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3.1 out of 5 stars
3.1 out of 5 stars
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on September 21, 2014
Not as good as some of his other books .....
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on April 20, 2004
Several reviewers have compared this novel unfavourably to later examples of the Dismas Hardy/Abe Glitsky series. But the book is the first of the series, and although it's weaker than later examples, it's a good read, with very sympa characters. And as always, the essence of San Francisco is bottled in some very evocative descriptions. So, fair plot, good characters, excellent setting. Well worth a look, and the later books in the series just get better. Press on.....
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on March 18, 2004
Eddie Cochran is dead from a gun shot wound to the head. Whether his death was a suicide or a homicide has yet to be determined by the San Francisco Police Department. To them Eddie is just another dead body and they have no shortage of those to investigate. So Moses McGuire, a local bar owner and Eddie's brother-in-law, enlists the help of his good friend Dismas Hardy to find out what really happened to Eddie. Hardy is an ex-cop and ex-lawyer who walked away from his career years ago after a personal tragedy and now bartends for Moses part-time. If it was a suicide, as seems apparent, why was the gun found in Eddie's left hand when he is right-handed? Also, there appears to be a suicide note but it is vague and unfinished. No one wants to believe that this bright young man with a prosperous future, a beautiful wife and a new baby on the way would simply end his own life for no apparent reason. Was it in fact a suicide? Or was Eddie caught in the middle of some sort of drug deal gone bad? Or is there another unthinkable factor involved in his death?
This is an outstanding whodunit!! It is also a very well-written story about a close-knit family dealing with the death of a beloved son, brother and husband. The ending was superb and I was totally shocked when I learned who the killer was as it is the very last person I would have suspected!
I recently finished reading Mr. Lescroart's latest novel, "The Second Chair", and was so impressed with Dismas Hardy that I decided to go back and read the series from the beginning. Hardy is a very engaging character. He has no aversion to throwing back more than a few drinks, loves a good dart game ( even carries his own set of darts around with him in his coat pocket) and has both a sense of humor and a great nose for detective work. If you have not read this first installment I advise you to pick up a copy. I'm so glad I did!
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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.
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on August 5, 2002
Dismas Hardy is a brooding Irishman who wears the pain of his personal losses like a costume. He is a former marine, policeman, attorney, husband and father and each of these past roles - and their attendant disappointments, pain and loss - play a very big part in his solitary and aloof approach to life. He tends bar at one of his closest friend's, Moses McGuire, neighborhood bar, plays a fairly decent game of darts, and drinks too many Black and Tans. He is a bartender who will listen to your sad tale, provide some bar-side philosophy with a bit of Irish cynicism and take your keys when you have had too much. He is in a slow spiral down until Moses's brother-in-law, Eddie Cochran, turns up dead. The first thinking is suicide but all those who know Eddie are convinced it was murder. Dismas makes it his business to find out.
This is a fast paced novel with many interesting, fully developed characters and enough questions on each page to keep you turning.
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on June 25, 2002
I listened to the audio version, and was pretty disappointed. I'm hoping some of the problem is the abridgement. While the book is ostensibly about Hardy, he didn't really seem to play a major role. It was just a grim tale about a LOT of people messing up their lives, and killing a lot of other people in the process.
In the middle, Hardy gets some romantic action, after reminiscing about the death of his baby, for which he feels responsible. From his description of events, he IS responsible, so that did nothing to endear the character to me.
I saw every plot twist a mile before it happened, and I consider myself a pretty naive reader, so that's not good.
I gather this book is one of a series, and wonder if maybe the author is counting on us to already like his principal character. I'll try another Lescroart book, but if it's like this one, it will be my last.
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on April 13, 2002
In fact, way too many of them. Lescroart is so busy marching people on and off stage that he forgets to get the plot going for way, way too long.
The Dismas Hardy series does get better. But unless you're one of those compulsive people (like me) who has to read a series from the beginning, skip this one.
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on February 20, 2002
This is a great thriller. Hard to put down.
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on November 22, 2000
Dismas Hardy is an ex-Marine, ex-cop, ex-attorney, ex-Catholic, ex-sharkwalker, ex-husband... Since the death of his 7 month old son, for which he blames himself, he has abandoned his marriage, his career & nearly abandoned all hope--"You could put your hope in anything you wanted, he figured, but to put it in hope itself was just pure foolishness." Now he bartends days at his friend Moses McGuire's bar, plays darts almost obsessively & drinks a few too many Black and Tans and Irish Whiskey's. He's just "skimming over the surface" of life, afraid to test the depths.
But when Moses' brother-in-law is found dead--a young man who Moses' little sister says was a younger version of Hardy before life chewed him up--Hardy ends up investigating whether it was murder or suicide. Gradually, & perhaps inevitably, he begins to care again.
I started one of these books a couple years ago & it didn't grab me, probably because it is a third person private eye novel--a major departure from the rules of the genre. But I found this one for fifty cents & figured I'd give it a shot.
I'm extremely glad that I did.
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on February 22, 2000
Dead Irish is an entertaining novel and Dismas Hardy is an extremely likeable character. For those who have read "A Certain Justice," you'll like this much better. For those who have read "The 13th Juror," this won't match up but it's worth your time.
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