Review: The Fall by John Lescroart

Posted 5 May, 2015 by DLWhite in Writers Write 0 Comments

The Fall Book Cover The Fall
John Lescroart
Atria Books
May 5, 2015

From New York Times bestselling author John Lescroart, a riveting new novel of legal suspense featuring Dismas Hardy and his daughter, Rebecca, now grown up and an associate in Hardy’s law firm.

Late one night, a teenage African American foster child named Tanya Morgan plummets to her death from the overpass above San Francisco’s Stockton tunnel. But did she fall…or was she pushed?

Rushing to produce a convictable suspect in the glare of the media spotlight, homicide inspectors focus their attention on a naïve young man named Greg Treadway. Greg is a middle school teacher and he volunteers as a Special Advocate for foster children. At first, the only thing connecting him to Tanya’s death is the fact that they shared a meal earlier that night. But soon enough, elements of that story seem to fall apart…and Hardy’s daughter, Rebecca, finds herself drawn into the young man’s defense.

By the time Greg’s murder trial gets underway, Dismas and Rebecca have unearthed several other theories about the crime: a missing stepfather who’d sexually assaulted her; a roommate who ran a call girl service; a psychologically unstable birth mother; and a mysterious homeless man who may have had dealings with Tanya. Or Greg Treadway himself, who is perhaps not all that he first appeared. But how will they get these theories in front of a jury? And if they can, what price will they have to pay?

With signature suspense and intricate plotting, The Fall puts Dismas Hardy and his only daughter in the middle of one of John Lescroart’s most complex and thrilling cases yet.

I received a copy of this novel from NetGalley in exchange for review.

The Fall is the latest from John Lescroart in the Hardly/Glitsky series that I’ve been reading for *mumble mumble* years– since before I had an ereader and I was going to the book store every other day to pick up the next two in the series because I ate them up like cake.

This book focuses on Hardy’s daughter Rebecca (or The Beck), who I have a hard time believing is an adult with a law degree because when I started reading this series I am pretty sure she was around eleven. Rebecca is an attorney in Hardy’s firm and has picked up a client accused of the murder of Anlya Paulson (a detail that was confusing because the name in the prologue is different but that’s okay because my copy was an ARC. I actually wish the name had stayed Tanya because Anlya was hard to pronounce in my head and she became Anya as I read).

Onward. In Lescroart’s San Francisco, murders of African Americans are on the rise. Convictions of murderers of African Americans are on the decline, so when Anyla literally falls out of the sky, the case becomes high profile before the investigating detectives even know her name.

This novel has a slight ripped from the headlines feel but it has been finessed enough to not be eyeroll inducing. Rebecca’s client, Greg Treadway is a do-gooder. He’s a teacher and a volunteer with an organization that mentors foster children. Anlya’s brother was his charge, and as a result, he got to know her well. Too well. They were… too close. As Greg is the last person to spend time with Anlya, he’s immediately the first and best suspect.

The DA’s office– namely Wes Farrell, is under the gun to name and prosecute a suspect. With Glitsky working for the DA’s office as an investigator, this puts both Hardy’s and Glitsky on opposite ends of the case– a spot that’s comfortable for Dismas, but a little rocky for Rebecca.

The novel follows the investigation, arrest and trial of Treadway and includes Lescroart’s penchant for creating story lines that don’t seem to have anything to do with one another and somehow dovetail together perfectly. The pace is a rocket and I all but *feel* Greg Treadway being railroaded.

But then the case ends and I’m thoroughly surprised to find that there is book left…so what’s going on? The twist ACTUALLY caught me by surprise– shouldn’t have, because as long as I’ve been reading Lescroart, I should know better, but this one was sitting right under my nose.

While I enjoyed this book and gave it a high rating, I read the series for Abe and Dismas and there was not nearly enough of either in this book. I liked watching Dismas guide his daughter through her first murder trial, however I don’t think I want to read another book that focuses so heavily on Rebecca. She is smart, wily like her father but not an interesting protagonist to me. Maybe she’ll grow on me?

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