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The Missing Piece: Dismas Hardy #19    by John Lescroart order for
Missing Piece
by John Lescroart
Order:  USA  Can
Atria, 2022 (2022)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

The Missing Piece is the nineteenth in John Lescroart's mystery series starring Dismas Hardy, a former police officer who is now a San Francisco defense lawyer.

The story opens in a bar with ex-DA Wes Farrell. He's having an existential crisis, unsure that he wants to continue as a defense lawyer ('getting off scumbags'). Next we meet Paul Riley, just out of prison after being jailed for the rape and murder of his girlfriend Dana eleven years before. Wes was the prosecutor.

After Riley is murdered, the cops arrest Dana's father Doug Rush. Dismas Hardy agrees to take on his case. When Rush disappears, Hardy and Farrell ask PI Abe Glitsky to find him. Then Doug is shot as well, the day before his trial. What is going on and how does it relate to the Exoneration Initiative that was responsible for Paul's release?

More deaths follow. After Abe is attacked, Dismas and his other friends want him off the case, but he stubbornly persists, and uncovers a vigilante crime wave. When it's all over, Wes's dilemma is answered.

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