When a brutal rapist is murdered, a loving father stands accused of the crime. Defense attorney Dismas Hardy must defend his brother-in-law and old friend Moses McGuire in a thrilling case that hits far too close to home.
Moses McGuire has good reason to be concerned about his beautiful 23-year-old daughter, Brittany. She moves quickly from one boyfriend to the next, and always seems to prefer a new and mysterious stranger to a man she knows something about. But her most recent ex, Rick Jessup, isn't willing to let her go, culminating in a terrible night when Brittany is raped.
Within 24 hours, Rick Jessup is dead, Moses McGuire is the prime suspect in the investigation, and Dismas Hardy has been hired to defend his brother-in-law. Making things even more complicated, McGuire has fallen off the wagon, and his stay in prison could bring to light old secrets that would destroy Hardy and his closest colleagues' careers.
As the overwhelming evidence against McGuire piles up, Dismas Hardy focuses on planting doubt in the minds of the jurors - until, in a feat of legal ingenuity that is staggering in both its implications and its simplicity, Hardy sees a new way forward that might just save them all. But at what price?
For the first time since 2009, Dismas Hardy, the author's most beloved protagonist, returns in a masterful novel that showcases Lescroart's extraordinary storytelling gifts: a cast of flesh-and-blood characters, morally complex situations, and relentless, nail-biting suspense.
©2013 John Lescroart (P)2013 Brilliance Audio, Inc.
As with all his other work this author does not disappoint. By bringing the story closer to home the depth of the characters we have come to know so well is explored quite deeply.
"Entertaining but unconvincing plot resolutions"
I looked forward to listening to David Colacci's performance (always very well done) of John Lescoart's latest work The Ophelia Cut, and revisiting the many characters he has established so very well.
This book is not a stand alone work -- it is number 14 in the Dismas Hardy series (all books are available in Audible, thanks!) and the plot is linked to number 9, The First Law (which is difficult to listen to due to the reader and it would be good if it was re-recorded by Colacci).
I felt that The Ophelia Cut lacked some of the discipline and care of his previous books. So, what was happening to the author?
Tired? (I hope not -- I'm looking forward to his next novel!) My feeling is that he opted for easy answers to the plot lines that he initially established in his usual intriguing way, and as a result the resolution to the problems were not satisfying. Or was he being overly ambitious? Anyway, disappointly, the overlay of credibility was missing. And, apart from Hardy himself, he did not manage to create that deeply personal involvement with the protagonists that Lescroart normally develops so skilfully.
But this is, none the less, an entertaining listen.
"Dismiss defends Moses"
I have read most of the Dismiss Hardy series over the years and have enjoyed them. In this story Moses McGuire, Dismiss's brother in law, daughter Brittany is beaten then later raped by Rick Jessup. Hardy then has to defend Moses who is charged with the murder of Jessup. Lots of politics, family stress and Lt Abe Glitsky, Hardy's long time friend, is forced to retire from the police force. The defense has a few people as suspect but the judge will not let Hardy call them as witness. I will not spoil the story you will have to read it to find what happens. The ending sets up for the next book in the series. David Colacci is great narrating the story.
"Remember the shootout at the pier?"
This is a full-on "mature" Dismas Hardy story. You get what you pay for and the value is good. This is a bit of a clean up story for Hardy fans who read and remember the over-the-top 'on the pier' shoot out where Abe, Dismas and Moses kill a lot of bad guys (six?) and SPLIT. (Only in SF.) Well, this story starts off with everyone worried that Moses is going to start talking six years after the fact and it goes on from there.
The Incident at the Pier is more or less central but so is the date rape of Franny's niece, who happens to be Moses's daughter who may or may not have murdered the man responsible. There seems to be an underlying premise that most fathers would want to murder a man responsible for the date rape of his beautiful and very sexually active twenty-something daughter. I doubt it's the attitude of most of those men or very many of those daughters.
Then, there's a muddled conclusion with muddled implications that should haunt Dismas for the rest of his life even though it was none of his doing. As I recall, Moses was kind of interesting as a philosopher bartender, but he doesn't wear well during his trial with either the other characters or with the reader.
"What a let-down."
I'd been waiting for a new Dismas Hardy novel from John Lescroart for too long a time, and when I saw this one available here on Audible.com, I jumped right on it. All I can say is it was a big let down. Only mildly entertaining. Unresolved plot elements. Weak and/or unlikeable characters (even my old time favorites). Brittany was a shallow, empty-headed bimbo till the end. And Tony... this jerk was a totally unnecessary distraction. I fail to see the purpose of his undeveloped character. I know he was a hit man, but was he really an ex-cop? Does it matter? Abe and Dismas were thin self-interested shadows of their former selves. I still don't know who killed Jessup. The reader is to believe it was probably/possibly the sex-trade guy and the county supervisor, but that red herring went nowhere. Thank goodness David Colacci was reading; otherwise this would have been a big "zero". This was not one of Lescroart's best efforts. Felt more like an outline of a possible novel.
"I was disappointed"
I have long been a Lescroart fan and enjoy the Dismas Hardy and Abe Glitsky characters. I did not enjoy this book as well. I was annoyed with the trivialization of underage drinking, which he harped on extensively...while ironically also having a main character that is an alcoholic. I also found the excessive use of "Jesus Christ" as an expletive to be both annoying and offensive. And just overall felt the plot was weak and the plot resolutions either weak or non-existent. Definitely not his best, in my opinion.
"So??? Who Dunnit???"
Yes. I really enjoyed the Ophelia Cut. But, then, I like Thrillers. And Legal thrillers are great. There were more twists & turns & characters doing stupid things in this book but it was still enjoyable. It kept me listening into the wee hours because I couldn't figure out who the murderer was. Maybe I'll figure it out when I listen to it again. Dismas Hardy is one of my favorite characters - I've bought or read most of the books in the series. I'll keep on buying them as long as Audible keeps bringing them in.
Yes. He performs a lot of the Lescroart books & does a very good job. I hope he becomes the ONLY performer in the rest of the series. His characters are believable & he's able to accurately pronounce all the technical terms & multisylabic words.
Bring em on!!
I'm listening to all of JL's books for the second time. They are close to the top of the 800+ audiobooks I've listened to. In the past four years. Each one leaves me thinking he can't possibly write another one better than this and I'm always proven wrong. I unfortunately can't recommend this book and all of the Hatdy/Glitsky/Hunt:/Roake novels higher than five stars. Every second gives so much pleasure.
"A bit of a let-down"
Can’t say I loved it.
The other reviews here give you an idea of the story. The book was certainly interesting enough: well-paced and engrossing. Still, there were several things I didn’t like. For one, Hardy and Glitsky were very mortal, and produced no brilliant stuff. Disappointing; I would have preferred Superman or at least for one of them to do something out of the ordinary. For another, the ending was weak. It was very plausible, but very ordinary for all that. There was a feeling of having been let down, of something left hanging. I have been looking for the next book to see if there is some sort of closure. Lescroart’s next book is “The Keeper” but (reading the publisher’s summary) I don’t think The Keeper provides this closure. There is a fair amount of courtroom, er, stuff, in The Ophelia Cut, but it's quiet. I wouldn't really call it "courtroom drama".
"Time to try something different now, Mr. Lescroart"
I have been a happily entertained reader of this series for about 25 years now, initially in print, and then for the last 7-8 years in audiobooks. It is fair to say that I have loved this work. The characters of Dismas Hardy, Abe Glitsky and their supporting crew have almost become real humans to me. It does help that I live and work in the same area, both geographically and professionally, as these people do, but really, that's not a big part of the appeal of the series. Mr. Lescroart and Mr. Colacci are a perfect combination, with complementary skills and genuine affection for their characters. One thing that really appeals to me is the fact that Dismas and Abe and the others have what seem to be real lives, with births and deaths and marriages and the range of complications that all of us live through during our brief stay here on planet Earth. It would take an encyclopedic review to attempt to give you the flavor of Mr. Lescroart's primary accomplishments. So, I won't attempt that. You would be happily advised to listen to many of the prior books. They are legal thrillers, and Part II is often a bit slow going, as we get to slog through the trials, but even when things begin to get a little boring, our entertainers come up with something new and quirky, or particularly knotty, or emotionally fraught.
The Ophelia Cut (not a good title, which might be a warning) centers on the rape of a young woman and the apparent revenge killing of the man by the young woman's father, Moses McGuire. Of course Dismas represents Moses at the trial, and I won't be a spoiler here about the end of the book. But, the book can at times be forbiddingly complex, and it often assumes that the reader is aware of the details of a massacre involving a number of the main characters here. The group of allies (Hardy, Glitsky, D.A. Wes Farrell, attorney Gina Roake, deceased attorney David Freeman) keeps a volatile secret amongst them. The exposure of this secret threatens them all, providing an underpinning of drama and intrigue to which only some of us readers can relate. In this book we are introduced to a city supervisor (Liam Goodman, whose chief clerk is the victim of the murder) a new chief of SF police, a Korean gangster and trafficker of human flesh named John Lo) and others. The plot gets spread out among these people too far, so that it is hard to keep all the players identified without a scorecard, so to speak. At times I felt a curious mix between boredom and a genuine interest in knowing how things turn out. I could have lived without the boredom, for sure. I think this is another result of the convention by modern novelists to make their books last a standard 300-350 pages in print, or about 12-14 hours in audio. Many younger writers are now shuffling off this mandate, thank goodness. As the late, great Elmore Leonard said, "I leave out the parts that people tend to skip." All writers should have this byword as a sampler knitted and framed on the wall of their writing rooms.
At the end of the book there is a true deus ex machina, which tries our patience a bit because it is implausible, and clearly a desperation move by the defense team. All along I had been thinking, Mr. Lescroart, you have been wildly successful, beyond your most outrageous dreams, but it is time to stop now. Shift gears. I know that he has done that for a couple of earlier books which I haven't read. I get the impression that they weren't as well received as the Hardy/Glitzky books. By this point in his career, the author must be in a position to take truly meaningful risks in doing what he does. I challenge you, Mr. Lescroart, little pipsqueak that I may be: And now it is time for something completely different.
I have read or listened to every one of the Dismas Hardy novels, along with most of John Lescroarts other books. In the past several novels there has been an absence of real substance. This book is written with the same zeal and character driven plot that his older books were and in that it excels. Its full of interesting little ethical questions and conundrums, along with a great story. You wont be disappointed with this book. Just like all of the other Hardy novels this one will twist and turn and throw you off your seat every time you think you've got something figured out.
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