's primary accomplishments. So, I won't attempt that. You would be happily advised to listen to many of the prior books. They are legal thrillers, and Part II is often a bit slow going, as we get to slog through the trials, but even when things begin to get a little boring, our entertainers come up with something new and quirky, or particularly knotty, or emotionally fraught. The Ophelia Cut (not a good title, which might be a warning) centers on the rape of a young woman and the apparent revenge killing of the man by the young woman's father, Moses McGuire. Of course Dismas represents Moses at the trial, and I won't be a spoiler here about the end of the book. But, the book can at times be forbiddingly complex, and it often assumes that the reader is aware of the details of a massacre involving a number of the main characters here. The group of allies (Hardy, Glitsky, D.A. Wes Farrell, attorney Gina Roake, deceased attorney David Freeman) keeps a volatile secret amongst them. The exposure of this secret threatens them all, providing an underpinning of drama and intrigue to which only some of us readers can relate. In this book we are introduced to a city supervisor (Liam Goodman, whose chief clerk is the victim of the murder) a new chief of SF police, a Korean gangster and trafficker of human flesh named John Lo) and others. The plot gets spread out among these people too far, so that it is hard to keep all the players identified without a scorecard, so to speak. At times I felt a curious mix between boredom and a genuine interest in knowing how things turn out. I could have lived without the boredom, for sure. I think this is another result of the convention by modern novelists to make their books last a standard 300-350 pages in print, or about 12-14 hours in audio. Many younger writers are now shuffling off this mandate, thank goodness. As the late, great Elmore Leonard said, "I leave out the parts that people tend to skip." All writers should have this byword as a sampler knitted and framed on the wall of their writing rooms. At the end of the book there is a true deus ex machina, which tries our patience a bit because it is implausible, and clearly a desperation move by the defense team. All along I had been thinking, Mr. Lescroart, you have been wildly successful, beyond your most outrageous dreams, but it is time to stop now. Shift gears. I know that he has done that for a couple of earlier books which I haven't read. I get the impression that they weren't as well received as the Hardy/Glitzky books. By this point in his career, the author must be in a position to take truly meaningful risks in doing what he does. I challenge you, Mr. Lescroart, little pipsqueak that I may be: And now it is time for something completely different.
- Richard Delman "I am a 65-year-old psychologist, married for 25 years, with two sons who are 25 and 22. I love reviewing the books and the feedback I get."
Dismiss defends Moses
I have read most of the Dismiss Hardy series over the years and have enjoyed them. In this story Moses McGuire, Dismiss's brother in law, daughter Brittany is beaten then later raped by Rick Jessup. Hardy then has to defend Moses who is charged with the murder of Jessup. Lots of politics, family stress and Lt Abe Glitsky, Hardy's long time friend, is forced to retire from the police force. The defense has a few people as suspect but the judge will not let Hardy call them as witness. I will not spoil the story you will have to read it to find what happens. The ending sets up for the next book in the series. David Colacci is great narrating the story.