It’s a Mystery: The Motive, by John Lescroart

The Motive (Dismas Hardy)Guilty till proven innocent

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Political patronage and crony-ism rear their ugly heads when San Francisco’s mayor asks Abe Glitsky, recently promoted to a lieutenancy, for a personal favor. Now a lieutenant, Glitsky reluctantly agrees to return to the streets to investigate a house fire, in which a double homicide occurred. The victims, an influential lobbyist and his fiancee, were friends of the mayor, but she tells Glitsky very little about the nature of their connections. There’s bad blood between him and the detective assigned to the case, Dan Cuneo, and things promise to get messy. To complicate the picture, Dismas Hardy, Glitsky’s own close friend, is called upon to defend the prime suspect, a beautiful woman who was romantically involved with Dis when they were teenagers.

And messy things get. Neither the cop nor the attorney believe that Cuneo fingered the right perp, and they’re determined to discover the identity of the true culprit. There’s no dearth of other suspects, and soon both men are up to their eyeballs in danger.

A precis of the plot does little to illustrate its actual intricacy. Throughout most of the book, I was certain that I knew who did it, but I was way off track. Equal parts police procedural and legal thriller, expect over 600 pages of accomplished writing and engrossing reading.

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