John Lescroart was born in Houston, Texas and brought up in Texas, New York and Northern California. On graduating from U.C. Berkeley, he did various jobs before becoming a full-time writer, including working as a singer in Europe, a bar tender in an Irish pub in San Francisco and associate director of the Jewish Homes for the Aging in Los Angeles. After doctors estimated he had two hours to live when he contracted meningitis, John Lescroart decided, on his return to health, to take the risk of writing full-time. Two years after that decision, his novel THE 13th JUROR hit the New York Times bestseller list and stayed on the Publishers Weekly bestseller list for three months.
Possessed of a singular writer's instinct, Lescroart drapes a bare-bones plot in psychological window dressing and produces a full-bodied, substantive, and stylistic effort of the first order. San Francisco ex-cop and current bartender Dismas ``Diz'' Hardy cannot believe his friend Eddie would commit suicide, so he decides to investigate. The progress of his search into Eddie's last days coincides with changes in his own emotional make-up, as he faces the reasons for his divorce and his feelings of guilt over the death of his infant son. Full attention to character, then, a sympathetic protagonist, and a satisfying conclusion.
Dismas Hardy, an ex-policeman and lawyer who has withdrawn from his former life as a result of a personal tragedy, tends an Irish bar in San Francisco. When his boss asks him to investigate the apparent suicide of Eddie Cochran, Hardy agrees. Cochran was a friend and proving his death was not suicide will free the insurance money to his pregnant widow. As he becomes close to Eddie's parents, his emotionally distraught younger brother and family friend, Father Jim Cavanaugh, Hardy finds his life complicated by an encounter and renewed relationship with his ex-wife. Uncovering a botched drug deal arranged by Cochran's employer, Hardy believes he can show that Eddie was indeed murdered. But from that point his investigations come to a dead end. The killer, identified about two-thirds of the way through the story, proves to be as fascinating a personality as Hardy himself. Lescroart ( Rasputin's Revenge ) provides a surprise twist at the end. (Jan.)