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A Plague of Secrets by John Lescroart
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A Plague of Secrets

by John Lescroart

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I had forgotten how much I like legal thrillers until I read John Lescroart’s A PLAGUE OF SECRETS.
The basic plot was straight forward: Dylan Vogler, the manager of a popular San Francisco coffee shop was killed. He was wearing a backpack, filled with marijuana. Maya Townshend, the wealthy, beautiful, politically connect absentee owner of the coffee shop claimed she knew nothing about the pot but she had been paying the manager an excessively high salary.
In order to find the murderer, the police looked for the usual: motive, means, and opportunity. Maya quickly became their prime, and later, only suspect, especially when someone else she knew was killed.
Dismas Hardy was her defense attorney but found Maya less than cooperative, especially about her relationship to Dylan. He believed the prosecutors were hiding information and the judge was biased. The struggle to prove that 1 (motive) plus 1 (means) plus 1 (opportunity) don’t necessarily add up to a single solution (Maya’s guilt), kept him busy to the end of the trial and the book. His best friend, Homicide Lieutenant Abe Glitsky, was not as helpful as he usually is because of an accident involving his young son.
A PLAGUE OF SECRETS briefly mentioned problems faced by homeless people. It repeated the aphorism, “The essence of fascism is to make laws forbidding everything and then enforce them selectively against your enemies.” And it explained why innocent people sometimes will plead out: If they answer, they might say something and later be charged with perjury. If they don’t answer, they may be charged with civil contempt and sent to jail. If the person didn’t know about the crime but had a reason to know but didn’t act, the charge could be deliberate ignorance. Even if acquitted in federal court, if convicted of even one thing, perjury, can be sentenced up to maximum of acquitted charge with no chance of parole. In other words, damned if you do and damned if you don’t.
A PLAGUE OF SECRETS is a well-written page turner that kept me up until 4:15 AM. ( )
  Judiex | Apr 12, 2014 |
Lescroat's latest book is a full of action and suspense. Being from California, I love reading the mysteries that take place in places that I am familiar with, and San Francisco is one of those places. This book contains mystery, suspense and good characterization, though not as deep as many of his novels. San Francisco is a great place for this adventure, especially as Lescroat weaves in the local color with different food offerings, the scenery and with hilly and curved streets, bayside scenes and some history of the area.

Dismas Hardy is the prominent lawyer working with Abe Glitsky who is the head of San Francisco's homicide department. He becomes the attorney for Maya Townsend, a wife and mother that comes from a well to do family who is accused of not one but two murders, along with the using and selling of pot. Her weapon is found at one of the scenes and some blackmail is involved.

There are several sub plots that never seem to connect well for me but I do like following the antics and the way Hardy gets involved in his investigations. Although this is not one of the strongest of Lescroat’s books, it is worth reading if you are at all acquainted with is characters. ( )
1 vote WeeziesBooks | Feb 28, 2011 |
This legal thriller has Dismas Hardy defending a woman he thinks is guilty. The prose is tight and the pacing is relentless. I thought I knew the answer but didn't until almost the end. Lescroart's dismas Hardy series is always good. ( )
  LiteraryLinda | Jun 7, 2010 |
Loved this book! Of course, I always love Lescroart's work (especially the Dismas Hardy series), but this book was better than usual. From the jacket copy, I wasn't sure I would like it, but it got off the ground quickly and it kept me reading nearly straight through.

The manager of a successful Bay Area coffee shop is murdered, and it's soon discovered that he was using the coffee shop to sell marijuana to numerous customers. One thing leads to another and soon enough, the owner o...more Loved this book! Of course, I always love Lescroart's work (especially the Dismas Hardy series), but this book was better than usual. From the jacket copy, I wasn't sure I would like it, but it got off the ground quickly and it kept me reading nearly straight through.

The manager of a successful Bay Area coffee shop is murdered, and it's soon discovered that he was using the coffee shop to sell marijuana to numerous customers. One thing leads to another and soon enough, the owner of the shop is Hardy's client.

Meanwhile, Glitsky's youngest son has been in an accident, while affects how the Homicide Division has been performing. Because of this, the case takes twists and turns that it might not had Glitsky been on his A-game.

As is usual, Hardy soon discovers that his client is harbouring secrets, secrets that I certainly never suspected and it gave the plot an extra jolt.

As a side note for regular readers of the Hardy series, I got a kick out of seeing Vincent and The Beck all grown up. :) ( )
  minjung | Feb 1, 2010 |
In the world of legal thrillers John Grisham usually gets all the hype, but John Lescroart and Robert Tannenbaum are much better writers. A Plague of Secrets is Lescroart's twentieth book in his Dismas Hardy series; that's pretty impressive.

I like this series, set in San Francisco, partly because it's set in San Francisco, but also because the recurring characters & their lives are interesting. After twenty books in the series, I really care about these people, they feel fleshed out and real to me. Additionally, Lescroart has avoided the trap of making his series character massively irritating (Patricia Cornwell, I'm looking at you). I don't know why so many series writers turn their characters into people I wouldn't want to spend ten minutes waiting on a bus with, but they often do. I'm glad Lescroart hasn't.

This isn't the best in the series, but it's a good read - tightly plotted, good character development, lots of suspense & a surprise ending. What more could you want from a thriller? ( )
  kraaivrouw | Oct 22, 2009 |
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Epigraph
Men are not punished for their sins, but by them. --Elbert Hubbard
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To my muse, mentor, partner, and true love Lisa Marie Sawyer
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Friday, the end of the workweek.
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Book description
Bay Beans West, the coffee shop at the corner of Haight and Ashbury, is always crowded with customers, and manager Dylan Vogler has done very well for himself. Maybe too well. After he's found dead behind the shop - still wearing a backpack full of baggies stuffed with pot - his annual ninety-thousand dollar salary raises some eyebrows, and casts suspicion on the shop's real business and its owner, Maya Townshend. Married, wealthy, devoutly Catholic, and the niece of the city's mayor, Maya doesn't seem like your typical drug dealer - let alone killer - but the gun that killed Vogler was hers. And as Dismas Hardy is discovering, Maya has a lot of secrets. He's just not sure whether they include murder....
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Dismas Hardy defends Maya Townshend, the beautiful socialite niece of the San Francisco's mayor, who is suspected of killing a charming ex-convict. A compelling and timely legal thriller filled with blackmail, political intrigue, and multiple murder which also features returning characters Abe Glitsky and Wyatt Hunt.… (more)

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