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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

The Missing Piece

Series: Dismas Hardy #19

ISBN: 978-1982170493

Publisher: Atria Books

Publication Date: 03/29/2022

Format: Hardcover

My Rating: 5 Stars (ARC)

The beloved New York Times bestselling Dismas Hardy series returns with this relentlessly twisty murder thriller.

No one mourned when San Francisco DA Wes Farrell put Paul Riley in prison eleven years ago for the rape and murder of his girlfriend.

And no one is particularly happy to see him again when he’s released after The Exoneration Initiative uncovered evidence that pinned the crime on someone else. In fact, Riley soon turns up murdered, surrounded by the loot from his latest scam. But if Riley was really innocent all along, who would want him dead?

To the cops, it’s straightforward: the still-grieving father of Riley’s dead girlfriend killed the former prisoner. Farrell, now out of politics and practicing law with master attorney Dismas Hardy, agrees to represent the defendant, Doug Rush—and is left in the dust when Rush suddenly vanishes. At a loss, Farrell and Hardy ask PI Abe Glitsky to track down the potentially lethal defendant. The search takes Glitsky through an investigative hall of mirrors populated by wounded parents, crooked cops, cheating spouses, and single-minded vigilantes.

As Glitsky embraces and then discards one enticing theory of the crime after another, the truth seems to recede ever farther. So far that he begins to question his own moral compass, allowing author John Lescroart to explore what The Washington Post calls “the genuine humanism that [is] central to his writing.”


“Lescroart delves into the concepts of the presumptions of both guilt or innocence while maintaining a fast pace and delivering a finale full of surprises. This long-running series remains as fresh as ever.” Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Calling on his trademark eye for the big picture and his sensitivity to changing trends in the perception of the legal system, Lescroart crafts his most searing anatomy of that system since A Certain Justice.”

—Kirkus Reviews

“A new John Lescroart novel is always a cause for celebration!”

—C.J. Box, #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Joe Pickett Series

“Another perfect piece of entertainment from a master storyteller.”

—Steve Berry, New York Times and #1 internationally bestselling author of the Cotton Malone series

“Believe the hype: John Lescroart has earned his seat in the canon of great legal thriller writers.”

—Karin Slaughter, New York Times and internationally bestselling author

“Bestselling mystery writer John Lescroart reunites two fan-favorite characters to catch a San Francisco serial killer. Fast paced and suspenseful.”

—Catherine Coulter, New York Times bestselling author of Vortex

“Lescroart novels are heavyweight prize fights, the outcome in doubt until the final, unexpected, exhilarating blow.”

—Robert Dugoni, internationally bestselling author of the Tracy Crosswhite series

“Hypnotic and powerful, The Missing Piece is both a nail-biting cops-and-lawyers puzzler and a fascinating intellectual thriller. From San Francisco’s saloons to its courtrooms, living rooms, and interrogation rooms, you’ll walk the shadowy streets with some of the most interesting characters around. The question is, who really murdered Paul Riley? Grandmaster of suspense John Lescroart will keep you guessing until the dazzling end.”

—Gayle Lynds, New York Times bestselling author of The Assassins

“A superb thriller from a veteran crime writer! Lescroart brings all his many talents to bear in The Missing Piece: stellar plotting, his distinctive, punchy writing style and characters so real you feel you’ve met them before (though ideally not all of them, considering the author’s masterful depiction of villains!). And the city of San Francisco—in all its glory and seediness—truly comes alive under Lescroart’s pen. Bravo!”

—Jeffery Deaver, author of The Midnight Lock

“No one tells a story as seamlessly and compellingly as John Lescroart—he somehow manages to be endearing and sophisticated at the same time. Underneath the engaging characters, brilliant dialogue and riveting timely plot—there’s an undercurrent of humanity, heartbreaking honesty, emotional depth, and the passionate search for justice. Bottom line: John Lescroart is the true master. And his books get better and better. The Missing Piece is terrific.”

—Hank Phillippi Ryan, USA Today bestselling author of Her Perfect Life

“John Lescroart is not only a master of the legal thriller but a master storyteller as well. The Missing Piece is clever, sly, and delightfully twisty.”

—Joseph Finder, New York Times bestselling author of House on Fire

“John Lescroart is one of the most reliable crime novelists of this century. Dismas Hardy gets more intriguing with every new book and here he comes again.”

—Ron Franscell, USA Today bestselling author of The Darkest Night

My Review

Timely. Superb. Dazzling.

Fans of Legal/Cop thrillers will devour this one!

Set in San Francisco, John's enthralling 19th installment of (Dismas Hardy) crime/legal thriller —THE MISSING PIECE pulls these guys into a complex twisty case, a dangerous web of deceit, murder, and much more. PI Abe Glitsky takes center stage.

Eleven years ago, DA Wes Farrell put Paul Riley in prison for the rape and murder of Riley's girlfriend, Dana Rush. Now Wes Farrell is in a law partnership with Dismas Hardy. Wes no longer wants to defend people he believes are guilty.

They receive the news The Exoneration Initiative has uncovered evidence that points to someone else. Paul is released. Shortly after being released Paul winds up murdered in his apartment. If he were innocent, who would want him dead, unless it was the real killer?

The fingers point to Dana's dad, Doug Rush, even though there are no witnesses, but Paul's dad and he is not even sure which photo is which to identify. Not a reliable witness.

Also, there was police brutality caught on video and they are manipulating evidence. (dirty cops) —They want to convict Doug and close the case. Wes does not think Doug is guilty but needs to prove so. Paul was also a member of a motorcycle gang, and they all look alike. Who killed Paul?

Doug calls Wes to represent him. He and Dismas take on the case. However, he is arrested and then they get him out on bail. They are planning their strategy, and he disappears. He would not lose his million-dollar bail by skipping his preliminary hearing? Where is Doug?

Dismas and Wes hire PI Abe Glitsky. Abe also has an office in their building. Of course, Abe is not a regular PI. A former ex–Homicide detective, he is smart and intuitive with skills! You are not going to get anything past him. He and Dismas take off on a hunt which leads them to a woman that was involved with Doug. Then after their visit, the woman and her husband wind up dead.

Things get more complex, and still no Doug. Dead? If so who killed him? The same person who killed Paul?

Abe's wife is upset that this case is too dangerous and wants the guys to cut him off from payroll since he is supposed to be semi-retired and more laid-back cases. Of course, if you know Abe, he is in it too deep and wants to see it through. The cops are not doing their job or finding the real killer.

THE PLOT THICKENS. There are so many twists, red herrings, turns, and suspects but this team is unstoppable! Non-stop action leads to the explosive finale leaving you holding your breath! Will there be justice?

What do I love about John Lescroart's Dismas Hardy and Abe Glitsky series?

First, John Lescroart is not going to be retiring anytime soon, just like Dismas Hardy, Abe Glitsky, or myself. We must have our hand in something. All in or out. Seriously, besides being one of my favorite legal thriller authors, and a long-time fan of Dismas, Abe, and these compelling cases, I adore the characters and their wives. I am in their age group, and their home and workplace seem as inviting as their warm personalities. I feel as though I could show up at their home for a casual dinner party with flowers and wine, and they would welcome me and I would feel right at home with interesting conversation. These are multi-faceted characters that keep me coming back. Each installment is fresh and unique. Lescroart puts his characters through the wringer but he knows they are strong and resilient.

I loved THE MISSING PIECE! If you have followed my blog for years, you know legal thrillers are my favorites and John is TOPs. I cannot wait to see where the guys land next! Please keep this series coming. Highly recommend!

Thank you to Atria Books and NetGalley for a digital ARC to read, enjoy, and review.

@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

Pub Date: March 29, 2022

About the Author

John Lescroart is the author of twenty-nine novels (his thirtieth, The Missing Piece, will be published by Atria this November), nineteen of which have been New York Times Bestsellers. Libraries Unlimited has named John among “The 100 Most Popular Thriller and Suspense Authors.” With sales of over twelve million copies, his books have been translated into twenty-two languages in more than seventy-five countries, and his short stories appear in many anthologies. His short story “The Adventure of the Giant Rat of Sumatra” was selected for the 1998 edition of Houghton Mifflin’s The Best American Mystery Stories, edited by Sue Grafton. Additionally, his short story “Dunkirk” appeared in the 2015 Anthony and Silver Falchion Award winning anthology, In the Company of Sherlock Holmes.

John’s first novel, Sunburn, won the San Francisco Foundation’s Joseph Henry Jackson Award for best novel by a California author; Dead Irish, The 13th Juror and The Keeper were nominees for the Shamus, Anthony and Silver Falchion Best Mystery/Crime Novel, respectively; The 13th Juror is included in the ITW publication “100 Must-Read Thrillers Of All Time.” Hard Evidence appears in “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to the Ultimate Reading List.” Guilt was a Readers Digest Select Edition choice. The Motive was an Audie Finalist of the Audio Publishers Association. The Mercy Rule, Nothing but the Truth, The Suspect, and The Fall have been major market Book Club selections. The Suspect was also the 2007 One Book Sacramento choice, and the American Author’s Association chose it as its Book of the Year. The Ophelia Cut, Betrayal, and A Plague of Secrets were each Top Five selections of Strand Magazine’s “Books of the Year.” Several of John’s books have been Main Selections of one or more of the Literary Guild, Mystery Guild, and Book of the Month Club. John is the recipient of the International Thriller Writers’ Silver Bullet Award to recognize outstanding and meritorious achievement in the pursuit of literacy and the love of reading. In that vein, among many other charitable contributions, John has endowed the perennial $5,000 Maurice Prize for excellence in long-form fiction at the University of California at Davis. Of the first fifteen writers to have won this award, ten have gone on to become published authors. Also, the San Francisco Museum and Historical Society presented John with its Award of Merit to recognize the “intimate knowledge of San Francisco” portrayed in his novels; finally, both the California State Senate and California State Assembly have presented John with their Award of Merit and Certificate of Recognition, respectively.

A singer, songwriter, and musician, John founded Crow Art Records and produced David Grisman alum Joe Craven (“Django Latino”), Bel Air Hotel and Peninsula Hotel longtime house pianist Antonio Castilla de la Gala (“Date Night”), as well as two CDs of his own original music (“As The Crow Flies” and “Whiskey and Roses”).

Finally, John loves to cook. His original recipes have appeared in Gourmet Magazine and in the cookbook “A Taste of Murder.” (He also wrote the forward to Francine Brevetti’s paean to the famous San Francisco eatery Fior d’Italia entitled The Fabulous Fior: 100 Years in an Italian Kitchen.) WEBSITE







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