last year

John Grisham skewers small-town criminal justice

John Grisham has been writing bestselling legal thrillers since A Time to Kill in 1989. He has sold hundreds of millions of copies of his books around the world in 42 languages and is regularly ranked as one of the most successful writers on the planet. Grisham is an activist and an outspoken critic of […]

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last year

Mysteries inside mysteries in Denise Mina’s mind-bending new novel

Once upon a time mystery novels traveled straight lines through a minefield of obstacles and threats to a simple, straightforward conclusion. The detective, the victim, or some other investigator would confront a puzzle and, in the end, solve it. But bestselling mystery authors don’t write books that way anymore. Instead of a single puzzle, usually […]

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last year

A high-stakes courtroom drama in Joseph Finder’s new novel

Juliana Brody is living the good life. She’s “in her early forties, but as her mother liked to say immodestly, she had good genes.” She’s a respected judge on the Superior Court in Boston, and happily married with two teenage children. And she’s touted to be in contention for Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme […]

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last year

Dismas Hardy, a San Francisco sanctuary case, and a homicidal DA

“After you murder someone, life is never the same.” So begins The Rule of Law, the 18th entry in John Lescroart‘s consistently suspenseful series of  mystery novels featuring San Francisco criminal defense attorney Dismas Hardy. And it’s not long before we learn that the killer in question is the city’s newly elected District Attorney, Ron […]

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a couple of years ago

Another excellent Dismas Hardy courtroom drama

John Lescroart surprises with a courtroom drama in which the suspense is all about whether Dismas Hardy’s new case will ever get into a courtroom. Poison is the 17th novel in Lescroart’s first-rate series about the San Francisco defense attorney who is also an ex-Marine, a bartender, and a former assistant DA. As the title […]

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a couple of years ago

From Denise Mina, a courtroom drama set in Glasgow in the 50s

Denise Mina’s new thriller, The Long Drop, was a Washington Post Book of the Year for 2017. The book is based on contemporaneous accounts and two later books about the trial of Peter Manuel, who came to be known as “Scotland’s first serial killer.” Manuel was a career criminal who had come to the attention […]

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a couple of years ago

Laws selectively enforced in John Lescroart’s courtroom drama

Over the past three decades, bestselling San Francisco author John Lescroart has been writing novels about the dark side of human character. He’s produced more than two dozen. His most popular series features former cop, bartender, and trial attorney Dismas Hardy; Dismas’s best friend, Abe Glitsky, who heads the homicide department at SFPD; and Dismas’ investigator, Wyatt […]

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3 years ago

A great start to John Lescroart’s Dismas Hardy series

Dismas Hardy’s resumé is a little difficult to understand: former Marine (combat in Vietnam), former San Francisco cop, former Assistant DA, now one-quarter owner of the Shamrock and full-time bartender there. The explanation is simple, though. The events that induced him to leave a promising legal career began when his infant son died as a […]

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