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Just an average entry in Dismas Hardy series -- slow go
on September 28, 2003
This was our first exposure to author Lescroart and his ex-cop, ex-everything else, Irish bartender, Dismas Hardy. Indeed, we must wait til nearly the mid-point of the book before we learn the personal tragedy that has caused Hardy to largely drop out of life. Meanwhile he leans on his old cop connections to fish out clues and check out suspects as Hardy helps investigate (at the request of the family) the questionable suicide of Eddie Cochran. For half the some 400 pages, the cops, Hardy, and worst, we readers, tire of the efforts to uncover clues and chase potential murderers. When the action finally heats up during the second half, we figure out long before the professionals do the probable villain; fortunately, a couple more killings finally lead to the real bad guy and things get tidied up near the end.
We feel little incentive based on this novel to pursue the rest of this series, although other reviewers suggest it might be one of the weakest in the set. For our money, existential writing is fine, but probably not in a whodunit when the audience is panting for some sort of gripping action to make the pages turn. Apparently this average to mediocre example of the Hardy set might as well be skipped by all but the author's ardent fans.