The Barnes & Noble Review
Bestselling crime writer John Lescroart has crafted a complex tale of arson, murder, and political mayhem in this mystery featuring San Francisco lawyer Dismas Hardy and police detective Abe Glitsky.
At first it looks like a simple case of arson, covering up a high-profile murder-suicide. But it soon becomes clear that there's nothing simple about this case. And when the mayor asks Deputy Chief of Inspectors Abe Glitsky to ride herd on loose-cannon homicide detective Dan Cuneo in a politically sensitive investigation into the death of one of Her Honor's biggest supporters, that quickly puts both cops in the hot seat. With a history of suspicion and betrayal behind them, it's no surprise that Glitsky and Cuneo disagree about practically everything, from prime suspect to probable cause. The one thing they do agree upon is the fact they don't want to work this or any other case together. It doesn't help that Cuneo's suspect turns out to be Hardy's old flame -- or that the talented lawyer agrees to defend her -- or that Glitsky refuses to drop his own search for another suspect. An accusation of collusion could lead to an investigation that Glitsky and Hardy definitely cannot afford. But with evidence hard to come by and politics complicating the case, it all comes down to finding the motive. Sue Stone
Before Turow and Grisham, novels by lawyers were rare. Today it seems as though half the lawyers in America are trying to write fiction. Of late I've praised thrillers by lawyers Robert Reuland, William Lashner, Stephen Horn and Dylan Schaffer, but Grisham and Turow remain the two best-known writers in the genre. There is, however, a third novelist at work today who deserves to be considered alongside Turow and Grisham. His name is John Lescroart (it's French and pronounced Les-kwah), and he has just published "The Motive," the 13th installment in his series about two friends in San Francisco, defense lawyer Dismas Hardy and homicide detective Abe Glitsky. I've read six of the Hardy-Glitsky novels, and they're all good, but The Motive is the best of them, a smashing legal thriller that surpasses anything Grisham ever wrote and bears comparison with Turow.
The Washington Post
In the latest installment of the Glitsky-Hardy crime-solving series (The 13th Juror; The Second Chair; etc.), San Francisco-based Lescroart again demonstrates his mastery of how things work in the city by the bay. Arson investigators at a Victorian townhouse fire do not call in Abe Glitsky or Dismas Hardy when they discover two bodies believed to be the remains of influential businessman Paul Hanover and his girlfriend, Missy D'Amiens. Glitsky, now deputy chief of inspectors, doesn't handle individual cases, and attorney Dismas Hardy has long since left the police force. Sgt. Dan Cuneo takes charge, quickly jumping to conclusions and slowly rekindling his grudge against the detecting duo. Unhappy with Cuneo's approach, the mayor puts Glitsky on the job, while Hardy is hired by Hanover's daughter-in-law, who was also Hardy's college sweetheart and is now a murder defendant with no alibi but plenty of motive. Parallel inquiries uncover contradictory evidence as well as loose ends: at the time of his death, Hanover was up for a federal appointment, his company was up for a city contract and his girlfriend has a mysterious past. Lescroart draws the reader in with a step-by-step description of the fire, mesmerizes with an account of the intricacies of the auto-towing business and winds up with a disturbing parable of intrigue abroad, adding the wistful touch of a new baby in the Glitsky household. Lescroart may be testing the waters for fiction with an international flavor. For now, the winningly ironic author remains more credible on urban and legal ground than spy craft, but his authentic voice, methodical presentation and ability to juggle red herrings until all pieces fall into place will keep fans following wherever his cop-lawyer friends-heroes lead. Agent, Barney Karpfinger. Mystery Guild main selection; Literary Guild, BOMC, Doubleday Book Club featured alternates. (Jan.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
An arson fire in an exclusive San Francisco neighborhood ignites this latest Abe Glitsky/Dismas Hardy collaboration. Two bodies are found among the ashes, prominent local mover and shaker Paul Hanover and his fiancee, Michelle D'Amiens. The police investigation is partially bungled by Abe's resentful colleague, and the victim's daughter-in-law, Catherine Hanover, becomes Dismas's client. The plot grabs the listener early and doesn't let go; the descriptions of investigative and courtroom procedures are impeccable. Reader David Colacci handles a wide variety of new and familiar characters with great skill. Highly recommended.-Kristen L. Smith, Loras Coll. Lib., Dubuque, IA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
"Surpasses anything Grisham ever wrote and bears comparison with Turow." (Washington Post)