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Hard Evidence (Dismas Hardy, Book 3) Paperback – June 1, 2002

91 customer reviews
Book 3 of 16 in the Dismas Hardy Series

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Editorial Reviews

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.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 688 pages
  • Publisher: Signet (June 1, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451206460
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451206466
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.4 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (91 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #133,419 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

John Lescroart's newest book, THE KEEPER, appeared on the New York Times best-seller list soon after its release in May, 2014. Thanks for your support!

John Lescroart is the New York Times Bestselling author of twenty-five novels, including most recently THE KEEPER, available online and in bookstores now. He has written seventeen novels in the San Francisco based Dismas Hardy/Abe Glitsky series. Libraries Unlimited has included him in its publication "The 100 Most Popular Thriller and Suspense Authors," his books have been translated into twenty languages in more than seventy-five countries, and his short stories appear in many anthologies.

John's blog at is updated regularly with writing tips, insights on his books, recipes, recommendations, book give-aways, and more! Please also find John on Twitter and Facebook.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 34 people found the following review helpful By Carol Peterson Hennekens on November 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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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Larry Scantlebury on June 27, 2002
Format: Paperback
Dismas Hardy is a renaissance man. Vietnam veteran, bereaved father of a lost child, lawyer, bartender, bar owner, lawyer again, and, championship dart thrower.
Hard Evidence is a play on words, I think, balancing on the fulcrum between lots of circumstantial evidence, individually or piece by piece not compelling, and direct evidence. In a manner of speaking, this Wigmore definition on evidentiary substance mimics life. Hardy's ex-wife, Jane, remains his friend and becomes, inter alia, his current wife's friend. I would think that the first circumstance would be difficult; the second preposterous.
Hardy has joined (again) the San Francisco DA's office as a junior prosecutor, and inherits, almost by accident, a homicide case involving Owen Nash, an enormously wealthy financier. Hardy investigates his partner's status, exponentially more wealthy now that Nash is dead, the sexually obsessive daughter, the Japanese prostitute that Nash fell in love with, all the while drinking a huge amount of alcohol and having a lot of sex.
Lescroart seems to be on the periphery of becoming a "sought after author" like Parker, Crais, and Burke, and to a lesser extent, Lehane and Pelicanos. You can see people ordering up in a bookstore or e-mailing Amazon asking, "when's the release date on the next Lescroart?" Or, if they're fairly young, "when's the release date on the next Lescroart, dude?" But although this is a 1991 novel, even now he seems to be still just on the edge.
The writing is excellent; the plots are intricate and like a form-fitting rug, interwoven. I would say, too interwoven. And that amplifies that the interwoven characters are just, well . . . weird. Unbelievable. To follow the implied legalese, incredible.
Nash, who has 8 gazillion dollars, falls in love with a prostitute.
Read more ›
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By debvh on March 22, 2003
Format: Paperback
I�ve been reading Lescroart�s series featuring attorney Dismas Hardy all out of order; fortunately, �Hard Evidence� stands up well on its own. The author provides a brief update regarding what must be several novels worth of tumultuous events in the lives of Hardy and his wife while quickly moving on to the mystery at the core of the novel. Hardy has rejoined the San Francisco DA�s office and, while toiling away at the sort of low-level crimes addressed by junior staff, finds himself investigating the murder of a wealthy and prominent businessman. With the help of his buddy, prickly police detective Abe Glitzky, Hardy searches for the murderer while striving to maintain the stability of his marriage and resolve his own doubts about his chosen career. It�s not too hard to figure out who was the murderer, and the plot twist that puts Hardy on the side of the defense is so heavily foreshadowed (and practically given away altogether on the back cover of the book) that I spent the whole first half of the book wondering when it would finally arrive. However, �Hard Evidence� strikes a good balance between plot-driven and character-driven elements � the recurring characters are central to the story and are given plenty to do even as readers get to visit with old friends.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Suzanne Vitale on February 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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