Story of corruption, murder and mayhem of the Patrol Specials, a private police force in San Francisco that keeps watch for paying clients. It seems as if those who can't pay or don't want to pay are harassed or even murdered by Patrol Special employees. Dismas Hardy is hired as an attorney to pursue a large lawsuit against the Patrol Specials by their victims. Events get hairy for Hardy when he's hired to defend a friend, John Holiday, who's accused of murdering a shopkeeper who stopped paying for protection from the Patrol Special force. Dismas suspects it's one of the Patrol's employees who committed the murder and as he investigates with the help of a city policeman, he becomes stymied at every corner. Even his life is threathened. Well written with plot, characters, setting and dialogue all flowing together nicely. Pretty suspenseful.
"The First Law" seemed to be a closure for the Hardy/Glitsky series that has been going on since the first novel "Dead Irish". I am a fan of Lescroart for the style and flow of his books though almost all his novels, the end comes like a revelation to Dismas. But, this one was a bit of a stretch making the city like a pawn for the big bad wolf. In spite of it, the book was very entertaining, however, I hated seeing David die. I would definitely recommend it.
Awesome, exciting book with lots of twists in the plot. Bad guys everywhere! lol Featuring Abe Glitsky (San Francisco police lieutenant) and Dismas Hardy (defense attorney), the book begins with a pawn shop robbery where a friend of Abe's father was murdered. The men who did this do all they can to put the blame on Dismas's friend, John Holiday. John was getting victims to come forward for brutality of a private security company so he had to go and had to be punished. The conspiracy goes deep and Abe can't help since he is now head of payroll not homicide. Things come to a head when the prosecuting attorney is badly beaten and Abe and Dismas's families were threatened. A very good book!
From Publishers Weekly
Abe Glitsky, the gruff, hard-nosed homicide cop from San Francisco who typically plays a supporting role in Lescroart's line of legal thrillers (Hard Evidence; The Hearing; etc.), takes center stage in the series's 11th entry. After convalescing for 13 months from a gunshot wound suffered in last year's The Oath, Glitsky finally returns to the force, only to discover that his beloved homicide detail is now under the command of someone else. Glitsky is assigned to head the payroll department. Embittered about his new job and itching to return to real police work, Glitsky starts poking around when one of his father's friends, a pawnshop owner, is shot to death. His superiors warn him to stop trying to horn his way back into homicide, but it soon becomes apparent to Glitsky-and the series's usual star, defense attorney Dismas Hardy-that the case is far more significant than a simple robbery gone bad; it's part of a string of murders that appear to be connected to a private security company that provides protection for much of the city's business community. Worse, somebody on the police force is trying to cover up the murder spree and frame one of Hardy's clients for it. With his latest, Lescroart again lands in the top tier of crime fiction. On display are his usual strengths-a grasp of current social and legal issues, an insider's knowledge of San Francisco and an ability to draw characters with sensitive, nuanced strokes. Even when his plots grow a little far-fetched-as this one does toward the end-Lescroart's storytelling skills conceal the blemishes.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
I just love John Lescroart's books. I just finished The First Law tonight - Abe, Dismas, Abe's Dad, Frannie, her brother - the kids; all are actively involved in this mystery. Dismas and Abe have to decide how far they are willing to go to protect their families.
This is a very interesting series that takes place in San Francisco and has a very likeable protagonist (a lawyer and former bartender), his charming wife and his best friend, the good but hard cop. The dialog and family life are particularly good as are the various relationships depicted besides for the plot which is like the cherry on top.