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.
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
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.
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.
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.
"Lescroart's expert crafting turns this legal thriller into a quite a wild ride."
"One of the best thrillers writers."Larry King, USA Today