As with other authors I like, I have accumulated most of what John Lescroart has written, and have tried to read them in the order published. His first two books, fairly rare and out in trade paperback reprints rather than mass market, take place in Europe, and are not very good (I've even forgotten the titles), but he hit paydirt when he started writing the Dismas Hardy books, which all take place in the San Francisco area.
This one starts off a little slowly, and I almost lost interest, but perseverance was rewarded further along as he hit his stride. The book has an exciting conclusion which I won't spoil for you. Lescroart has followed Dismas Hardy's adventures for years, and added new charachters to the series as it procedes. This book introduces a female attorney, Amy Wu, who works at Hardy's law firm and is having a little trouble getting it together due to personal problems. Hardy himself is also fighting an emotional hangover, the aftermath of events described in his last book "The First Law", which he never really explains.
Authors do a disservice to their readers when they don't make their books more "stand-alone". This is partly why this book only gets 3 stars - some of his earlier books ("Dead Irish" in particular, the first Dismas Hardy book) were worth 4 or maybe even 5 stars.
It was great as all Lescroart books are. I especially like the Dismas Hardy series.
Although he seems to have reached the top of his illustrious law career, Dismas Hardy has lost faith in the legal system. When his young associate, Amy Wu, brings in a high profile, double murder case, he decides to set second chair - in defense of a wealthy, privileged young man, even he has trouble believing.
Hardy has to face his own demons in order to clear his client and save himself.
Good, interesting read!