A gripping legal thriller full of surprises from John Lescroart

legal thrillerI have a question for you if you love courtroom dramas.

What is it that keeps you coming back for more? 

Is it the sheer tension and suspense? The brilliance of the litigators? The clash of personalities in the courtroom? The opportunity to guess which way the jury will go? The potential for surprises?

The Ophelia Cut (Dismas Hardy #14) by John Lescroart

@@@@ (4 out of 5)

If questions along those lines define your taste for the genre, you should be a fan of John Lescroart, a San Francisco writer who has authored 21 crime thrillers centered in the courtroom (14 of which are in the Dismas Hardy series, of which The Ophelia Cut is one). And you may feel that this, his most recent work, is his best ever.

For starters, you will never guess the ending of this novel (unless you cheat and turn directly to the concluding chapters). I thought I’d figured it out about a third of the way through the book, so I was flummoxed when I read to the end.

Plaintiff’s attorney Dismas (“Diz”) Hardy is one of Lescroart’s familiar cast of characters, the protagonist of the series, which also includes the crusty SFPD chief homicide detective Abe Glitsky; Hardy’s investigator, Wyatt Hunt; and his law partner Gina Roake. In The Ophelia Cut, Hardy’s brother-in-law, Moses McGuire, and both his and Hardy’s young-adult daughters, Brittany McGuire and Rebecca (“The Beck”) Hardy, also appear on center stage.

As so much of the fun of reading books like this lies in the slow revelation of the circumstances that shape the plot, I prefer not to describe here how the tale unfolds. Lescroart’s characters, and the accuracy of the facts he works into the story, are so engaging that I don’t want to spoil the fun. Read it. You’ll enjoy it. And, if you live in the San Francisco Bay Area — or you’d like to live here — you’ll find a bonus in the frequent references to familiar landmarks and popular watering holes.

For additional reading

This is one of 17 fascinating courtroom dramas reviewed.

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