by John Lescroart

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From New York Times bestseller John Lescroart comes an explosive look at the seductive power of revenge and the terrible costs of justice. 

The Curtlees are a powerful force in San Francisco, unscrupulous billionaires who've lined every pocket in the Bay Area in pursuit of their own ascent. So when the family's heir, Ro Curtlee, was convicted of rape and murder of a servant girl in the family home, the fallout against those responsible was swift and uncompromising. The jury foreman was fired from his job and blacklisted. The lead prosecutor was pushed off a career fast track. And head homicide detective Abe Glitsky was reassigned to the police department's payroll office.
Then Ro's lawyers win him a retrial, and he’s released. Within 24 hours, a fire kills the original trial's star witness, her abused remains discovered in the ashes. When a second fire claims a participant in the case, Abe is convinced that Ro is out for revenge. But with no hard evidence and an on-the-take media eager to vilify any challenger, Abe finds himself in the crosshairs, wondering how much more he can sacrifice in the name of justice.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780451235428
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 01/03/2012
Pages: 480
Sales rank: 313,424
Product dimensions: 4.34(w) x 8.46(h) x 1.06(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

John Lescroart is the New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty-five novels including the Dismas Hardy series. He lives in Northern California.


El Macero, California

Date of Birth:

January 14, 1948

Place of Birth:

Houston, Texas


B.A. in English with Honors, UC Berkeley, 1970

Read an Excerpt


Felicia Nuñez saw him standing up against a building across the street from the stop where she normally got off her streetcar. With her heart suddenly pounding in her ears, she turned away from the streetcar door as it opened and sat down on one of the side-facing benches just at the front across from the driver.

As the car started up again, passing him, she caught another glimpse of him out of the corner of her eye.

Or maybe it was him. It looked very much like him. His hair maybe a little different, longer, from the last time she’d seen him in the courtroom, but the same attitude in the way he stood. He had one boot propped up against the building, his strong white arms crossed over his chest.

She knew why he was there. He was waiting. Waiting for her.

Back then she used to see him everywhere, even though her mind had known that he could not find her. She’d been in witness protection. No one even knew where she’d lived. So there was no way in reality that it could happen. And yet for a year or two, she thought she saw him every day.

But today?

This time it was exactly him. Most of the other times, whoever she saw reminded her of him—the hair, the arms, the set of the body. But today was all him, not a collection of similar parts that, in her terror, she could imagine into the monster that he was.

At the next stop she descended out into the neighborhood and heard the streetcar’s door close behind her and then the brakes release and then the scraping sound as it moved ahead and left her standing alone at the curb.

She did not like to spend extra money and knew she could make a cup of coffee for free at home, but he might still be there lurking and if he saw her, he might, or he would…

She could not imagine.

No. She could imagine.

She went into the Starbucks and ordered a coffee—half an hour’s work at the cleaners where she was lucky to have a job, but she needed to sit quietly and to think, and also to give him time to leave if he was really waiting there to see her.

How could he have found her?

She took a seat at the front window where she could see him if he suddenly appeared among the pedestrians passing by.

The first sip scalded her tongue and the pain seemed to break something within her. She put her paper cup down and blinked back the wave of emotion that threatened now to break over her.

Bastardo! she thought. The life-destroying bastard.

In her mind, she was eighteen again.

Excerpt from DAMAGE © 2010 by John Lescroart. Published by Dutton, A Member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc. Excerpted with permission from the publisher. All Rights Reserved.

Customer Reviews

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Damage 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 186 reviews.
markpsadler More than 1 year ago
Lescroart churns out his twenty-second novel with the ferocity of a mother lion defending her cub, and indeed she is. Mrs. Curtlee's boy Ro has been tried for the rape and murder of the family maid and seeing as the Curtlee's own the local newspaper and had a lot to do with getting the new District Attorney elected, they want to get their unjustly-punished son out of jail. Wes Farrell, the new DA is still getting his feet wet in San Francisco politics and allows a little infl uence to go a long way. As soon as Ro is out of jail, the bodies start turning up. One of the two witnesses who originally helped convict him is brutally murdered and her home burned, as is the wife of the lead juror who put him away. Ro has cojones, showing up at the home of lead homicide detective, Abe Glitsky, just to give him some of the same harassment the police are handing out. Is he that brazen or is it an attempt to make the police believe he really is innocent, nothing to hide? When a lead investigator, who is following Ro shows up with a bullet in his head, the police decide enough is enough and do everything in their power to get Ro back in jail, before he kills the last witness standing. Lescroart does a great job in casting suspicions to make you think perhaps a copy-cat rapist is at work. He shows the reader several out and out truths that the police are yet to discover, leaving his audience a step ahead, creating a sense of urgency as we hope that they will pick up on the clues before it's too late. We find out that like a leopard, Ro just can't change his spots, and after raping another household maid a week after getting his new-found freedom, Lescroart leads us down a coiling path that leaves you gasping, as twist after twist are unraveled in the end.
harstan More than 1 year ago
Ro Curtlee serves ten years of his sentence for the rape and murder of a family housekeeper Dolores Sandoval. However, due to the constant pressure of his affluent family, the Ninth District Appeals Court orders a new trial. His wealthy parents post a million dollar bond that bails him out of jail as he awaits a retrial. Curtlee quickly goes to work murdering a witness who testified against him. He threatens to harm the family of San Francisco Police Homicide Chief Abe Glitsky. Meanwhile Ro's parents, who own the city's member two selling newspaper the Courier, use columnist Sheila Marrenas to pressure the new District Attorney Wes Farrell and others related to the case to back off or else. SFPD led by Glitsky finds new and old evidence swallowed up by the Curtlee brood either through influence peddling, not so subtle threats, or murder. The latest Glitsky and Dismas Hardy thriller (see A Plague of Secrets) is a great entry as the villain is incredible with all the assets he has and uses including the media. Complicated with several subplots that initially seem more like additional police caseload, but cleverly merge into a super story line, fans will wonder if the Curtlee clan will defeat Glitsky and company. Harriet Klausner
AndyAC More than 1 year ago
"Damage" has our old friends back with their quirks and foibles, just as our live and in person friends do. The book tells how much money controls today's society and the cavalier, "let them eat cake", attitude about the working class society. It made me angry; it made me cheer, it made me want more of John Lescroart's work -- since I have them all, I'll re-read and wait.
Russ_Ilg More than 1 year ago
Damage by John Lescroart reviewed by Russ Ilg John Lescrroat has been one of my all time favorite authors for as long as can remember and his legal thrillers have been one of the most anticipate books of the year for me. He has become one of the greatest writers of this style I have had the pleasure of reading and is one of the prime examples I can say that reading a book is by far the greatest way to lose yourself into something so compelling that you can forget everything else and really just enjoy the ride. Damage was one book I was really waiting for as I had heard that it was going to be by far his greatest work to date and I had a hard time believing that he could get an better then he already was. I mean how do you improve on the best? John has a style that brings magic to the pages the people in the book are so real that you feel them breath, talk, hurt you are right there in the story standing in the corner, sitting in a chair always just far enough away that you feel as if you are really there watching as the story unfolds but are not seen by anyone else. The way he writes is done with such style and care that every person is someone you have known your whole life and what unfolds is part of who you are to. There are very few writers that can accomplish this feat that draws you into the story in a way that is so smooth you do not even realize it till you are holding the book and turning the pages so fast that there is no other thing in the world that exist. So how could it get better then this well he did do it. He has taking his writing to a whole new level. When you read 4-5 books a week you have come to know what to expect in the authors you read and are just grateful to know that you are in for one of the best times in your life when you sit down to get lost in another chapter of the author you like. Damaged is a novel that could be ripped from the headlines of any paper in the county where it has been so often seen where people with enormus power and money have a huge advantage over the the average person when it comes to what happens in the court and legal system, This power has the ability to make justice seem in a way that is not as equal as we would all hope it was. The minute I starting reading this new novel I knew it was going to be very special and had a grip on me that I have not felt from Mr. Lescroart before. It is a non stop out of control train loaded with explosive on a unstoppable runaway ride across the pages. The book explodes in your hands as each moment you feel that you know what is going on is completed shattered by a cock screw twist that just throws you into the wall and I found that I was holding my breath as each new event unfolded. Just when I was starting to get ready for the next new twist I found I was close to the end of the book I could not believe that it had flown by so fast and as the expected end drew near I was on the edge of my seat waiting for the final out come of this action pack thriller that left nothing safe or scared. Then it happened where he was able to come up with this still has me in awe. I was blown right through the roof of the house as if that train had made a direct hit right into me. I had to catch my breath and calm down and the say did that really just happen. I went back and re-read it 3 times on that last part to make sure that I got every detail right. The novel could have ended a hundred different ways, but John showed what really makes him so gre
HumbleFloyd More than 1 year ago
This one features Wes Farrell, who has just left his law practice with Freeman, Farrell, Hardy and Roake, the Hardy being Dismas, who is featured in several Lescroart novels. Farrell has just been elected D.A. and is trying to get a handle on his new job, facing moral & legal issues, a serial killer, a crisis at home, and all the action you expect from a Lescroaet tale. Dismas does appear here briefly, and I hope there are more books in the Dismas series planned. In the meantime this book was a great read. If you are a Lescroart fan you won't be disappointed. And if you're not, but enjoy Patterson, JD Robb, & Vance, get this one. You will not be sorry.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read this book a couple times and still a great read. Great, modern, true crime book with wonderful characters. Highly recommend :)
P-king More than 1 year ago
This is the first book I have read by this author. It is an exciting read; I am finding other books by Lescroart in the hopes they, too, will be as thrilling.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I usually love his books, that is why I bought this. It really is not good maybe he needs new lawyers or something
Papa51 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Wes Farrell becomes DA and has to handle convicted rapist/murder who gets released from prison on an appeal. Good amount of suspense and politics as the usual suspects, i.e. Glitsky, hardy, et al play their roles.
minjung on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Ten years ago, Roland Curtlee was convicted of rape/murder. But now the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has granted him a new trial because the victim's family wore buttons during the trial bearing a picture of the victim's smiling face which clearly unfairly prejudiced the jury against the defendant.Because the judge has certain politic connections, he grants bail in a case that would otherwise have no chance of bail. Curtlee's family makes the $10 million bail because they own the San Francisco Courier, one of the major newspapers in the Bay area.As soon as Curtlee makes his bail, though, witnesses associated with his trial start dying. And their murders have the same eerie M.O. as the murders of Curtlee's earlier victims - raped with their shoes on, then killed.But there's a new District Attorney in office, who won by only 90 votes. And he was endorsed by the Courier (read: the Curtlees). But and Lieutenant Abe Glitsky are both aware that Curtlee needs to be put away before more lives are taken. But as Curtlee presents alibi after alibi, charges of police harassment, and the Courier starts getting public opinion on his side, the law enforcement agents finds that they may be fighting an unwinnable battle.As with most of Lescroart's books, this book was a page turner. Once I started, I couldn't put it down. His characters are completely realistic. As the plot unfolded, the intrigue really drew me in, and made me wonder about what was going on. And although Lescroart doesn't have a legal background, it's clear that he's done his research. Although, unlike certain other authors, he doesn't feel the need to show off and go on and on and on, boring his readers to prove that he's done the research. Every detail is necessary to forward the action.He also tempers the action of the plot with the relationships of the characters. As always, it's nice to see the relationship between Glitsky and his wife Treya, which gets tested like never before in this book. Because their relationship has always been so solid and romantic, it was actually a little scary to see them have trouble like this. To me, this is a mark of a someone who can write a good relationship.A solid read.
kraaivrouw on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Last review of a book I read during the week after my surgery - reading comfort food (I'm sure you're sick of hearing that phrase).John Lescroart writes incredibly dependable crime fiction. He's developed a range of characters that he writes regularly about, but I'll admit that the team of Dismas Hardy and Abe Glitzky is my favorite of them.I love books where authors pay attention to their secondary characters in terms of development within all the books, but I especially love it when they get to come out to play. In this book Abe Glitzky is at the center of a case that shows off some of San Francisco's ugliness. It's a wealthy city and where there is lots of wealth and privilege there is usually an equal amount of entitlement - this is true everywhere and it's true in San Francisco, too.In this case it's what seems like an almost futile chase after the son of a prominent family whose habit of raping and killing immigrant women who work for his family has put him in jail once. Out on appeal, and witnesses and other people related to his earlier conviction start dying in pretty hideous ways. It's up to Abe and to Wes Farrell, newly elected District Attorney (and former member of the defense bar), to stop the chaos.As always the sense of place is great - Mr. Lescroart does know his city. The plot is just complicated enough and will keep you reading long into the night.Really great crime fiction - highly recommended.
YogiABB on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
"Damage" is a San Francisco based detective novel by John Lescroart. It features newly elected District Attorney, former defense attorney, Wes Farrell, and Abe Glitsky. Farrell doesn't even get his furniture in his office when he has to deal with a crime spree spread by the son of a rich and powerful San Francisco newspaper family who it happened were big contributors to his campaign.Farrell has his hands full trying to deal with the situation while dealing with complicated San Franciso politics.I found the political angle to be quite distracting while reading the book and never quite got into it. What kept me going though was uncertainties about who the bad guys really are and even then, did the bad guys do all the bad stuff? Maybe not?I give the book 2.5 stars out of five. I mean it is worth reading but I'm glad I got it at the library instead of downloading on the Kindle. I'm intrigued enough though that I'll be looking for more Lescroart books.
alohaboy on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
John Lescroart continue to mix crime, the law, and the craziness of San Francisco politics into an entertaining read. Front and center in Damage is chief of detectives, Abe Glitsky, who takes the lead in trying to put back into jail a rapist and murderer who the courts freed on appeal--not that he didn't commit the crime but that the jury was prejudiced by the victim's friends and relatives. The freed inmate is the son of a wealthy and influential newspaper owner who will use any means possible--including his paper--to keep his son from being re-tried. The son joins with the family bodyguard/houseman to become a two man crime wave killing several people associated with the first trial, threatening others--including Abe's family. Dismas Hardy plays a minor role in this book, but former law partner, Wes Farrell, has just been elected San Francisco's district attorney. There is a lot of frustration on the police department's dealing with indecisive Farrell and judges who are benefactors of the newspaper scion's generous contributions to their campaigns. Justice is served in a most unusual way at the book's end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have read some of Lescroart's other books. Great character development, a storyline that keeps me reading until the end, a good read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Skip2780 More than 1 year ago
I've been a fan for a long time.....right up until this book. The author takes a radical departure from his usual style and focuses on cruelty and the degradation of women. I became so disgusted I stopped reading it and deleted it from my library. Sorry to see you go down that road, John. You're better than that. If you decide to go back to your old style, let me know. Until then, I'll be taking a pass on all your future works.
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Another well written, gripping story.
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