The Ophelia Cut (Dismas Hardy Series #14)

( 31 )

Overview

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 twenty-three-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 ...

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The Ophelia Cut (Dismas Hardy Series #14)

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Overview

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 twenty-three-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 twenty-four 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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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble

First, Dismas Hardy's precious niece is raped; then less than a day later her rapist is murdered and her father becomes the prime suspect in his murder. Hardy agrees to defend him, but his volatile, alcoholic brother-in-law only seems to be adding fuel to the prosecution fires. In hardcover, this courtroom drama has been praised as a significant installment in the defense attorney's ever-evolving story. Now in mass-market paperback and NOOK Book.

Publishers Weekly
In bestseller Lescroart’s engrossing 17th legal thriller featuring San Francisco DA Dismas Hardy (after 2010’s Damage), Hardy’s niece, Brittany McGuire, a recent college grad, has the misfortune to date paralegal Rick Jessup. The despicable Jessup rapes her one night after she breaks off their relationship. When Jessup is found bludgeoned to death in his apartment the next day, all the evidence points to Brittany’s alcoholic father, Moses McGuire. The prosecution appears to have the case handed to them on a platter after McGuire drunkenly admits that Jessup deserved his fate, and Hardy must suppress his own doubts as he assumes McGuire’s defense. Hardy races against the clock to find out whether Jessup’s shady dealings with San Francisco politicians may lead to another vigilante with a secret of his own. Some necessary backstory weighs down the momentum at first, but the pace picks up after several 11th-hour revelations. Author tour. Agent: Barney Karpfinger, Karpfinger Agency. (May)
Brad Thor
" Smart, riveting, and utterly compelling, The Ophelia Cut has an incredible cast of characters from whom you will not want to depart...hands-down the best legal thriller I have read in years and a perfect case study for why readers love the brilliant John Lescroart. ”
M.J. Rose
“An amazing page-turner, emotional, significant and suspenseful. Lescroart has written his most gripping novel to date, one which sets a new standard.
William Kent Krueger
"Nothing short of magic, dark and delicious. The Ophelia Cut is the work of a master at the top of his game."
Gayle Lynds
“Bristling with red-hot suspense, The Ophelia Cut is the roller-coaster ride of a lifetime... You'll love this book."
From the Publisher
" Smart, riveting, and utterly compelling, The Ophelia Cut has and an incredible cast of characters from whom you will not want to depart...hands-down the best legal thriller I have read in years and a perfect case study for why readers love the brilliant John Lescroart. ”

“[A] tense and intricate tale. . . Lescroart is a master of legal suspense. . . The Ophelia Cut will be remembered more as a literary endeavor in the vein of Scott Turow than anything Lescroart has done.”

"Nothing short of magic, dark and delicious. The Ophelia Cut is the work of a master at the top of his game."

“Bristling with red-hot suspense, The Ophelia Cut is the roller-coaster ride of a lifetime... You'll love this book."

“An amazing page-turner, emotional, significant and suspenseful. Lescroart has written his most gripping novel to date, one which sets a new standard.

“Lescroart is a master at building tension to a complicated climax that will satisfy both old and new readers alike.

Associated Press Staff
“[A] tense and intricate tale. . . Lescroart is a master of legal suspense. . . The Ophelia Cut will be remembered more as a literary endeavor in the vein of Scott Turow than anything Lescroart has done.”
The Florida Times-Union
“Lescroart is a master at building tension to a complicated climax that will satisfy both old and new readers alike.
Providence Journal
"A nail-biting suspense yarn that's not to be missed."
Library Journal
Fans of Dismas Hardy will welcome this 14th outing in Lescroart’s legal series. ed in 1989’s Dead Irish as a 38-year-old, between careers and between marriages. Now, at 60, he’s a respected, successful San Francisco attorney. With their children grown, he and wife Frannie have begun to explore their new life as empty-nesters. But before Hardy evFrancisco attorney. With their children grown, he and wife Frannie ha new fitness regimen, a disturbing case presents itself when Frannie’s brother, Moses McGuire, is charged with murder. The victim is Rick Jessup, a disreputable political aide who at one time had unsuccessfully pursued McGuire’s beautiful daughter, Brittany. Not only must Hardy and his old pal police detective Abe Glitsky sift through the conflicting evidence that surfaces about Jessup, but they’re forced to deal with recovering alcoholic McGuiagon, which threatens to reveal the long-kept secret that could end the careers of Dismas and Abe.

Verdict Like wine, both Lescroart and Hardy have improved with age. Don’t let readers miss this one. [See Prepub Alert, 11/12/12.]—Nancy McNicol, Hamden P.L., CT
(cpyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Library Journal - Audio
Lescroart (Damage; Betrayal) returns to familiar but popular ground with his latest San Francisco–set thriller. When the cruel and politically connected rapist of defense attorney Dismas Hardy’s niece is killed, Hardy takes the case to defend his off-the-wagon brother-in-law, Moses McGuire, of the man’s murder. As Hardy gets to work on the thorny task of defense, secrets are revealed and the story gets really interesting. The plot is complex and at times exciting. The narration by noted reader David Colacci is solid in its cadence and with his use of accents.

Verdict Recommended for fiction collections, especially where previous titles in the series have been popular. [The Atria: S. & S. hc was a New York Times best seller.—Ed.]—Scott R. DiMarco, Mansfield Univ. of Pennsylvania
(c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Reviews
Six years after an impromptu conspiracy locked San Francisco lawyer Dismas Hardy and several of his best buds into a coverup (A Plague of Secrets, 2009), the whole shooting match is threatened when one of the conspirators, Hardy's brother-in-law, Moses McGuire, is arrested for murder. Rick Jessup, chief of staff to Liam Goodman of the Board of Supervisors, is quite the ladies' man, or at least he thinks so. When he visits the massage parlors run by Goodman's regular contributor Jon Lo, he has enough confidence to leave without paying, sometimes after beating the young women who've been keeping him company. The morning after he sleeps with Moses' daughter Brittany, he obtusely teases her about her sexual experience, and after she walks out, he's so unwilling to take no for an answer that their next encounter ends with her in the emergency room. So Moses takes it on himself to beat up Jessup and threaten him with worse. When someone kills Jessup two months later, police chief Vi Lapeer, under pressure from Goodman to make an arrest, does an end run around District Attorney Wes Farrell and homicide chief Lt. Abe Glitsky, going directly to two homicide inspectors and a sympathetic judge to sew up the arrest. It's all politically motivated, just as you'd expect from Lescroart (The Hunter, 2012, etc.). But Hardy's defense of Moses, his partner in the Little Shamrock Bar, is just as politically implicated, since he and Glitsky and Hardy's law partner, Gina Roake, all share a compelling personal reason to keep Moses from going back to the bottle or unburdening himself to the cops. A New York cop, placed in the witness protection program so that he can testify against the guys who hired him as a killer, puts just a little more spin on what's already a dizzyingly complex case. Lots of great scenes shoehorned into a story that seems uncertain how to mix its social commentary and courtroom drama with the regulars' continuing soap opera.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781480596672
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio
  • Publication date: 3/18/2014
  • Series: Dismas Hardy Series , #14
  • Format: CD
  • Edition description: Unabridged
  • Sales rank: 836,081
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 5.50 (h) x 1.12 (d)

Meet the Author

John T. Lescroart

John Lescroart is the author of twenty-four previous novels (sixteen New York Times bestsellers), including The 13th Juror, Damage, The Hunter, and The Ophelia Cut. His books have sold more than 10 million copies and have been translated into twenty-two languages in seventy-five countries. He lives 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 Ophelia Cut


  • ANTHONY XAVIER RICCI never set an alarm clock because he never needed one. When his eyes opened in the darkened room after a fifteen-minute afternoon nap, he didn’t move for a couple of minutes, letting full consciousness creep up on him. The clock next to his bed read 4:30.

Ricci was thirty-one years old and after eight years in the NYPD, a sergeant. He lived alone in the basement of a beautiful brownstone in Brooklyn. A couple of windows up front by the sidewalk let in a good amount of light and kept his spacious living room from feeling like a cellar. Ricci was proud of his place and kept it pin neat. Over the past three years, he had accumulated some very nice things: a Persian carpet in bright yellows and blues, and several strikingly colorful, contemporary paintings that were already worth more than he’d paid for them. He’d also bought a brown leather sofa, two low, modern armchairs, and an antique wood marble-topped coffee table. On the wall opposite the paintings, built-in bookshelves held his library, his CDs and collection of LPs, a turntable and a pair of out-of-date but excellent JBL speakers, and a large flat-screen TV. Not many of New York’s Finest lived so comfortably at his age.

In the back half of the apartment, he’d recently redone the kitchen—stainless steel stove and refrigerator and granite countertops. A high-tech wine cooler that held thirty-six bottles hummed quietly next to the sink. Abutting the kitchen was the bedroom, where he was just opening his eyes.

He’d needed the nap. The previous night he’d been out with about twenty other cops, dinner at Mario’s to celebrate the retirement of Captain Greg Sheppard, his boss in Vice for the last five years, and a well-liked figure in the department. They’d closed the bar at 4 A.M., and then this morning Ricci had been up at dawn for his weekly seven-mile run, after which he’d done his laundry, picked up his dry cleaning, done some grocery shopping, had lunch with his cousin Victor and Victor’s wife, Bette. But he had big plans tonight as well—some business and then dinner at home and perhaps bed for the first time with the lovely Andrea Bernardi, whom he’d been seeing for a month; she was coming over at 8:00. The nap was a hedge against fatigue.

He showered, shaved, weighed himself—rock steady at 180. In ten minutes, he was dressed in Dockers, tennis shoes, a Knicks sweatshirt against the light September chill. He’d also be grabbing his bulkier generic gray hoodie before he ventured out, and a knit cap to pull down over his hair, cover his ears, though not so much for the cold.

Sitting on his bed, he turned his cell phone back on and on a whim decided to take a look at his photo stream. In a minute he’d traveled back six months and was staring at a picture he’d taken of Teri Wright, a fellow cop and former girlfriend.

A twinge of regret seeped into his consciousness. What had he been thinking when he let her go? Andrea was a beauty, sure, with a fragile Anne Hathaway look about her. But all of his past girlfriends were beauties—it was the Golden Age of the single straight man; the pickings were endless.

Teri, even among the stiff competition, was still near the very top. Now he stared at her smiling face on the screen of his phone. Much more Scarlett Johansson than Anne Hathaway, with a sexual energy and vibe that was even more powerful because of her maturity. Andrea wasn’t yet twenty-five, still with (he guessed) a lot to learn; Teri was thirty-two and, from his experience, had pretty much mastered it all. And there had been a sweetness to it, too, combined with an ability to laugh at herself. And to make him laugh, which was much more rare.

Ricci was a serial monogamist; in general, he loved the chase and the first few weeks, sometimes even months, of sexual intimacy, but after a while the excitement and desire, even with a Teri Wright, always tended to pale. He told himself that that was just who he was. He usually didn’t worry about it, although now flipping back through some more pictures of Teri—that topless monokini shot when they’d been on their weekend at Turks and Caicos . . .

Lord.

He felt the beginnings of arousal.

Maybe he should call Teri again. It hadn’t been the easiest breakup—lots of tears and anger, but there was no way she could deny the chemistry they’d shared. What about their true love? The commitment they’d talked about? That breakup day came back to him now; it had been pretty ugly.

Nevertheless, he thought it was entirely possible he could get her back. He could just give it a little more time, let things play out with Andrea over a couple more months, then give Teri a call. She’d no doubt be resistant at first, but he was confident he could wear her down. It was definitely an idea. Let time work its healing magic, then move in.

Shaking himself from his reverie—he had work to do, after all—he got out of the photo stream, left the phone facedown on his bedside table, grabbed his hoodie, and headed out.

RICCI KEPT A small storage locker about five blocks from his house. There were perhaps eighty units in a low-rise brick building at the back end of a public parking lot—$8 ALL DAY!—although on a Saturday evening at a little past 5:00, the lot held only three cars. With his key, he unlocked the left-hand side door and let himself into the building. Turning on the overhead lights, he walked about a third of the way down to his locker. As usual, there wasn’t a soul in the place.

After working the combinations both on his own Master Lock and a built-in dial on the locker itself, he had the door open. Inside, the contents of the four shelves were arranged as neatly as he kept things in his home. The top shelf held a shoebox full of hundred-dollar bills—$33,700 worth. He kept the exact updated count of deposits and withdrawals on a lined sheet of paper taped to the inside of the door. On the next shelf, he kept stored several boxes of ammunition and one of surgical latex gloves. The bottom two shelves held the guns—some registered (not to him, of course) and some not, of several different calibers and makes—that he’d picked up in the course of his work over the years. Seven, all told.

Moving quickly, he pulled out his new favorite, a Ruger LCR revolver—five .357 Mag rounds and a barrel under two inches for easy concealment. Flipping open the cylinder, he slid the bullets home, snapped everything back into place. Five rounds were plenty. Hell, one was plenty for his needs, but he generally took two shots for certainty. If he needed more than five, he’d probably wind up dead.

Putting the gun in his hoodie’s front pouch, he grabbed a couple of latex gloves, checked the shoebox for luck, just to see that the pile of bills looked all right. Checking both ways one more time, seeing no one, he closed the locker, twisted the first dial, and hooked in his own Master Lock.

JAMES DI MARCO didn’t want to let the summer get away without one last barbecue. Now here it was, the last weekend in September, and the forecast next week was rain, possibly sleet, the temp going down to the thirties. So yesterday he’d bought four fat rib eyes and started them marinating soon after he’d woken up this morning. They were going to be outstanding.

The Weber was perfuming the entire Coney Island neighborhood with the smell of cooking meat, while James and Carla and the Jensens from down the street sat out in the backyard with their second pitcher of margaritas. Everyone was in slacks and sweaters, but nobody was cold. The sun wouldn’t be setting for at least another half hour, and they had positioned themselves to enjoy its last rays.

At forty-five, improbable as it was, James felt that his life had turned around at last. He didn’t kid himself that this was through his own efforts, although he had learned how to play the game better, learned how to take advantage of opportunities he routinely couldn’t identify when he’d been younger. He wasn’t part of Mr. Tedeschi’s inner circle, of course, and not being related by blood, probably never could be. But he’d worked his way up as Mr. Tedeschi had transitioned out of the stolen goods and drug business to an emphasis on the flesh trade, from driver and deliveryman to manager of an entire block of apartments, a euphemism for massage parlors, in Queens.

And this was where James had begun to realize the bonus that Mr. Tedeschi had made available to him. It was simplicity itself, and though he knew that technically it was skimming, certainly as sins went it was more or less venial: reporting just a little less than he actually collected from the girls, he’d been doing it so long and so successfully now that he’d come to believe that Mr. Tedeschi actually, albeit tacitly, condoned it. This was how his lieutenants augmented their earnings, improved their lifestyles, and he didn’t begrudge them for it. Over the years, the additional income had allowed James to keep Carla happy with a yearly cruise, some nice jewelry, and, perhaps most of all, this second house a few blocks from the beach.

Out in the backyard, he heard the front doorbell ring. Tipping up the last sip of his margarita, he stood up from his chair, put his glass on the patio table, and asked, “Anybody want anything while I’m up?”

From the hallway, he could make out the outline of the caller through the glass of the front door. The sun was low and glaringly bright behind the man’s figure, but as he got closer, James saw that it was a friendly-looking, young white guy. Opening the door and squinting in the sunlight, James said, “Help you?”

“I sure hope so,” the young man said, flashing a winning smile. “Sorry to bother you, but I’m looking for James Di Marco.”

“You found him.”

Still smiling, he said, “Mr. Tedeschi says to tell you, ‘Thou Shalt Not Steal.’ ”

In an instant, Joe’s face started to go dark with fear, and also with understanding.

Ricci didn’t hesitate. “Oh, one last thing,” he said, pulling the Ruger out and up. In one smooth motion, he stuck it under James Di Marco’s chin and pulled the trigger twice.

FORTY-FIVE MINUTES LATER, the gun locked away in his storage unit, the surgical gloves and the spent cartridges thrown into a trash container in the subway station on the way back, Ricci went down the four steps leading to his apartment, took out his key, inserted it into the lock, and started to push open the door.

The minute he turned the knob, a pair of strong hands took hold of him from behind and pushed him forward into the door, which slammed open in front of him, and then he was thrown down onto the floor, his face into the Persian rug, three men holding him down. When he stopped struggling after only a few seconds—resistance was obviously useless—a calm and measured voice said, “There’s four of us here and we’re all armed and very dangerous, Tony. You are, by the way, under all kinds of arrest. But we’re really here to talk to you, which would be easier and so much more pleasant if you were sitting up. You think you want to do that?”

Ricci raised his head and saw a man sitting at his kitchen table with an open bottle of wine and a couple of glasses in front of him, one of them half-filled. “Sure,” he said, “I’ll sit up. Let’s talk.”

“No funny stuff.” The man reached under his jacket and showed a gun. “No kidding.”

“I get it.”

“Good.” The man nodded to his comrades, and the pressure behind him went away. “One of you get the door, please.”

Ricci slowly got to his feet. He looked around, and sure enough, there were three other guys, all about his size, complete professionals. “What do you want?” he asked the man at the table.

“Have a seat,” the guy said, indicating the other kitchen chair.

“Who the fuck are you?”

The man broke a tight smile. “Oh, yeah, the introductions.” He dug into his pocket and pulled out a wallet, which he opened to reveal a badge. “We’re a little posse of federal marshals, Tony. My name is Frank Ladoux, and I predict that you and I are going to be good friends for a long time. Please, have a seat. Can I pour you a little wine? You’re going to want, maybe need, something to drink pretty soon, I expect.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

Ladoux tsked. “Tony, please. A little respect.” He leaned forward, picked up the wine bottle, and filled the bottom of Ricci’s glass. “Come on, take a sip. It’s your bottle after all. It’ll make you feel better.”

Ricci picked up the glass and drank. “Okay, now what?”

“Now you’re going to tell us how much you know about Martin Tedeschi.”

Ricci hesitated, scanned the kitchen, came back to Ladoux. “He’s a wine collector and business guy out in the Hamptons. He throws a lot of parties.”

“Parties where you’ve provided security.”

Ricci nodded. “Sometimes. So what? Half the force moonlights.”

“Maybe they do, but they don’t usually become pals with their hosts, do they?”

“I’m not pals with Tedeschi.”

“No?”

“No. If that’s what this is about, you got the wrong guy.”

Ladoux shook his head. “You disappoint me, Tony. You’re a cop. You know what it’s like to make an arrest. You don’t do it without preparation and evidence up the ass. Isn’t that right? So here we are, a team of four—and believe me, the team is much bigger than that—and you’re acting like you think we don’t have everything we need and then some. Of course we do. You’re done, dude. You have only two ways to go: one, you roll over on Mr. Tedeschi or, two, starting tonight you go to jail for the rest of your natural life, which won’t be too long.”

Ladoux poured himself a glass of wine, took a sip, and put the glass down. “Listen, you are the break we’ve been looking for for at least two years. We know you’re majorly connected to Tedeschi. We’ve got pictures, we’ve got tapes, videos, you name it. We know you’ve been working for him for five years and know everybody who’s anybody in his organization. We’re going to want you to testify against these people so we can put them away where they belong.”

Ricci barked a laugh. “And, even assuming that what you think you know is true, I’m going to do this why?”

“Because otherwise . . . I thought I’d made this clear . . . otherwise, you’re in prison forever.”

“For what?”

Again, Ladoux shook his head, smiling. “I’ll be honest with you, Tony. We don’t know for sure yet how many people you’ve hit, although the deposit list on the door of your locker ought to give us some leads on timing.” Ladoux nodded. “The locker? Oh, yeah, we know about that. In fact, we got its contents in evidence right now, collected by my colleagues right after you left, oh, about twenty minutes ago.”

Stalling for time, Ricci picked up his glass and drank up its contents.

“Here. Let’s pour you some more of that. I’ve got your attention now, don’t I? We were talking about the number of people you’ve hit, and the good news for us is we don’t need a lot of bodies. We just need one.”

“You’re saying you’ve got proof I’ve killed people?”

“Honestly, Tony, I’d have to call it an embarrassment of riches.”

“Because I have a locker?”

“It’s more what’s in the locker, but that’s a start. Seven guns that’ll match ballistics with who knows how many dead people. Thirty grand plus in cash. Ammo.” Ladoux held up his hand. “Now, I know what you’re thinking. That it’s all circumstantial. There’s probably no record you even rent that locker. Except we’ve been filming it round the clock for the past four months, and it’s pretty obvious it’s yours.”

Ricci sat back. “I want to talk to a lawyer.”

Ladoux clucked. “Shit, Tony, I’m giving you a chance to live here, and you’re pissing about finding yourself a lawyer. You get a lawyer and go to jail to await your trial and Mr. Tedeschi has you killed in your cell. I promise you this will happen, and you know it’s true. So let’s stop this nonsense talk about lawyers. I am offering to protect you forever. You testify for us and then you start a new life. You don’t get that?”

But Ricci crossed his arms and sat back in his chair. “I never killed anybody. I want a lawyer.”

Ladoux looked over at his colleagues, who’d found themselves seats in the living room. “Can you believe this guy?” He reached into his pocket pulled out a cell phone, came back to Ricci. “It’s amazing the clarity you can get with the video on these things, Tony. Take a look at this. No, come in closer. Get a look.”

U.S. Marshal Ladoux pushed a button and the screen came up. Ricci saw himself walking along a sidewalk. With a rush of blood in his ears, he realized that this was the block where James Di Marco lived. He watched himself stop at the front gate, walk up the short little path, knock at the front door. He waited, the door opened, and then the camera zoomed in on him and Di Marco. Ladoux was right. The clarity of the zoom was excellent.

Ricci couldn’t take his eyes off the screen. It seemed to take forever, though he knew that the whole thing hadn’t lasted thirty seconds. There was a moment of discussion, then he pulled the gun and stuck it under Di Marco’s chin. In his kitchen chair, his whole body reacted with a jerk at the clearly audible reports of the gun as Di Marco went down.

Turning away now, they got Ricci directly facing the camera, his face nearly filling the screen. Out of zoom, finally, he broke into a lazy jog.

Dumbstruck, Ricci shook his head in disbelief. “You had a guy tailing me?”

“Tony, we’ve had a dozen people tailing you round the clock for the past four months. I told you, this is a big operation and you’re in the middle of it. When the word got out you were at your locker earlier, we kicked it up to high gear, and, I must say, you didn’t disappoint.”

“You just shot the video knowing what was coming down? Thinking I was going to do the guy? When you could have stopped me and saved his life? What kind of fucking guys are you?”

“I told you, we’re fucking serious guys. Really. Any one of us. And we needed you to actually shoot the poor fucker. You can understand that, I’m sure.” The marshal sipped wine and tsked again. “Hey. Get over it. The world’s a tough place. Whoever he was probably deserved it. And we got what we needed, too. That’s what counts.”

Ricci came forward, poured himself more wine, drank half of it. His hands were shaking.

“So look,” Ladoux said, “let’s cut the bullshit about how you never killed anybody. We got you killing somebody. You’re going down for this, unless you want to play ball with us. And I mean you’re going down now.”

Ricci reached again for the wine. “How’d you get on to me? You mind if I ask?”

“You remember you dated Teri Wright? A fellow police officer.”

“Shit. Teri?”

“Maybe you want to let ’em down easier in the future. She was a little bitter. And then she got to thinking about all the great stuff you’ve got around this place, all the extra money you had all the time. It got her thinking with her cop’s brain. Where was all that coming from? And, of course, she also knew about you moonlighting for Tedeschi. She knows that you’re working in Vice; she knows he’s running lots of girls. It all started to fit—she didn’t know exactly how—but she came to us.” He spread his hands in low-key triumph. “And then there was today.”

“So what do we do now?”

“Well, I’m afraid now you disappear.”

“Just like that?”

“Pretty much. We get you out of here tonight, right now, and into a safe environment, and then we get your initial testimony and get you set up in a new place with your new identity. And then when we need you to come back in to testify, you’re available for us. A case this size, it might be years. In the meantime, you got a life.”

“What about after I testify?”

“That is up to you, but you’ll probably want to stay in the program.”

“Forever?”

“Up to forever. But it’s your choice. You got family? Relatives?”

“No. Couple of cousins, but nobody especially close.”

“That ought to make it easier, the choice I mean.”

“And you set me up with a new identity, just like that?”

“Couldn’t be easier. I’ll show you. What’s the name of this wine we’ve been drinking? It’s delicious.”

“Solaia,” said Ricci. “It’s Italian. Wine of the year a few years ago in Wine Spectator.”

Ladoux put his finger into his wineglass and motioned Ricci to come in closer to him. “Anthony Xavier Ricci,” he said, touching his wine-soaked finger to Ricci’s forehead. “I hereby christen you Tony Solaia. Where do you think you want to live from now on?”

Tony Solaia reflected for a moment, then nodded and said, “I’ve heard good things about San Francisco.”

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 3.5
( 31 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(8)

4 Star

(15)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

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1 Star

(4)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 31 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 31, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Big Disappointment

    I have always loved every book I've read by Lescroart, but this one was slow and boring. Tedious read. I finally gave up and put the book away when I was a little more than halfway through. Too much verbage that accomplished little. Skip this one.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 29, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    I love books by this author ... except this one. When an author

    I love books by this author ... except this one. When an author ruminates to the extent this one does, you know you're in trouble. Usually, his books are wonderful but not this one.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 22, 2013

    Lousy Book

    I DO NOT RECOMMEND! This books starts slow you have to force yourself to continue and the ending leaves you up in the air. Do not wast your money

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 19, 2013

    After waiting four years for another Dismas Hardy book, I was ea

    After waiting four years for another Dismas Hardy book, I was eager to dive into The Ophelia Cut. It enthralled me and kept me up many hours past my bedtime for several nights. Unfortunately I did find some of the plot much less tightly woven than his usual thrilling novels. The ending was extremely disappointing and left me wondering "wait a minute, what just happened here. Did I miss something?" Now I guess I will have to wait another four years to figure out what really happened and by then I will probably have forgotten all of the characters!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2013

    Really enjoyed thi

    I enjoyed the book, especially the courtroom cenes. I especially like the fa t that the characters seem like real, fallible human beings. I hope their will be more Dismas Hardy books.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 14, 2014

    Great read

    One of the best books I have read in a long time. Linda Lange

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2013

    Recommend

    I love all the Dismas Hardy books, but I was a little disappointed with the ending of this one.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 25, 2013

    One of my favourite American writers...

    I've read all his books so the characters are like old friends.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2013

    Not up to standard

    I am always anxious to read a new John Lescroart novel, but this one let me down a bit. As usual, it was well written, but the plot dragged. Blind alleys are good in suspense novels, but this one kept going back to the same alley. The two cousins were necessary to the story, but too much time was spent on their mixed up love lives. Was the whole thing with the witness protected cop necessary? I had most of it figured before the end, except for the revenge seeking mom. One not familiar with the Dismas Hardy novels could easily get lost in the spider web of relations and relationships.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 23, 2013

    Great, as always.

    Dismas Hardy has become a family friend. He is always growing and maturing.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 24, 2013

    John Lescoart's Dismas Hardy/Abe Glitsky legal thrillers are the

    John Lescoart's Dismas Hardy/Abe Glitsky legal thrillers are the best in the genre. Nobody creates characters better than John Lescroat. The Ophelia Cut was a great novel. It was so fun to re-engage with Dismas, Abe, Wyatt, Gina, Frannie and all the great characters from novel's past. As usual the plot was thrilling with some great courtroom drama and challenging dilemmas for the characters. I can't believe people gave this great book a "1" rating. Buy it now. You won't be sorry.

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  • Posted July 3, 2013

    Great writing/superb storyline

    'Dis' Hardy stories are involved, have lots of character conflicts, and twists in the narrative, but are very satisfying as they are well thought out.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2013

    do a movie and have time warner to broad cast it it will do grea

    do a movie and have time warner to broad cast it it will do great....07/01/13

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 9, 2013

    Not bad.

    You've gotta love Dismas Hardy. The ending was a bit strange, but a good read.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 3, 2013

    Highly recommended, I always reading his books.

    A real good book, plenty of action from the beginning of the book. I always enjoy reading John Lescroart's books. I highly recommend his books to everyone. I give this book a four star rating.

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  • Posted May 31, 2013

    Highly recommend

    Like all his other Dismas Hardy books, this one was hard to put down. My only disappointment is that there was no closure at the end and you have to come to your own conclusion about who actually did it! Hope I don't have to wait as long for the next Dismas Hardy book.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 26, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted June 16, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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