I've been reading Lescroart's Dismas Hardy series for years. Lescroart's characters are the main reason I continue reading; they are always well-developed and complex. His ensemble cast includes Dismas Hardy, Abe Glitsky, Wes Farrell, Wyatt Hunt, Gina Roark and others. In different novels, different characters take precedence, but the network of friendships, intertwining careers, and cases keep the semblance of a real world with all of its interconnectedness, alliances, and collaborations.
Over the years, characters have changed, career paths have altered, and children have grown up. This novel may indicate an important change because Rebecca ("the Beck"), Dismas Hardy's daughter now grown and an associate at Hardy's law firm, takes a prominent role. Because Lescroart has allowed his characters to age and change as if they were real people, we may be seeing the initial steps in the changing of the guard.
Plot: The death of a young African-American woman adds to the increasing media pressure in San Francisco concerning failures in the arrest and conviction in African-American homicides. There is plenty of incentive to solve the case quickly and avoid the media glare and the accusations of those with a political agendas. The struggle between swift and thorough is felt throughout the investigation.
Rebecca Hardy ends up defending Greg Treadway, middle-school teacher and CASA volunteer (Court Appointed Victim Advocate) for the victim's brother. He had dinner with the victim shortly before her death. Did the rush to find the killer cause the arrest of an innocent man?
I admit that the reference to John Milton (especially since the title of the book is The Fall) clued me in on the killer early in the book, but I like that kind of thing.
Despite the fact that I love all the back stories of the various characters and having that feeling of reuniting with old friends each time, these books all function perfectly well as stand alones. This isn't my favorite, but maybe I'm not quite ready for the changing of the guard, not ready to let my older friends in the series to begin taking a back seat to the younger generation.
Read in February; blog post scheduled for April 2o.
Mystery/Legal Thriller. May 5, 2015. Print length: 320 pages.