Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: 5/5/2015
My Rating: 5 Stars
From New York Times bestselling author John Lescroart, a riveting new novel of legal suspense featuring Dismas Hardy and his daughter, Rebecca, now grown up and an associate in Hardy’s law firm.
Late one night, a teenage African American foster child named Tanya Morgan plummets to her death from the overpass above San Francisco’s Stockton tunnel. But did she fall…or was she pushed?
Rushing to produce a convictable suspect in the glare of the media spotlight, homicide inspectors focus their attention on a naïve young man named Greg Treadway. Greg is a middle school teacher and he volunteers as a Special Advocate for foster children. At first, the only thing connecting him to Tanya’s death is the fact that they shared a meal earlier that night. But soon enough, elements of that story seem to fall apart…and Hardy’s daughter, Rebecca, finds herself drawn into the young man’s defense.
By the time Greg’s murder trial gets underway, Dismas and Rebecca have unearthed several other theories about the crime: a missing stepfather who’d sexually assaulted her; a roommate who ran a call girl service; a psychologically unstable birth mother; and a mysterious homeless man who may have had dealings with Tanya. Or Greg Treadway himself, who is perhaps not all that he first appeared. But how will they get these theories in front of a jury? And if they can, what price will they have to pay?
With signature suspense and intricate plotting, The Fall puts Dismas Hardy and his only daughter in the middle of one of John Lescroart’s most complex and thrilling cases yet.
A special thank you to Atria Books and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
THE FALL by John Lescroart is a riveting multi-layered complex legal crime thriller; my kind of book. Has it all - from murder, sex, courtroom drama, legal, corruption, racial, crime, social injustice, mystery, psycho, and more. Love Dismas Hardy and his daughter, Rebecca (The Beck) - quite the team.
When Hardy joined the marines out of college, then Vietnam, he became a cop in San Fran while attending law school. After passing the bar, he worked for a year as an assistant district attorney. Afterwards bartending at Little Shamrock (he now co-owns) after his first child had died in a crib accident and then the breakup of his first marriage. He remarried twenty six years ago to Frannie, whose child Rebecca he adopted, now his newest legal associate at his firm. She is about to land her first complex case.
There are some strange happenings in San Francisco, now a body is falling out of the sky and is dead. For the past several months, Juhle’s Homicide department, as well as the city’s DA’s office had been defending themselves separately and together against mounting accusations that the PD was soft pedaling investigations, and the DA was mishandling trials of, killers of African Americans.
In the city's last eight murders of African Americans the police had made no arrests. During the same time period the district attorney had gone to trial six times to prosecute suspects in the homicides of African Americans and gotten zero convictions. The public thinks there is a pattern – could there be? The fact remained that though the nonwhite to white murder rate in the city was nine to one there had not been one successful murder case involving a black victim in the previous six months.
Now Liam Goodman, a city supervisor with mayoral ambitions is riding this political magic and talking about more than just cutting the homicide budget.
The victim, Anlya Grace Paulson, age seventeen, a mixed up foster kid falls from an overpass tunnel with four witnesses, making it appear it is a murder, not a suicide. What is her story (boy, oh boy is there a past here) with numerous suspects. And there is a diary entry talking about someone with initials G and L. Wes Farrell is closing in on four years as district attorney. Inspectors Eric Waverly and Ken Yamashiro are on the case and PI Hunt.
Abe Glitsky, a lifelong policeman, mixed race – from patrolman to homicide lieutenant to deputy chief of inspectors and for the past few months—after a squabble with the chief of police had led to his resignation (had been under Wes Farrell’s command) as an inspector with the DA’s Investigative Division. Abe’s father was Jewish, his mother African American – he is back on the case.
Greg, a twenty-seven year old white teacher and court appointed special advocate (CASA) for Anlya’s twin brother Max had dinner with Anlya shortly before she died. Greg happened to be at the bar, Little Shamrock --Hardy co-owns and his daughter Rebecca, is there, when the news comes on about the girl. Rebecca agrees to represent Greg (what a first case). She has no clue what she is getting into.
As the corruption mounts, so does the suspects and complexities. There is Royce, the boyfriend and pimp, a partner with Honor Wilson, Anlya’s friend managing prostitutes – nervous about the cops looking into their business. Life as Honor had imagined it is not going as she planned and her life may be in danger.
Leon Copes, the psychologically unbalanced, crack head and child molester, former live in boyfriend of the twin’s mother, Sharla with a history of abusing Anlya and screwing up their mother with drugs and booz, and then there is Ricardo Salazar, the Minnesota murderer.
Hardy had decided to let his daughter handle this, but he was not about to throw her to the wolves. He could not allow her to choose her first murder jury selection without the benefit of his experience… Who would push an innocent girl to her death? What a mistrial? Who had motive? What about all the city's murder suspects who are arrested and never tried?
I love a good crime legal thriller and social injustices; Lescroart mounts the suspense from court room, to crime mixed with some personal emotions and humor, with Hardy, his daughter, friends and family.
Since this is my first book by Lescroart, I am busy clicking to buy the previous books to listen on audio in between new releases; starting with The Keeper: Dismas Hardy, Book #15. So excited David Colacci, one of my favorite narrators is performing (love him, with Tami Hoag's books). Looking forward to reading all the ones I missed.
Fans of Scott Turow, John Grisham, Michael Connelly, David Baldacci, Brad Meltzer, Daniel Palmer, Robert Parker, and Stuart Woods will enjoy this mix legal crime thriller.
As I have mentioned previously, you can always count on Atria Books to deliver the "best of the best"!
About the Author
John Lescroart's upcoming legal suspense thriller, THE FALL, May 5, 2015, available now for pre-order. Author of THE KEEPER, appearing on the the New York Times best-seller list soon after its release in May, 2014.
John Lescroart is the New York Times Bestselling author of twenty-six novels, (seventeen New York Times bestsellers), including The 13th Juror, Damage, The Hunter, The Ophelia Cut, and The Keeper. 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.
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