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A Plague of Secrets: A Novel (Dismas Hardy, Book 13) Hardcover – June 30, 2009

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Dutton Adult; 1st edition (June 30, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0525950923
  • ISBN-13: 978-0525950929
  • Product Dimensions: 6.4 x 1.4 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (94 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,108,614 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Amazon Exclusive: Steve Berry Reviews A Plague of Secrets

Steve Berry is the New York Times bestselling author of international suspense thrillers, The Venetian Betrayal, The Alexandria Link, The Amber Room, The Templar Legacy, The Romanov Prophecy and The Third Secret. His latest novel is The Charlemagne Pursuit.

John Lescroart is a master at building worlds. Over the course of his many novels, he’s created a supple, elegant theater of San Francisco, populating it with an entourage of fascinating people.

At the top of that list is former-policeman, now defense lawyer, Dismas Hardy. Next is Hardy’s close friend, Abe Glitsky, of the San Francisco Police Department. A few books back in the series (The Hunt Club) we met Wyatt Hunt, a local private detective.

A Plague of Secrets brings these three personalities together again when Dylan Vogler, the manager of a coffee shop in San Francisco’s Haight-Ashbury district, is found dead cradling a knapsack full of marijuana. When Hardy learns that Vogler is actually supplying dope to many of San Francisco’s business and political elite, the tension and turmoil ratchet up into high-stakes suspense. Add in a murder charge that Hardy is called upon to defend, and Lescroart’s feisty, devil-may-care hero is once again thrust into the epicenter of a raging legal hurricane. The book’s title says it all. There is indeed a plague of secrets, one in particular that Hardy becomes legally bound to protect.

Through tight prose, surgical plotting, and relentless pacing, Lescroart offers more of his unadorned reality, expertly exploring the seamier side of law, politics, ethics, and morality.

A Plague of Secrets is lush and lusty, fascinating and smart, told in a wry, appealing voice. I’m often asked if I will ever write a legal thriller. Maybe. Who knows? But if I ever do I hope it’s half as good as one of John Lescroart’s. He’s in the top echelon of thriller masters. I’ve been a fan for a long time (don’t tell him, okay?). Guilt is one of my all time favorite books. A Plague of Secrets is a prize to be savored—another of John Lescroart’s beguiling and entertaining romps.

From Publishers Weekly

A brisk pace, sharp dialogue and believable characters propel bestseller Lescroart's 13th thriller to feature San Francisco defense attorney Dismas Hardy (after Betrayal). When someone shoots Dylan Volger in an alley near the coffee shop he managed, Bay Beans West, the cops discover a load of marijuana in the victim's backpack, a crop of weed growing in his attic and a customer list that includes a judge and several local officials. Suspicion centers on Hardy's client and Bay Beans West's owner, Maya Townshend, who's the sister of a city supervisor and the mayor's niece. That Maya was paying Volger an unusually high salary of $90,000 suggests he was blackmailing her. An arrogant U.S. attorney decides to turn the trial into a career-making moment, invoking a little-known law to prosecute Maya. Lescroart skillfully juggles myriad plot threads, including one involving homicide detective Abe Glitsky, a series regular, whose young son is in a coma after a car accident. (July)
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Customer Reviews

His writing is very Character driven.
John Lescroart is by far my favorite author and his latest novel in the 'Dismas Hardy' series is in my opinion one of the best of the series.
Robert H. Ouellette
It is great that his focus is back on Dismas Hardy and Abe Glitsky.
Legal Thriller

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

70 of 72 people found the following review helpful By Linda Holman VINE VOICE on July 4, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Get ready to stay up all night! John Lescroart's newest entry into the Dismas Hardy series is full of plot twists, political ambition and heart pounding courtroom scenes.

The book opens with Harlen Fisk, a reoccuring character who is a county supervisor, asking Dismas if he would take a call from his sister, Maya Townshend. It seems that the manager of her coffee house was murdered, and Maya might be in the sights of the police. Another murder later, and Maya is arrested. Dismas once again has to defend a complicated murder trial, in which the defendant is facing life in prison, without the possibility of parole.

The courtroom scenes are realistic, and the portrayal of a pro prosecution judge made my blood pressure rise! Throw in a ladder climbing Federal Prosecutor, and it's enough to give anyone a headache.

Abe Glitsky, Dismas' long time friend and lieutenant in the police dept, is dealing with his own heartbreaking personal problems, when his young son is in a tragic accident. Without Glitsky's supervision, two cops under his command are a little too eager to rush to judgement about Maya, and the drama that unfolds kept my heart pounding, right until the shocking climax of the story.

I personally think this is one of Lescroart's best entries into the series, and I can't wait for the next one!
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30 of 33 people found the following review helpful By E. R. Whyte on July 6, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Let me begin by stating that I'm a big John Lescroart fan. I am a native of the San Francisco Bay Area and really enjoy Lescroart's work because they are based here. The characters of Abe Glitsky, Dismas Hardy, Gina, Will and others are well developed and it's been a joy the progression of the kids growing up, etc.

I'm not a big fan of this particular book in the Dismas series. I don't want to delve into the plot but suffice it to say; I agree with another reviewer that suggests pieces of the plot appear to be missing. The secret that Harlen Fisk held was never revealed. It almost feels as though there were many tennacles to the plot and this one fell through the crack.
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20 of 22 people found the following review helpful By E. Bukowsky HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 3, 2009
Format: Hardcover
In John Lescroart's "A Plague of Secrets," San Francisco-based criminal defense attorney Dismas Hardy once again takes center stage, along with his close friend, Abe Glitsky, the head of San Francisco's Homicide Department, and Hardy's investigator, Wyatt Hunt. Hardy's latest client, thirty-two year old Maya Townshend, is a wealthy woman whose husband makes millions in the real estate business. She also owns Bay Beans West, a popular coffee shop. When the shop's manager, Dylan Vogler, who sidelines as a marijuana dealer, is found shot to death in an alley behind Bay Beans, suspicion falls on Maya. An aggressive homicide inspector, Debra Schiff, contends that Maya had a strong motive to want Vogler dead and a flimsy alibi to account for her whereabouts during the shooting.

Schiff is concerned because Maya's brother is Harlen Fisk, a former cop and member of San Francisco's Board of Supervisors, and Maya's aunt is Mayor Kathy West. With connections like these, it will be difficult to nail her. However, Debra is willing to go the extra mile to insure that Townshend is arrested, even if it means widening the probe with the help of federal attorney Jerry Glass. Because of a serious personal issue that is preoccupying Abe Glitsky, he gives Schiff more leeway than he normally would in such a high profile matter. Fearing that his sister is being railroaded, Fisk asks Dismas to be Maya's criminal defense attorney; she will need Hardy's considerable skills and courtroom savvy to get out of this mess. When another body turns up, the stakes are instantly raised. Although there is only a small amount of physical evidence pointing to Maya, the circumstantial evidence is damning.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have been a loyal LESCROART reader from day one... and go all the way back to the beginning with the formerly interesting and exciting Dismas Hardy... but between Dismas and his "BLACK-FRYING-PAN" (Luckily only mentioned once in this saga.)... and the constantly morose and always on the verge of jumping down someone's throat... homicide Lieutenant Abe Glitsky... the characters AND potential readers need a bottle of Geritol to generate any enthusiasm in this latest installment. The "lack" of action starts when Dylan Vogler who manages Bay Beans West, a local San Francisco coffee shop is found murdered in an alley behind the store. It turns out that Vogler was selling marijuana as well as coffee. The absentee owner of Bay Beans West is Maya Townshend who in addition to being married to a rich real estate mover and shaker... is also the niece of the Mayor of San Francisco. A second murder is committed... and there seems to be some "not-too-stimulating" evidence that hints/links Maya's days as a cheerleader and "mildly-bad-girl" when she attended USF a decade or so ago with both victims. Maya's brother is Supervisor Harlen Fisk who recommends Hardy to represent her.

With perhaps the least amount of verified evidence ever presented in a major legal thriller... Maya is arrested for both murders. It should be noted that Glitsky who never needed any excuse to brood and glower... is more sullen than normal due to the fact that his young son Zachary got hit by a car when Glitsky turned around for a second to get Zachary's bike helmet... and so of course... "old-life-of-the party" Abe blames himself. In one of the author's few shining moments he describes Abe as he sits in his office with the lights off: "GLITSKY'S ELBOWS RESTED ON HIS BARE DESK, HIS HANDS COVERING HIS MOUTH.
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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 JohnLescroart.com 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.

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