THE FIRST LAW: Prodded by his father, Glitsky asks the new homicide lieutenant about the case, but the brass tells him in no uncertain terms to stay out of it. Guided by the Patrol Special—a private police force supervised by the SFPD that is a holdover from San Francisco's vigilante past-the police have already targeted their prime suspect: John Holiday, proprietor of a run-down local bar, and a friend and client of Dismas Hardy.
While Dismas Hardy has built a solid legal practice and a happy family, John Holiday has not followed the same path. Despite this, Hardy has remained Holiday's attorney and confidant, and with Glitsky's help, Hardy finds ample reason to question Holiday's guilt. Hardy's case falls on hostile ears, however, and to avoid arrest, Holiday turns fugitive. The police now believe three things: that Hardy is a liar protecting Holiday, that Holiday is a cold-blooded killer, and that Glitsky is a bad cop on the wrong side of the law.
As the suspense reaches fever pitch, Hardy, Glitsky, and even their families are caught in the crossfire and directly threatened. The police won't protect them. The justice system won't defend them. Shunned within the corridors of power, and increasingly isolated at every turn, Hardy and Glitsky face their darkest hour. For when the law forsakes them, they must look to another, more primal law in order to survive.
THE SECOND CHAIR: Dismas Hardy is finally on top: As a managing partner at his thriving, newly reorganized law firm, he’s a rainmaker and fix-it guy for clients leery of taking their chances in a courtroom. Now Hardy’s up-and-coming associate, Amy Wu, brings him a high-profile case: Andrew Bartlett, the seventeen-year-old son of a prominent San Francisco family, has been arrested for the double slaying of his girlfriend and his English teacher. The D.A. wants to try him as an adult. Determined to get the case into juvenile court, and overwhelmed by the mounting evidence against her client, Wu asks Hardy to sit second chair for her in Bartlett’s defense.
As the Bartlett case moves swiftly to trial, another series of murders grips the city. An unseen killer seems to be shooting citizens wantonly, and as fear and anxiety build around the Executioner (as he is quickly dubbed in the ensuing media frenzy), Abe Glitsky, the newly promoted deputy chief of the Investigations Bureau, leads the desperate hunt to stop him.
With the city on the verge of panic, Hardy and Glitsky are locked in a race against time-to save a client and to catch a murderer. But nothing is what it seems, and as both men’s cases twist and turn to their shocking conclusions, the very foundations of San Francisco’s legal system will be shaken to the core.
About the Author
John Lescroat (pronounced "less-kwah") is the author of more than twenty-five legal thrillers, short stories, and mysteries, including the Dismas Hardy series. Some of his top titles include The Fall, The Keeper, and The Second Chair. There are over 10 million copies of his books in print and he has appeared on bestseller lists around the world.
Hometown:El Macero, California
Date of Birth:January 14, 1948
Place of Birth:Houston, Texas
Education:B.A. in English with Honors, UC Berkeley, 1970