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The Fall    by John Lescroart order for
by John Lescroart
Order:  USA  Can
Atria, 2015 (2015)
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

In The Fall, Dismas Hardy's daughter Rebecca (The Beck, who is now an associate in his law firm) takes on her first big defense case. But is her congenial client innocent or guilty?

It all begins when an African American teen, a foster child named Anlya Morgan falls from a San Francisco overpass. Cops conclude that she was pushed. Pressure is on the police and DA to make a timely arrest as concerns have been raised in the media about their soft-pedaling investigations into killings of African-Americans.

While officials start digging, Dismas and Rebecca meet Greg Treadway, a young middle school teacher who volunteers as a Special Advocate for foster children. When the news comes up with a picture of Anlya in the Little Shamrock bar where they are all having a drink, Treadway is clearly shocked, telling them that he worked with Anlya and her brother Max and had been with both of them the night of the girl's death.

Of course you can see where this is going. When Treadway is arrested for murder, he wants The Beck as his defense attorney. Dismas assists from the sidelines, as does Rebecca's roommate Allie, who is attracted to the handsome young volunteer. And there are plenty of suspects, who have received little police attention, including the stepfather who abused Tanya and the older young woman who was her roommate in foster care and enlisted the others as call girls.

Fans will revel in The Fall, which has roles for all the major series characters, and will appreciate watching Dismas mentor his beloved daughter in her first challenging case. Tension builds to a violent crescendo of a conclusion in this intricate and fascinating legal thriller.

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