On the evening before Thanksgiving, Hal Chase, a guard in the San Francisco County Jail, drives to the airport to pick up his step-brother for the weekend. When they return, Hal’s wife, Katie, has disappeared without a clue.
By the time Dismas Hardy hears about this, Katie has been missing for five days. The case strikes close to home because Katie had been seeing Hardy’s wife, a marriage counselor. By this time, the original Missing Persons case has become a suspected homicide, and Hal is the prime suspect. And the lawyer he wants for his defense is none other than Hardy himself.
Hardy calls on his friend, former homicide detective Abe Glitsky, to look into the case. At first it seems like the police might have it right; the Chases’ marriage was fraught with problems; Hal’s alibi is suspect; the life insurance policy on Katie was huge. But Glitsky’s mission is to identify other possible suspects, and there proves to be no shortage of them: Patti Orosco - rich, beautiful, dangerous, and Hal’s former lover; the still-unknown person who had a recent affair with Katie; even Hal’s own step-mother, Ruth, resentful of Katie’s gatekeeping against her grandchildren. And as Glitsky probes further, he learns of an incident at the San Francisco jail, where Hal works - only one of many questionable inmate deaths that have taken place there. Then, when Katie’s body is found not three blocks from the Chase home, Homicide arrests Hal and he finds himself an inmate in the very jail where he used to work, a place full of secrets he knows all too well.
Against this backdrop of conspiracy and corruption, ambiguous motives and suspicious alibis, an obsessed Glitsky closes in on the elusive truth. As other deaths begin to pile up he realizes, perhaps too late, that the next victim might be himself.
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Richard Delman on 13-02-18
Not his best? Still very entertaining.
John Lescroart has been doing this now for almost thirty years, and IMHO he is still one truly fine, readable author. And David Colacci has become the only person I could imagine doing these books, rather like the comment others have made that George Guidall is Walt Longmire. This book does have too many murders, I will acknowledge, and it is really not plausible that that many of them could have happened in the San Francisco County jail. Usually Mr. Lescroart strives for and achieves better credibility than he does here. However, other reviewers have claimed that they knew quite early whodunit. Not me. Not until the last few minutes, when it becomes truly obvious that the culprit was ??? Do not call me a spoiler. The book starts with the killing of Katie Chase, the wife of a guard at the jail, Hal Chase. Hal is charged with her murder, and that is where both Diz and Abe get involved. As I have said before, I have worked in this setting for almost forty years now, and I feel like I would know both Dismas Hardy and Abe Glitsky if I met them on the street. Lescroart is so good at this that they are full-bodied, flesh and blood people to me. I have been there for the raising of their children, all the way through what seems to be coming, which is the retirement of both of them. That may not happen, as then what would they do? IDK. So in all likelihood he will keep spinning new yarns that will, frankly, be enough fun for me to read that I will buy them as soon as the books come out. I will admit that I bought both the audiobook and the written e-book of The Keeper, perhaps because I am at the age now where I am forgetting a good deal of what I have done and not done.
In any case, I digress. This book is still a good whodunit, and once again a truly accurate description of the city of San Francisco in all of its contradictory, confusing and glorious aspects. Only Mr. Lescroart has been able to nail the place so vividly, such that I can't imagine another author trying it. Lots of them do LA, so to speak, and they do a fine job of that. Robert Crais, to mention one of the best. But Mr. Lescroart has a fan for life in me. I am in his thrall. It's not that he can do no wrong, but it would have to be a really lousy book, and that seems unimaginable. So, enjoy! Fun is its own justification.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
By Cholmondeley on 08-10-14
Lescroat in full stride
This is classic Lescroart. It's set in San Francisco - probably a San Francisco of yesterday but he describes a crazy place I knew and liked. He's not a lawyer but he gets the procedural stuff and the sense of criminal law practice as well as anyone in the writing business. Dismas and Fran are getting older and in a way, they are both getting cooler.
David Colacci is, of course, the voice of the series and does for Lescroart what Richard Ferrone has done for the Prey Series.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful