Another great book it seems to have been ripped from the front page of a newspaper. In the 1990s, there was lots of talk about mercy killing (or assisted suicide or euthanasia) and Dr. Kevorkian (aka Dr. Death). It was a hotly debated topic for several years.
Dr. Kevorkians interview on 60 Minutes and his self-made video of him assisting a man to die created a firestorm. In 1999, Kevorkian was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to a 10-to-25 year prison sentence. He was released in 2007 and died of natural causes in 2011.
This book was released in the midst of all the uproar and I think John Lescroart handled the issue well. This story is about an elderly man, Sal, who is experiencing Alzheimers. However, Sal has started to worry about his headaches which turn out to be inoperable brain cancer. He is in incredible pain.
After disappearing from his childrens lives for 15 years -- Sal and Graham (the eldest of the 3 kids) reconnect. Because of the nearly constant pain, Graham has given morphine injections to his father. When Sal dies, Graham is arrested for his fathers death.
Be sure you pay attention to the Twinkie defense I fell out of my chair laughing while reading about that! Lescroart has a wonderful sense of humor and the dialog between Dismas Hardy and Abe Glitsky is often priceless. 4.5 stars
1. Dead Irish (1989)
2. The Vig (1990)
3. Hard Evidence (1993)
4. The 13th Juror (1994)
5. The Mercy Rule (1998)
The good thing about a Lescroart mystery is not so much the mystery as the characters who intersect the mystery. Murder's the name but the players are the game. Here Lescroart touches on an emotionally charged issue, euthanasia or mercy killing. There's a nice analogy with the game of baseball, perhaps unintentional, which is that in the early levels of the game the adolescent players learn 'the slaughter rule,' allowing a team which has no chance of winning having fallen behind an insurmountable lead, to exit with some self respect intact.