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The Hearing

By John Lescroart

The Hearing

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Mark VW (03/07/02)

This book works better from a dialogue and character analysis than by its plot, which is, really, pretty far out there (I can't tell you what happens, but even by cynical big-city standards, it's a little over the top). But forget all that. Lescroart builds his protagonists Abe Glitsky and Dismas Hardy up well and before too long in the book, you get a feel as to what kind of guys they are. The same is true with the bad guys, Dash Logan and Gabe Torrey. On the other hand, is the DA Sharron Pratt just a loser, or a victim of her own good intentions? Lescroart doesn't give that away until he has to. The love interest in the story, Treya Ghent, is developed carefully and sympathetically and you find yourself wishing her only the best. The author seems to know and love the city of San Francisco and the legal/penal systems so he puts you there in the arena. The narrative is direct and strong, the dialogue crisp and West Coast cool. You get a feeling right away that something is not quite right with the whole investigation of Cole Burgess and probably assume early on somebody else killed Loretta Wager, but you can't quite assume that outcome until you get to the climax, because Burgess isn't that sympathetic a character. So Lescroart does a good job with his cast, overcoming the fairly thin plot. Recommended.
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