The First Law (Dismas Hardy Series #9)

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They date back to the wilder days of San Francisco's vigilante past, a private police force that keeps watch for paying clients. Unfortunately, Sam Silverman-an elderly pawnshop owner and a friend of Lt. Abe Glitsky's father-could no longer afford Patrol Special protection, and he may have paid with his life. Dismas Hardy, putting together a high-stakes lawsuit against the security firm, suddenly finds himself defending a local bar owner accused in Silverman's death. He's convinced of John Holiday's ...
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The First Law (Dismas Hardy Series #9)

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Overview

They date back to the wilder days of San Francisco's vigilante past, a private police force that keeps watch for paying clients. Unfortunately, Sam Silverman-an elderly pawnshop owner and a friend of Lt. Abe Glitsky's father-could no longer afford Patrol Special protection, and he may have paid with his life. Dismas Hardy, putting together a high-stakes lawsuit against the security firm, suddenly finds himself defending a local bar owner accused in Silverman's death. He's convinced of John Holiday's innocence-until he goes on the lam. Now, blocked at every turn, Hardy and Glitsky may be forced to protect not only themselves, but their nearest and dearest, as they step cautiously into a world where the only law is survival...
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Defense attorney Dismas Hardy and Lieutenant Abe Glitsky rejoin forces to help John Holiday, an old friend and client of Hardy's. Unfortunately, a band of rogue cops has already targeted Holiday as a cold-blooded killer worthy of vigilante execution. Instead of merely tracking culprits, Dismas and Abe must now fight hard just to stay alive. The author of The Oath delivers another gripping novel.
The Washington Post
Lescroart has been at this game long enough that he has all the necessary tricks in his bag. The requisite double-crosses, threatened families and old friends turned suspicious nonbelievers are all in place. Even if the book does have a certain paint-by-numbers feel, it is still entertaining to see the picture come together. Lescroart may not win many new fans with this one, but his regular audience will find much here to enjoy. —David Montgomery
Publishers Weekly
Abe Glitsky, the gruff, hard-nosed homicide cop from San Francisco who typically plays a supporting role in Lescroart's line of legal thrillers (Hard Evidence; The Hearing; etc.), takes center stage in the series's 11th entry. After convalescing for 13 months from a gunshot wound suffered in last year's The Oath, Glitsky finally returns to the force, only to discover that his beloved homicide detail is now under the command of someone else. Glitsky is assigned to head the payroll department. Embittered about his new job and itching to return to real police work, Glitsky starts poking around when one of his father's friends, a pawnshop owner, is shot to death. His superiors warn him to stop trying to horn his way back into homicide, but it soon becomes apparent to Glitsky-and the series's usual star, defense attorney Dismas Hardy-that the case is far more significant than a simple robbery gone bad; it's part of a string of murders that appear to be connected to a private security company that provides protection for much of the city's business community. Worse, somebody on the police force is trying to cover up the murder spree and frame one of Hardy's clients for it. With his latest, Lescroart again lands in the top tier of crime fiction. On display are his usual strengths-a grasp of current social and legal issues, an insider's knowledge of San Francisco and an ability to draw characters with sensitive, nuanced strokes. Even when his plots grow a little far-fetched-as this one does toward the end-Lescroart's storytelling skills conceal the blemishes. Copyright 2003 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
The First Law is Lescroart's latest installment in the popular Dismas Hardy (lawyer)/Abe Glitsky (homicide detective) series. An apparent holdover from San Francisco's vigilante past, the "Patrol Special," licensed private security employees only nebulously accountable to the SFPD, police certain parts of the city. Wade Panos is the licensee for several of these territories; he manages, however, despite the complaints and lawsuits lodged against him, to mislead and derail an SFPD homicide investigation, frame an innocent man whose business he hoped to acquire cheaply, and completely discredit Abe and Dismas's solid reputation with local law enforcement. Our heroes' attempts to fight back lead to threats against their families and loved ones. The titular "first law," i.e., protect your life and the people you love, foreshadows their ultimate choice to seek justice outside the law. Seen cumulatively, the plot is disturbingly implausible, though the internal logic of the book can't be faulted. Lescroart, in fact, excels at plotting and characterization, but this work is not well served by Robert Lawrence, whose occasionally cartoonish characterizations are distracting and frustrating. Not an outstanding production; buy as demand warrants.-Kristen L. Smith, Loras Coll. Lib., Dubuque, IA Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
It's lawyers vs. cops, rent-a-cops vs. cops, cops vs. cops in Lescroart's latest big bite of Bay City malfeasance (The Oath).

Ever since its vigilante days, the San Francisco Police Department hasn't been able to guarantee every single downtown business the level of security they'd all like. So the slack's been taken up by private-security firms like WGP, Inc., a corporation Dismas Hardy and David Freeman have named in a $30 million suit for systematic criminal harassment of undesirables and former clients balking at skyrocketing rates-even without knowing that the firm's businessman/philanthropist head Wade Panos, who also walks one of his own beats, is secretly helping the Russian National Treasury launder money and dump diamonds on the world market. When Sam Silverman, the pawnbroker friend of Lt. Abe Glitsky's father, is killed in a botched robbery, Glitsky, the former Homicide chief banished to Payroll by a bullet wound, and Hardy, attorney for prime suspect John Holiday, take a lively interest in the case, especially when three follow-up murders seem to put Holiday even more firmly in the frame. Before Glitsky can press his connections in the D.A.'s office or Hardy put out the word about his client's alibi for two of the crimes, however, the case is sewn up by WGP's employees, who supply crucial evidence that Holiday and Dis insist can't be authentic. Now that Lescroart has unlimbered his big guns-and it takes forever for him to get them ready to fire-the stage is set for a no-holds-barred confrontation between Dis and Co. (minus Freeman, lying in a coma after a savage beating) and Panos and his far-reaching tentacles. The resulting body count should put aserious dent in traffic jams on the Golden Gate Bridge.

The sturdy but simple conflict between Establishment villains and a heroic band of merry men is stretched to the breaking point by male-bonding badinage and felonies obbligato.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781590863718
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio
  • Publication date: 1/27/2003
  • Series: Dismas Hardy Series, #9
  • Format: Cassette
  • Edition description: Abridged
  • Product dimensions: 4.20 (w) x 7.14 (h) x 1.44 (d)

Meet the Author

John T. Lescroart
John Lescroart is the bestselling author of eighteen previous novels, which have sold more than ten million copies. He lives with his family in Northern California.

Biography

John Lescroart has made a name (albeit an unpronounceable one!) for himself as the author of crime thrillers, most notably an acclaimed series starring the San Francisco lawyer-and-cop team of Dismas Hardy and Abe Glitsky. But the road to bestsellerdom has been paved with more than a few unexpected detours for this hardworking novelist, who has been writing all his adult life but who only started to chart big around the mid-1990s.

Lescroart (pronounced les-KWA) grew up with an equal interest in music and writing. After college, he concentrated his energies on the former, performing alone and in bands around the San Francisco Bay area and scribbling in whatever spare time he could find. But he set a deadline for himself, and when he had not "made it" by age 30, he quit music to focus on writing. Within weeks he finished up a novel-in-progress based on his experiences living in Spain. He submitted it to a former high school teacher who was less than dazzled; but the man's wife loved it and entered the manuscript in a local competition. Although it would not formally see print for another four years, Sunburn won the prestigious Joseph Henry Jackson Award, beating out Anne Rice's Interview with a Vampire for the best novel by a California author.

To support his art, Lescroart held down a dizzying succession of jobs -- from house painting and bartending to working as a legal secretary. At one point, just as he was ready to enroll in the creative writing program at Amherst, he was offered a lucrative gig he could not afford to pass up, and graduate school fell by the wayside. As the years passed, some of his books were published, but he never felt financially secure enough to write full-time. Then, in 1989, he contracted spinal meningitis after body-surfing in contaminated seawater. He emerged from his life-threatening ordeal with a new resolve, quit the last of his day jobs, and became a real working novelist.

It took a few tries for Dismas Hardy to become the fully realized character Lescroart's fans have come to know and love. Debuting in 1989's Dead Irish, Hardy began life as an ex-cop/ex-attorney turned bartender and did not return to the practice of law until his third appearance in Hard Evidence (1993). From then on, interest grew in the series, which has snowballed into a lucrative franchise for the author. In 2006, Lescroart introduced another San Francisco-based dynamic duo, private investigator Wyatt Hunt and homicide detective Devin Juhle, in The Hunt Club. Slightly younger than Hardy and Glitsky but drawn with the same humanizing brush, the protagonists of this series have proved immensely popular with readers.

Incidentally, Lescroart's writing success has allowed him to return to his other love: He has founded his own independent label, CrowArt Records, which showcases some of his own music and produces CDs by a number of artist/friends. At long last, John Lescroart is able to enjoy the best of both worlds.

Good To Know

In our exclusive interview, Lescroart let us in on some fun and fascinating insights about himself and his life as a writer:

"First, it's Less-KWAH. Here's a tip -- don't have that name. Get a pen name that people can pronounce and remember. Just this Saturday, I gave a talk at a well-attended writers' conference. There were probably a hundred people in the room, and the talk went very well. Five minutes later, I was in the bathroom washing my hands and around the corner, I heard a guy tell another that he'd just heard the greatest talk by John le Carré. 'You know, The Tailor of Panama and the Smiley books? Good stuff. I'm going to go buy all his books.'"

"Second, I didn't have to quit the day job to keep writing. One of the most productive times in my early writing life was while I had a full-time job as a word processor in a law firm and also worked part-time at night, often working until 11:00 p.m. How did I do any writing, you might ask? Well, I did it between 6:00 and 8:00 in the morning, four pages a day, and published five books in six years. But because a) I was making some money doing 'regular' work and didn't have to be scrounging for coin and b) I was panic-stricken at the little time that was left in the day to write, I wound up becoming more efficient."

"Third, I don't wait on inspiration, and I refuse to acknowledge 'writer's block.' I simply sit down and put words on the paper. It's like being a carpenter -- writers build things. Carpenters don't wake up and say, 'Hmm, I'm not in the mood to drive nails today.' No, they go to work and do the job. It's not very romantic, but that's how I approach writing."

"If you have a good relationship, nurture it. The great god of Writing with a capital "W" isn't the only thing in life. It can be a great part and a big part, but it shouldn't consume you on a daily basis and shouldn't make your life miserable all the time. Try not to get nuts about the greater success of other writers -- we're really not in competition with other writers. We're only trying to outdo ourselves, to get better at our jobs. Go on dates. Spend some time outside (fishing is good, so is skiing, hiking, swimming, jogging). Stay in shape -- writing is a marathon. Don't drink too much. Have as much fun as you can."

Lescroart used to perform as "Johnny Capo" in a group called Johnny Capo and His Real Good Band. Although he no longer performs with that outfit, he still pursues music as the founder of his very own independent label called CrowArt Records. The first project on the label was Date Night, a CD of his own compositions performed by master pianist Antonio Castillo de la Gala. Followers of Lescroart's writing may recognize the in-joke in the album's title. As he explains on his web site, "Fans of Dismas Hardy will know that Diz and Frannie (Dismas's wife) set aside every Wednesday night for some time alone together -- it's their date night."

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    1. Also Known As:
      John Lescroart
    2. Hometown:
      El Macero, California
    1. Date of Birth:
      January 14, 1948
    2. Place of Birth:
      Houston, Texas
    1. Education:
      B.A. in English with Honors, UC Berkeley, 1970

Read an Excerpt

THE FIRST LAW


By JOHN LESCROART

DUTTON

Copyright © 2003 The Lescroart Corporation
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0525947051


Chapter One

Ten o'clock, a Wednesday morning in the beginning of July.

John Holiday extended one arm over the back of the couch at his lawyer's Sutter Street office. Today he was comfortably dressed in stonewashed blue jeans, hiking boots, and a white, high-collared shirt so heavily starched that it had creaked when he lowered himself into his slouch. His other hand had come to rest on an oversize silver-and-turquoise belt buckle. His long legs stretched out all the way to the floor, his ankles crossed. Nothing about his posture much suggested his possession of a backbone.

Women had liked him since he'd outgrown his acne. His deep-set eyes seemed the window to a poet's soul, with the stained glass of that window the odd whitish blue of glacier water. Now, close up, those eyes revealed subtle traces of dissolution and loss. There was complexity here, even mystery. With an easy style and pale features-his jaw had the clean definition of a blade-he'd been making female hearts go pitter-patter for so long now that he took it for granted. He didn't much understand it. To him, the prettiness of his face had finally put him off enough that he'd grown a mustache. Full, drooping, and yellow as corn silk, it was two or three shades lighter than the hair on his head and had only made him more handsome. Whenhis face was at rest, Holiday still didn't look thirty, but when he laughed, the lines added a decade, got him up to where he belonged. He still enjoyed a good laugh, though he smiled less than he used to.

He was smiling now, though, at his lawyer, Dismas Hardy, over by the sink throwing water on his face for the third time in ten minutes.

"As though that's gonna help." Holiday's voice carried traces of his father's Tennessee accent and the edges of it caressed like a soft Southern breeze.

"It would help if I could dry off."

"Didn't the first two times."

Hardy had used up the last of the paper towels and now stood facing his cupboards in his business suit, his face dripping over the sink. Holiday shrugged himself up from the couch, dug in the wastebasket by the desk, and came up with a handful of used paper, which he handed over. "Never let it be said I can't be helpful."

"It would never cross my mind." Hardy dried his face. "So where were we?"

"You're due in court in forty-five minutes and you're so hung-over you don't remember where we were? If you'd behaved this way when you were my lawyer, I'd have fired you."

Hardy fell into one of his chairs. "I couldn't have behaved this way when I was your lawyer because I didn't know you well enough yet to go out drinking with you. Thank God."

"You're just out of practice. It's like riding a horse. You've got to get right back on when it tosses you."

"I did that last night. Twice."

"Don't look at me. If memory serves, nobody held a gun to your head. Why don't you call and tell them you're sick? Get a what-do-you-call-it ..."

"Continuance." Hardy shook his head. "Can't. This is a big case."

"All the more reason if you can't think. But you said it was just dope and some hooker."

"But with elements," Hardy said.

In fact, he hadn't done a hooker case for nearly a decade. In his days as an assistant DA, the occasional prostitution case would cross his desk. Hardy mostly found these morally questionable, politically suspect, and in any case a waste of taxpayer money. Prostitutes, he thought, while rarely saintlike, were mostly victims themselves, so as a prosecutor, he would often try to use the girls' arrests as some kind of leverage to go after their dope connections or pimps, the true predators. Occasionally, it worked. Since he'd been in private practice, because there was little money in defending working girls, he never saw these cases anymore. As a matter of course, the court appointed the public defender's office or private counsel if that office had a conflict.

In this way, Aretha LaBonte's case had been assigned to Gina Roake, a mid-forties career defense attorney. But Gina's caseload had suddenly grown so large it was compromising her ability to handle it effectively. If she wanted to do well by the rest, she had to dump some clients, including Aretha. By chance she mentioned the case to her boyfriend, Hardy's landlord, David Freeman, who'd had a good listen and smelled money. With his ear always to the ground, Freeman had run across some similar cases.

Aretha's arrest had been months ago now. Her case was interesting and from Freeman's perspective potentially lucrative because her arresting officer wasn't a regular San Francisco policeman. Instead, he had been working for a company called WGP, Inc., which provided security services to businesses under a jurisdictional anomaly in San Francisco. In its vigilante heyday a century ago, the city found that its police department couldn't adequately protect the people who did business within its limits. Those folks asked the PD for more patrols, but there was neither budget nor personnel to accommodate them. So the city came up with a unique solution-it created and sold patrol "beats" to individuals who became private security guards for those beats. These beat holders, or Patrol Specials, then and now, were appointed by the police commissioner, trained and licensed by the city. The beat holders could, and did, hire assistants to help them patrol, and in time most Patrol Specials came to control their own autonomous armed force in the middle of the city. On his beat, a Patrol Special tended to be a law unto himself, subject only to the haphazard and indifferent supervision of the San Francisco Police Department. They and their assistants wore uniforms and badges almost exactly like those of the city police; they carried weapons and, like any other citizen, could make arrests.

Aretha LaBonte's arrest had occurred within the twelve-square-block area just south of Union Square known as Beat Thirty-two, or simply Thirty-two. It was one of six beats in the city owned by WGP, the corporate identity of a philanthropic businessman named Wade Panos. He had a total of perhaps ninety assistants on his payroll, and this, along with the amount of physical territory he patrolled, made him a powerful presence in the city.

Aretha's case was not the first misconduct that Freeman had run across in Panos's beats. In fact, Freeman's preliminary and cursory legwork, his "sniff test," revealed widespread allegations of assistant patrol specials' use of excessive force, planting of incriminating evidence, general bullying. If Hardy could get Aretha off on this one assistant patrol special's misconduct, and several of the other "sniff test" cases could be developed and drafted into legal causes of action, he and Freeman could put together a zillion dollar lawsuit against Panos. They could also include the regular police department as a named defendant for allowing these abuses to continue.

But at the moment, Hardy didn't exactly feel primed for the good fight. He brought his hand up and squeezed his temples, then exhaled slowly and completely. "It's not just a hooker case. It's going to get bigger, and delay doesn't help us. There's potentially huge money down the line, but first I've got to rip this witness a new one. If he goes down, we move forward. That's the plan."

"Which gang aft agley, especially if your brain's mush."

"It'll firm up. Pain concentrates the mind wonderfully. And I really want this guy."

"What guy?"

"The prosecution's chief witness. The arresting cop. Nick Sephia."

Suddenly Holiday sat upright. "Nick the Prick?" "Sounds right."

"What'd he do wrong this time?"

"Planted dope on my girl."

"Let me guess. She wasn't putting out for him or paying for protection, so he set her up."

"You've heard the song before?"

"It's an oldie but goodie, Diz. Everybody knows it."

"Who's everybody?"

A shrug. "The neighborhood. Everybody."

Suddenly Hardy was all business. He knew that Holiday owned a bar, the Ark, smack in the middle of Thirty-two. Knew it, hell, he'd closed the place the night before. But somehow he'd never considered Holiday as any kind of real source for potential complainants in the Panos matter. Now, suddenly, he did. "You got names, John? People who might talk to me? I've talked to a lot of folks in the neighborhood in the last couple of months. People might be unhappy, but nobody's saying anything too specific."

A little snort. "Pussies. They're scared."

"Scared of Wade Panos?"

Holiday pulled at the side of his mustache, and nodded slowly. "Yeah, sure, who else?"

"That's what I'm asking you." Hardy hesitated. "Look, John, this is what Freeman and I have been looking for. We need witnesses who'll say that things like this Sephia bust I'm doing today are part of a pattern that the city's known about and been tolerating for years. If you know some names, I'd love to hear them."

Holiday nodded thoughtfully. "I could get some, maybe a lot," he said. "They're out there, I'll tell you that." His eyes narrowed. "You know Nick's his nephew, don't you? Wade's."

"Panos's? So his own uncle fired him?"

"Moved him out of harm's way is more like it. Now he's working for the Diamond Center."

"And you're keeping tabs on him?"

"We've been known to sit at a table together. Poker."

"Which as your lawyer I must remind you is illegal. You beat him?"

A shrug. "I don't play to lose."

The Wednesday night game had been going on for years now in the back room of Sam Silverman's pawnshop on O'Farrell, a block from Union Square. There were maybe twenty regulars. You reserved your chair by noon Tuesday and Silverman held it to six players on any one night. Nobody pretended that it was casual entertainment among friends. Table stakes makes easy enemies, especially when the buy-in is a thousand dollars. Twenty white chips at ten bucks each, fifteen reds at twenty, and ten blues at fifty made four or five small piles that could go away in a hurry. Sometimes in one hand.

With his neat bourbon in a heavy bar glass, John Holiday sat in the first chair, to Silverman's left, and two chairs beyond him Nick Sephia now smoldered. He'd come in late an hour ago and had taken a seat between his regular companions, Wade's little brother, Roy Panos, and another Diamond Center employee named Julio Rez. The other two players at the table tonight were Fred Waring, a mid-forties black stockbroker, and Mel Fischer, who used to own four Nosh Shop locations around downtown, but was now retired.

At thirty or so, Sephia was the youngest player there. He was also, by far, the biggest-six-three, maybe 220, all of it muscle. While Silverman took the young Greek's money and counted out his chips, Sephia carefully hung the coat of his exquisitely tailored light green suit over the back of his chair. The blood was up in his face, the color in his cheeks raw beef, the scowl a fixture. He'd shaved that morning but his jawline was already blue with shadow. After he sat, he snugged his gold silk tie up under his Adam's apple, rage flowing off him in an aura.

The usual banter dried up. After a few hands during which no one said a word, Roy Panos pushed a cigar over in front of the late arrival. Holiday sipped his bourbon. Eventually Silverman, maybe hoping to ease the tension, called a bathroom break for himself, and Sephia lit up, blowing the smoke out through his nose. Waring and Fischer stood to stretch and pour themselves drinks. Holiday, quietly enjoying Sephia's pain, had a good idea of what was bothering him. Maybe the whiskey was affecting his judgment-it often did-but he couldn't resist. "Bad day, Nick?"

Sephia took a minute deciding whether he was going to talk about it. Finally, he shook his head in disgust. "Fucking lawyers. I spent half the day in court."

"Why? What'd you do?"

"What'd I do?" He blew smoke angrily. "I didn't do dick."

Roy Panos helped him with the explanation. "They suppressed his evidence on some hooker he brought in for dope a couple of months ago. Said he planted it on her."

"So?" Holiday was all sweet reason. "If you didn't, what's the problem?"

Sephia's dark eyes went to slits, his temper ready to flare at any indication that Holiday was having fun at his expense, but he saw no sign of it. "Guy made me look like a fucking liar, is the problem. Like I'm supposed to remember exactly what I did with this one whore? She's got junk in her purse; another one's got it in her handbag. Who gives a shit where it was? Or how it got there? It's there, she's guilty, end of story. Am I right?"

"Fuckin' A." Julio Rez, a medium-built Latino, spoke without any accent. All wires and nerves, he'd probably been a good base stealer in his youth. He'd lost the lower half of his left ear somewhere, but it didn't bother him enough to try to cover it with his hair, which was cropped short. "She goes down."

"But not today. Today they let her go." Panos spoke to Holiday. "They suppress the dope, there's no case."

"Were you down at court, too?"

Panos shook his head. "No, but Wade was. My brother? He is pissed off."

"Not at me, I hope," Sephia said.

Panos patted him on the arm. "No, no. The lawyers. Bastards."

"Why would your brother be mad at Nick?" Holiday sipped again at his tumbler of bourbon.

"He was working for him at the time, that's why. It makes Wade look bad. I mean, Nick's doing patrol for Christ sake. He busts a hooker, she ought to stay busted at least. Now maybe they start looking at the rest of the shop."

"Judge reamed my ass," Sephia said. "This prick lawyer-he had the judge talking perjury, being snotty on the record. 'I find the arresting officer's testimony not credible as to the circumstances surrounding the arrest.' Yeah, well, Mr. Hardy, you can bite me."

Holiday feigned surprise. "Hardy's my lawyer's name. Dismas Hardy?"

Now Sephia's glare was full on. "The fuck I know? But whatever it is, I see him again, he's going to wish I didn't."

"So he must have convinced them you did plant her?"

Rez shot a quick glance at Sephia. But Sephia held Holiday's eyes for a long beat, as though he was figuring something out. "She wasn't paying," he finally said, his voice filled with a calm menace. "Wade wanted her out of the beat. Most of the time that's intensive care. I figured I was doing the bitch a favor."

Dismas Hardy's wife, Frannie, cocked her head in surprise. They'd just sat down at a small Spanish place on Clement, not far from their house on Thirty-fourth Avenue. "You're not having wine?" she asked,

"Not tonight."

"Nothing to drink at all?"

"Just water. Water's good."

"You feel all right?"

"Fine. Sometimes I don't feel like drinking, that's all."

"Oh, that's right. I remember there was that time right after Vincent was born." Their son, Vincent, was now thirteen.

Continues...


Excerpted from THE FIRST LAW by JOHN LESCROART Copyright © 2003 by The Lescroart Corporation
Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 18 of 12 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 20, 2003

    Up There With John Grisham

    Waiting for John Lescroart new book was a well deserve wait. Another one of his books that will keep readers of his work on the edge of there seats. As always his characters come to life bringing with them love compassion and mystery. I place John Lescroart on top with John Grisham and Tami Hoag.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 25, 2014

    Although I enjoyed the book, the characters, the city of San Fra

    Although I enjoyed the book, the characters, the city of San Francisco, the l o n g d r a w n o u t c o n f l i c t of both Abe G. and D. Hardy over the moral correctness of following the law to the letter, even though their lives and the lives of their families were at stake was excessive and drawn out and I became exasperated with both of them. Make a righteous plan and go after the bad guys already. Only 2 stars.

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  • Posted November 1, 2010

    Recommended, really worth reading.

    "The First Law" is an interesting novel about corruption in all the wrong places. It delves into the options available to deal with gun-carrying, yet corrupt, public servants. It is everyone's worst nightmare to be surrounded by police officers and vigilantes that cannot be trusted to obey the law.
    I think this is a worthwhile book, covering subjects one should think about before confronting the situation themselves. Unfortunately, there are rotten people in every profession...but when they are in the medical field, the law enforcement field and religious organizations, it creates the worst anxieties in its victims. Lescroart's book makes you feel the tensions that are so real.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2008

    Great suspence thriller.

    I loved this book. I had not read any of the other Dismass Hardy books and now I plan and going back and reading all of the others.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2003

    Glitsky and Hardy Re-inact The OK Corral Battle

    In my estimation this is the best of Lescroart's novels. Even though he takes you to the edge of belief, he still makes you care about the characters. For example, you know about Dismas and Frannie's children(Rebecca and Vincent) but are still facinated to see that they are now teenagers! It was interesting to have the author finally draw Abe Glitsky's father, Nat,into the story for a change, making the death of his longtime friend, Sam Silvrman, the kickoff for most everything that occurs in the story (my friends and I have always had a crush on Abe Glitsky, no matter how gruff his personality and am glad he is married but we are still heartbroken!). Even though Nat pushes Abe into the murder investigation of his fried, they maintain a great father/son relationship. And,although it is indirect, as Frannie Hardy always warne her husband, Dismas, some of his troubled clients would endanger his family one day. And so it does in the form of the highly regarded Panos brothers. Truthfully, the bottom line is this, If John Lescroart doesn't return Abe Glitsky to the head of SFPD Homicide,(our reading group) won't continue to read his books. It is way too painful. Sorry.

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  • Posted December 9, 2008

    more from this reviewer

    great legal thriller

    It is a little known fact that some selected areas of San Francisco are policed by Patrol Specials, licensed private security specialists accountable to the SFPD. Wade Panos has six areas that he and his team patrol, but they are also into payola, shakedowns and when somebody gets in their way, they use intimidation tactics to get in his way. Pawn Shop dealer Sam Silverman couldn¿t afford their rates anymore and suddenly he is robbed and killed. The police led by the Patrol Special¿s tips are convinced that bar owner John Holiday and two of his friends are the guilty parties because Wade wants his shop and this is a cheap way to get it. John¿s lawyer is Dismas Hardy, who is bringing a civil suit against Wade and his men for brutality and intimidation. Dismas is threatened twice and he thinks Wade is behind the threats to him and his family. To obtain justice, he, his brother-in-law, Lt. Abe Glitsky, and John might have to go outside the law to see justice done. Make room John Grishan for John Lescroart as the new king of legal thrillers. THE FIRST LAW is full of action, seat-of-your pants suspense, and plenty of chilling scenes. The hero doesn¿t want to fight and even leans towards caving in when he and his family are threatened but in the end he stands for justice when the law doesn¿t work. Readers will definitely want to put this legal thriller in the keeper shelf. Harriet Klausner

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2012

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    Posted January 23, 2010

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    Posted May 18, 2011

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    Posted January 19, 2010

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    Posted September 5, 2011

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    Posted January 24, 2010

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    Posted February 9, 2011

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    Posted January 15, 2010

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    Posted June 17, 2011

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    Posted July 2, 2010

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    Posted January 28, 2010

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    Posted January 7, 2010

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 18 of 12 Customer Reviews

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