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Hard Evidence [Mass Market Paperback]

John Lescroart
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Mass Market Paperback, May 1 1994 --  
Audio, CD, Abridged, Audiobook, CD CDN $13.13  

Book Description

May 1 1994 Dismas Hardy
The first evidence is found in the belly of a shark: a hand sporting a jade ring. The hand belongs to a Silicon Valley billionaire. When the rest of his bullet-ridden body washes up on shore, Dismas Hardy, assistant D.A., is suddenly plunged into San Francisco's murder trial of the century.
A Japanese call girl with a long list of bigshot johns is the defendant. But a series of bizarre twists and turns blows the case wide open, making Hardy himself a target for everyone from the victim's sexy daughter to the vengeful judge who wants Hardy to sizzle . . . .
"A gripping courtroom drama that may well be Lescroart's breakthrough novel . . . As always, Lescroart creates compelling, credible characters and holds the reader's attention through every step of the plot." -- Publishers Weekly
"A compelling combination of courtroom drama and whodunit . . . Sparked with crackling dialogue and vivid scenes of its San Francisco setting . . . Lescroart is a fine writer." -- Richmond Times-Dispatch

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From Publishers Weekly

In his third appearance, San Francisco bartender Dismas Hardy returns to the practice of law to star in a gripping courtroom drama that may well be Lescroart's breakthrough novel. After the severed hand of a murdered billionaire is discovered in a dead shark's stomach, Hardy ends up on the DA's team prosecuting the victim's Japanese mistress. She produces an airtight alibi just as the trial begins; Diz loses his job, and, in a bizarre twist, is hired to defend the second person accused of the crime, Andrew Fowler--who is not only his ex-father-in-law but was also the judge in the first trial. Diz's involvement with his beautiful ex-wife and the needs of his very pregnant current wife complicate his life, while doubts about his client's innocence and the antagonism demonstrated toward Fowler from both the prosecution and the bench put him at a disadvantage in court. A seemingly unimportant bit of testimony provides the clue that reveals the killer's identity and motivation. As always, Lescroart ( Dead Irish ; The Vig ) creates compelling, credible characters and, despite one or two unlikely coincidences, holds reader's attention through every step of the plot. 50,000 first printing; Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club selections.
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

YA-- From the moment a severed hand wearing a serpentine jade ring is found in the belly of a white shark, this murder case is emotionally, politically, and judicially tainted. Even after junior Assistant D. A. Dismas Hardy is forced into relinquishing the case to his superior, the ambitious Elizabeth Pullios, he finds himself in progressively more complex relationships with a seemingly unlimited string of murder suspects. First, the high-class Japanese mistress of the wealthy victim is caught trying to sneak out of the country with a note in her dead lover's handwriting promising her a million dollars. Then the powerful judge with the impeccable reputation hearing the case is found to be footing the bill for the mistress's defense. Finally, it is revealed that the possessive daughter of the victim had had a very unusual relationship with her father. YAs will devour this hefty book with its short chapters that fluidly move from pointed courtroom dialogue to ongoing investigation to complex personal intrigues, all driven by Hardy's idealism.
- Jessica Lahr, Edison High School, Fairfax County, VA
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Dismas Hardy walked hip-deep in green ice water, his rubber-gloved hands on the fins of a six-foot white shark. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Gives a nice sense of the City Nov. 29 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The Dismas Hardy series doesn't seem to attract much critical acclaim. Still, I read it every so often for what it does so very well -- taking the reader into that special world that is San Francisco. Lescroart does a great job with the little details that are lots of fun for those of us who know the city well - the bars of the Sunset, the rich cultural mix, and the crazy city politics.
In this story, a severed hand is found in the belly of a shark when Dismas is watching. A bit of sleuthing determines that the hand belongs to the dead body of a computer millionaire. Dismas is working at the D.A.'s office - the prosecution begins. However, all is not as it seems as Dismas, Abe Glitzky and reporter Jeff find lots of contradictory evidence and even more potential suspects.
A solid read for fans of the Grisham/Turow category and a special treat for fans of San Francisco. Dismas continues to grown into a character of intriguing complexity.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Gives a nice sense of the City Nov. 29 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The Dismas Hardy series doesn't seem to attract much critical acclaim. Still, I read it every so often for what it does so very well -- taking the reader into that special world that is San Francisco. Lescroart does a great job with the little details that are lots of fun for those of us who know the city well - the bars of the Sunset, the rich cultural mix, and the crazy city politics.
In this story, a severed hand is found in the belly of a shark when Dismas is watching. A bit of sleuthing determines that the hand belongs to the dead body of a computer millionaire. Dismas is working at the D.A.'s office - the prosecution begins. However, all is not as it seems as Dismas, Abe Glitzky and reporter Jeff find lots of contradictory evidence and even more potential suspects.
A solid read for fans of the Grisham/Turow category and a special treat for fans of San Francisco. Dismas continues to grown into a character of intriguing complexity.
Was this review helpful to you?
4.0 out of 5 stars Getting to know Dismas Hardy Feb. 26 2001
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I'm working my way back through Lescroart novels. In Hard Evidence, Dismas Hardy has recovered from his son's death and his long "drop out" period of running the bar with his brother-in-law. He has married Frannie, adopted her first child and they are expecting a baby of their own. He has gone back to work in the DA's office and as the new guy is stuck with the more mundane criminal cases that are usually pleaded out. He is waiting for a murder case to prosecute.
Along comes a hand recovered from the belly of a shark. The first challenge is to identify the victim and to determine whether the hand belonged to a hapless swimmer or a murder victim. The suspense builds when a body washes up on the shore with bullet holes in the crotch and the head of a very dead male.
What makes this book hard to put down is the rapid succession from one suspect to another without any "hard evidence." Lescroart explores the politics and ambitions of the people involved in the justice system revealing how much more personal it all becomes rather than a true search for justice.
A large part of Hard Evidence is about Dismas Hardy and his return to the practice of trial law. He is a renegade within the system who just cannot accept the easy answer on the surface. His personal tempations and insecurities are a little tiring but add to the development of his hard working and driven quest for the truth.
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By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Hard Evidence was published in 1993. I only just "discovered" John Lescroart several years ago and decided to go back to some of his older work. This book kept me on pins and needles for most of it. Lescroart's understanding of the subtleties of trial law and the legal world fascinated me, given that he's not a lawyer. Sometimes I felt he was too good at it, drawing out some of the legal manuvering a little too long in places (thus, 4 stars, instead of 5). Still, it's a superbly entertaining read. I recommend it to mystery and suspense fans, and certainly to fans of legal thrillers.
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By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is the first book that has gripped me in such a way that I could not put it down. The charachters were very colorful and carefully introduced. It took me three sittings to read this book, and I could not stop thinking about it inbetween readings. This is the first book of Lescroart's I have read, but he has proven to me that he knows how keep the reader interested, and keep the story alive. I acctually felt sorry for certain charachters during the story. They were so lifelike. His descriptive story telling skill is that of a master. I could picture everything around Dismas and the rest of the cast. The story was fantastic, the plot was great, and the characters well thought. I will definatly read more of John's works. I wish I could rank this book higher than 5 stars, cause it deserves TEN STARS!!!
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