Review: Poison by John Lescroart

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☆☆➹⁀☆ 4.5 stars☆➹⁀☆☆


What it’s about:

From the “master of the legal thriller” (Chicago Sun-Times) John Lescroart comes a dramatic family drama in which attorney Dismas Hardy is called on to defend a former client against the accusation of murder.

Dismas Hardy is looking forward to cutting back his work hours and easing into retirement after recovering from two gunshot wounds. He is determined to spend more time with his family and even reconnect with his distant son, Vincent. But Dismas just can’t stay away from the courtroom for long and soon he is pulled into an intense family drama with fatal consequences.

Grant Carver, the vigorous patriarch of the Carver family and its four-generations owned family business, has been murdered. His bookkeeper Abby Jarvis, whom Hardy had defended on a DUI charge eleven years prior, is the prime suspect after police discover she’s been embezzling funds from the company—but she insists she did not kill her boss.

As he prepares to defend her, Dismas investigates the Carver clan and discovers the dark, twisted secrets within the family. It seems that Abby was not the only one who stood to profit from the company’s $25 million dollar market value. From jealous children to gold-digging girlfriends, Dismas has his work cut out for him in sifting through mud flinging, backstabbing, and accusations of blackmail.

But Dismas not only has to save his client’s life but his own, as it soon becomes clear that someone has a painted a target on his back, too.



Guest Reviewer Tom’s Thoughts:

John Lescroart’s new book Poison is a well crafted gem.  Although this is my first exposure to this series, Poison works just as well as a stand-alone novel.   Lescroart’s exquisite character development made me feel like an old friend of attorney Dismas Hardy.   The author’s knowledge of the criminal justice system is obvious and enjoyable as he chronicles the back and forth, give and take among key players in the midst of a murder case.

The interaction among the DA’s office, the Homicide Department, and the Court is richly developed and characterizes both friendship and friendly competition.   It is evident that they each reconcile the pressures of their jobs without losing their overarching commitment to justice.  The intrigue builds as the patriarch of the family business is murdered, and with all of the adult children are heirs as well as executives of the company, it really is a “whodunnit”!  Everybody loves Daddy, but some seem to be getting favorable treatment.  Throw in a life insurance policy and some missing cash from the business (Which Lescroart does somehow without cliche), and the fun begins!

Most enjoyable is that Lescroart takes the time to create the scene for the reader.  Set in San Francisco, the author describes each San Francisco neighborhood with the familiarity a native; he truly made me think that each character actually resided in their respective neighborhoods.  Even neighboring Silicon Valley gets this same wonderful treatment as a bit of high tech entrepreneurship also factors in.   The result is a fast paced riveting page turner where you feel you are at the center of the action because you KNOW these people and the environment in which they live and thrive.  With the added palpable fear of a murderer still on the loose, Lescroart had me feverishly racing with all the principals to the finish line.

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