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THE OPHELIA CUT by John Lescroart


by John Lescroart

Pub Date: May 7th, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-4767-0915-4
Publisher: Atria

Six years after an impromptu conspiracy locked San Francisco lawyer Dismas Hardy and several of his best buds into a coverup (A Plague of Secrets, 2009), the whole shooting match is threatened when one of the conspirators, Hardy’s brother-in-law, Moses McGuire, is arrested for murder.

Rick Jessup, chief of staff to Liam Goodman of the Board of Supervisors, is quite the ladies’ man, or at least he thinks so. When he visits the massage parlors run by Goodman’s regular contributor Jon Lo, he has enough confidence to leave without paying, sometimes after beating the young women who’ve been keeping him company. The morning after he sleeps with Moses’ daughter Brittany, he obtusely teases her about her sexual experience, and after she walks out, he’s so unwilling to take no for an answer that their next encounter ends with her in the emergency room. So Moses takes it on himself to beat up Jessup and threaten him with worse. When someone kills Jessup two months later, police chief Vi Lapeer, under pressure from Goodman to make an arrest, does an end run around District Attorney Wes Farrell and homicide chief Lt. Abe Glitsky, going directly to two homicide inspectors and a sympathetic judge to sew up the arrest. It’s all politically motivated, just as you’d expect from Lescroart (The Hunter, 2012, etc.). But Hardy’s defense of Moses, his partner in the Little Shamrock Bar, is just as politically implicated, since he and Glitsky and Hardy’s law partner, Gina Roake, all share a compelling personal reason to keep Moses from going back to the bottle or unburdening himself to the cops. A New York cop, placed in the witness protection program so that he can testify against the guys who hired him as a killer, puts just a little more spin on what’s already a dizzyingly complex case.

Lots of great scenes shoehorned into a story that seems uncertain how to mix its social commentary and courtroom drama with the regulars’ continuing soap opera.