Summary and book reviews of The Oath by John Lescroart

The Oath

By John Lescroart

The Oath
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  • Hardcover: Jan 2002,
    480 pages.
    Paperback: Jan 2003,
    448 pages.

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Book Summary

When the head of San Francisco’s largest HMO dies in his own hospital, no one doubts it is anything but the result of massive injuries inflicted by a random hit-and-run car accident. But the autopsy soon tells a different story an overdose of potassium killed him, and the attending physician Eric Kensing becomes the prime suspect in a high-profile homicide.

Abe Glitsky, though hindered by the inept bunglings of two politically appointed cops assigned to the investigation, quickly sets his sights on Kensing. Desperate and in need of an attorney, Kensing turns to Dismas Hardy for his defense. But as the pressure mounts to indict Kensing, Hardy goes on the offensive, believing that the murder had little to do with his client, and everything to do with business. Hardy knows that all is not well with the HMO, and makes a terrifying discovery: too many patients have been dying, many of them victims of murder---and it looks like it is the hospital that is killing them.

His own marriage tested and his family strained as he struggles to save his client, Hardy must uncover a twisting conspiracy of avarice and violence that takes the lives it is sworn to save. A timely and gripping novel that puts lives---and a long-standing friendship---at grave risk, The Oath is John Lescroart at his galvanizing best.

Prologue

Her stupid, old American car wasn't working again. So now Luz Lopez was sitting on the bus with her sick son, Ramiro, dozing beside her. This time of day, midmorning, the streetcar wasn't crowded, and she was glad of that. Ramiro, small for eleven years old, had room to curl up with his head on her lap. She stroked his cheek gently with the back of her hand. He opened his eyes and smiled at her weakly.

His skin was warm to her touch, but not really burning. She was more concerned about the cut on his lip than the sore throat. There was something about the look of it that bothered her. He'd banged it on some playground bars on Monday and today, Thursday, it was swollen, puffy, yellowish at the edges. But when the sore throat had come on yesterday, Ramiro had complained not about the cut lip, but the throat. Luz knew her boy wouldn't make a fuss unless there was real pain. He was up half the night with gargling and Tylenol. But this morning, he told her it wasn't any ...

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Reviews

Media Reviews
Author Blurb Larry King, USA Today
John Lescroart is one of the best thriller writers to come down the pike.

Kirkus Reviews

A depressingly thorough tour of managed-care malfeasance that's a whistleblower's pipe dream-though the skullduggery is so complete, so densely imagined, and so lacking in drama that Hardy and Glitsky (The Hearing) come up short on both mystery and suspense.

Publishers Weekly

Burdened at times by Hardy's musings and a few awkwardly placed clues, Lescroart's latest featuring the cunning, self-effacing attorney and dedicated family man is still a skillfully researched and executed piece of work.

Booklist - Mary Frances Wilkens

True to the author's form, The Oath is gripping, timely, and extremely satisfying. But Lescroart's real strength here is his exploration of medical ethics in our insurance-dependent times. A stellar novel that will have broad appeal.

USA Today

A spine-tingling legal thriller.

San Jose Mercury News

Typical Lescroart, which is to say excellent stuff.

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