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Hard Evidence (Dismas Hardy Series #3)

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What is the novel Hard Evidence like? ... Imagine combining, say, Elmore Leonard/Ross McDonald with Scott Turow/Philip Friedman and one begins to get a sense of the flavor, the local color - San Francisco, in this case - the courtroom authenticity and a narrative that is altogether original, fresh and surprising at a hundred twists and turns. Assistant D.A. Dismas Hardy opens the belly of a dying shark and discovers the severed hand of a man wearing a jade ring. When the rest of the body of a Silicon Valley ...
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New York 1994 Mass-market paperback 11th Printing Good. No dust jacket as issued. The backstrip is creased and the corners are bent. A sticker is attached to the rear cover. The ... revers of the covers are age-toned. The text is clean and unmarked. Mass market (rack) paperback. Glued binding. 500 p. Audience: General/trade. Read more Show Less

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1994 Mass-market paperback Good in good dust jacket. Good Condition. Mass market (rack) paperback. Glued binding. 512 p. Audience: General/trade.

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Hard Evidence (Dismas Hardy Series #3)

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Overview

What is the novel Hard Evidence like? ... Imagine combining, say, Elmore Leonard/Ross McDonald with Scott Turow/Philip Friedman and one begins to get a sense of the flavor, the local color - San Francisco, in this case - the courtroom authenticity and a narrative that is altogether original, fresh and surprising at a hundred twists and turns. Assistant D.A. Dismas Hardy opens the belly of a dying shark and discovers the severed hand of a man wearing a jade ring. When the rest of the body of a Silicon Valley billionaire washes up on a beach it becomes clear that he was shot to death by someone he knew. Hardy soon finds himself the prosecutor in San Francisco's biggest murder trial. The defendant is a Japanese call girl with a long list of prominent clients, including the victim. But office politics intervene and Hardy is demoted to assisting the ambitious D.A. who wants the case for its headlines. In a bizarre series of developments, the case has to be dropped and Hardy, whom the D.A. has set up to look like a loose cannon, is summarily fired. Suddenly a second suspect - a man Hardy knows, respects and admires - is charged with the same murder, and hires Hardy who is more familiar with the case than anyone, as defense counsel. Now all Hardy has to contend with is an uncooperative client, the victim's strange and seductive daughter, a prejudiced judge and a vengeful, hostile prosecutor. Within the microcosm of not one but two murder trials, the author creates a brilliant mosaic of character and conflict, a world of real people wrestling with issues of love and betrayal, ambition and selflessness, justice and retribution.

The murder of a billionaire turns a prosecutor into a defense attorney when a superior court judge is charged with the murder. Combining the styles of Elmore Leonard and Scott Turow, John Lescroart's compelling trial narrative is fresh and original, constantly surprising the reader with its twists and turns. Fine.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In his third appearance, San Francisco bartender Dismas Hardy returns to the practice of law to star in a gripping courtroom drama that may well be Lescroart's breakthrough novel. After the severed hand of a murdered billionaire is discovered in a dead shark's stomach, Hardy ends up on the DA's team prosecuting the victim's Japanese mistress. She produces an airtight alibi just as the trial begins; Diz loses his job, and, in a bizarre twist, is hired to defend the second person accused of the crime, Andrew Fowler--who is not only his ex-father-in-law but was also the judge in the first trial. Diz's involvement with his beautiful ex-wife and the needs of his very pregnant current wife complicate his life, while doubts about his client's innocence and the antagonism demonstrated toward Fowler from both the prosecution and the bench put him at a disadvantage in court. A seemingly unimportant bit of testimony provides the clue that reveals the killer's identity and motivation. As always, Lescroart ( Dead Irish ; The Vig ) creates compelling, credible characters and, despite one or two unlikely coincidences, holds reader's attention through every step of the plot. 50,000 first printing; Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club selections. (Feb.)
Library Journal
A hand wearing a distinctive ring turns up in a shark's belly in San Francisco, and the rest of the body of a Silicon Valley billionaire washes up on the beach a short time later. Assistant D.A. Dismas Hardy, who appeared in Lescroart's Dead Irish (Donald I. Fine, 1990) and The Vig (Donald I. Fine, 1991), is assigned to prosecute an elite call girl for the murder. In a bizarre turn of events, Hardy is fired and ends up instead defending his former father-in-law, a Superior Court judge, against the murder charge. Suspecting a set-up, Dismas must thread his way through a maze of uncooperative witnesses, an outraged D.A., his ex-wife, an eager reporter, the victim's seductive daughter, and an openly biased judge to get to the truth. Lescroart blends an intricate plot, a great locale, wonderfully colorful characters, and taut courtroom drama to create a book that will leave readers eager for more. Highly recommended. Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club selections.-- Susan Clifford, Hughes Aircraft Co. Lib., Los Angeles
School Library Journal
YA-- From the moment a severed hand wearing a serpentine jade ring is found in the belly of a white shark, this murder case is emotionally, politically, and judicially tainted. Even after junior Assistant D. A. Dismas Hardy is forced into relinquishing the case to his superior, the ambitious Elizabeth Pullios, he finds himself in progressively more complex relationships with a seemingly unlimited string of murder suspects. First, the high-class Japanese mistress of the wealthy victim is caught trying to sneak out of the country with a note in her dead lover's handwriting promising her a million dollars. Then the powerful judge with the impeccable reputation hearing the case is found to be footing the bill for the mistress's defense. Finally, it is revealed that the possessive daughter of the victim had had a very unusual relationship with her father. YAs will devour this hefty book with its short chapters that fluidly move from pointed courtroom dialogue to ongoing investigation to complex personal intrigues, all driven by Hardy's idealism.-- Jessica Lahr, Edison High School, Fairfax County, VA
Wes Lukowsky
Dismas Hardy, the grief-stricken former district attorney turned bartender who first appeared in "The Vig" (1991) and "Dead Irish" (1990), returns with a new wife, a child, and his old job with the prosecutor's office. Pushing 40, Dis thought he'd paid his dues during his previous stint as a D.A., but now he's back at the low end of the totem pole, prosecuting small-time drug dealers, hookers, and other losers. He needs a case, a real case, to relaunch his career. It comes in the form of a hand in a dead shark's stomach. The hand is soon connected (figuratively, of course) to a recently murdered silicon-chip king. Here the novel turns Turowesque, with the plot bouncing effortlessly between the courtroom and the intraoffice battles among prosecutors. The ending Lescroart uses is becoming a cliche in crime novels, and astute readers will see it coming early on. Still, the writing is excellent, and the dialogue crackles. The Dismas Hardy series seems on the edge of a breakthrough to mass popularity. This could be the one that does it.
From Barnes & Noble
This crackling, authentically drawn courtroom drama finds San Francisco's assistant D.A. Dismas Hardy immersed in not one but two murder trials when he discovers the severed hand of a billionaire inside the belly of a dying shark & later represents the murder suspect.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780804112758
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 5/1/1994
  • Series: Dismas Hardy Series , #3
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: REISSUE
  • Pages: 500
  • Product dimensions: 4.17 (w) x 6.87 (h) x 1.21 (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

Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 9 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 14 of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 10, 2008

    A reviewer

    Who did it aswk this great author. Ive read everything and liked everything he has done. Great writers dont come any better than this. Fantastic beginning, a fine middle and wow a bang up ending to finish the great book. I like the style.

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 9, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    I enjoyed this book... kept me interested throughout. Dismas, Ab

    I enjoyed this book... kept me interested throughout. Dismas, Abe, Frannie and othes have become like old friends and I am interested in what
    happens to them. I am definitely hooked on this series and  will eagerly read the next one!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 22, 2014

    Great Read enjoy the ride!

    Dismas hardy is a great character with a black and white sense of right and wrong. A believable thriller with excellent courtroom drama. The fast paced story line flows to an excellent can't figure it out conclusion. Good read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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