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The Ophelia Cut: Dismas Hardy    by John Lescroart order for
Ophelia Cut
by John Lescroart
Order:  USA  Can
Atria, 2013 (2013)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

John Lescroart's latest Dismas Hardy novel, The Ophelia Cut, centers on a secret - shared by Diz, his brother-in-law Moses McGuire, his law partner Gina Roake, and his best friend, San Francisco homicide head Abe Glitsky - about the Dockside Massacre. It could destroy all their lives if it came out. Since it is based on the plotline of a previous episode I hadn't read, I had to guess the details, though the general outline is apparent.

The survivors of the massacre worry about Moses' fragility - an alcoholic who stopped drinking on that day of violence, the secret is wearing on him. His friends want to help Moses reaffirm his commitment 'to their lifelong vow of silence.' It turns out that Moses' Achille's heel will be his lovely daughter Brittany, who doesn't want 'to waste the pretty' and ends up in risky relationships. One of them is with Rick Jessup, chief of staff to a corrupt city supervisor. He ends up raping Brittany and Moses is later arrested for his murder.

Another plotline follows mob assassin Tony Ricci, a 'serial monogamist' who loves and lives for the chase. Caught by cops and forced to testify, he ends up in witness protection as Tony Solaia in San Francisco. Working as a bartender, he's arrested in a city crusade to stop underage drinking - Hardy takes him on as a client, a friendship develops, and Solaia is given a job at McGuire's bar. He too gets close to Brittany.

As the murder case against Moses progresses, Abe's detectives question his objectivity and even suspect that he's 'playing for the other team.' He's suspended by the chief of police. Diz defends his brother-in-law even though he's convinced that Moses did the deed; the evidence against him is very strong. It seems like this is one case that Diz will not be able to win. And if Moses is convicted, will he keep their secret?

Events play out in a surprising fashion, but one that is true to the saying, 'character is fate' - which actually sums up the entire novel very well. I always enjoy spending reading time with John Lescroart's intriguing leads and did so again in The Ophelia Cut. If you're interested in legal thrillers with a difference, then delve into this series.

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