Damage – John Lescroart

Setting: San Francisco, USA (It’s been a Shabbat of USA crime!)

Story: Ro Curtlee, the son of a wealthy and powerful family, convicted of murder and rape, is released on appeal pending a retrial. Suddenly, bad things start happening to people connected with his original trial. Newly elected District Attorney Wes Farrell and homicide Detective Abe Glitsky are involved in trying to stop the violence, and find the hard evidence that will put this dangerous individual away for good. The two lawmen are hampered by poor resources, a hostile press (owned by the family) and political pressure (exerted by the family) – and the resistance they face just gets tougher.

Good Stuff: It’s a good story, told well, with great pacing and suspense. There are enough surprises to keep the reader on his toes, and the characters are interesting enough. The author handles the chaos – because there is plenty going on this book – skilfully, and ties up the loose ends with equal craft.

Not So Good Stuff: Curtlee as villain was believable. However, there were several times in the narrative when I wondered where he was, but there was no sign or explanation. Also, some of the hostile press coverage came over as extremist nonsense, rather than serious journalism. This may be because I have not experienced the real thing in the USA, but it still seemed plain daft. Maybe it is a cultural thing… It didn’t put me off enough to not enjoy the book – far from it – and I will be looking out for more of Lescroart’s work based on this experience.

Score: 7.5/10

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