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81 Reviews
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Two Day Read
Having started with later Lescroart books, I already knew Dismas Hardy, his main character. In the latter books he was already married to Frannie with hints about a troubled past. Going Back to The Vig at the beginning of the story he is getting back together with his first wife but still in his bummed out mode. He is tending bar with his friend Moses when Rusty...
Published on January 14, 2001 by Suzanne Vitale

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Second Book in Great Series featuring Hardy and Glitsky
The Vig, by John Lescroart, is the 2nd entry in the excellent series featuring defense attorney Dismas Hardy and his longtime friend San Francisco Police Department Homicide Investigator Abe Glitsky. This is a good book with an interesting story, but it is more important as a set-up novel for the great series that follows. Hardy and Glitsky are threatened by an...
Published on March 29, 2009 by Happy Chappy


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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Two Day Read, January 14, 2001
By 
Having started with later Lescroart books, I already knew Dismas Hardy, his main character. In the latter books he was already married to Frannie with hints about a troubled past. Going Back to The Vig at the beginning of the story he is getting back together with his first wife but still in his bummed out mode. He is tending bar with his friend Moses when Rusty Ingraham walks in one day telling him a tale about a con who is to be released that has promised to come looking to kill the both of them. Actually Rusty has come up with a complicated scam designed to allow him to disappear and Dismas to be the one to point the finger at the ex-con for killing him. There are several semmingly unrelated murders that keep going back to a mob enforcer who has been collecting "The Vig"...the ever increasing interest on loan sharking. Dismas' friend, Abe doesn't take the threat on Hardy's life seriously enough and it falls to Hardy to prove that Baker, the ex-con did not commit the murders he is accused of. The various characters are well developed and the story works well. The challenge of solving the mysteries helps to rehabilitate Dismas Hardy and sees him begin a relationship with Frannie who becomes his wife in future novels. If you didn't read it along the way, read it now. Lescroart is great reading.
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29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars good, gritty mystery, March 28, 2000
By A Customer
The customers who panned this book obviously thought of John Lescroart as a legal thriller writer only. But before he put Dismas back into the courtroom, Lescroart's books were sort of Irish Elmore Leonard mysteries. That may be jarring for people, but come on, folks! Are you really so bound into formula that your brains can't switch gears and enjoy this?
The Vig is a fine mystery with a complex plot, endearing characters, and great dialogue.
Anyone who can call this a Grisham wannabe isn't thinking, and recommending a Ludlum wannabe like The Day After Tomorrow is CERTAINLY comparing apples to cinder blocks.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Typical Dismas Hardy Story - Worth Your Time, February 28, 2003
By 
John R. Linnell (New Gloucester, ME United States) - See all my reviews
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This is one of the early books in the trials and tribulations of Dismas Hardy and even if you have read the later books, it is worth reading. The mystery created in the book is interesting, you learn the history of his eventual marriage to Frannie (which happens in other books), and you learn more about the relationship between Hardy and Lt. Abe Glitsky. Not a bad bargain for the price of a paperback.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Second Book in Great Series featuring Hardy and Glitsky, March 29, 2009
This review is from: The Vig (Dismas Hardy) (Mass Market Paperback)
The Vig, by John Lescroart, is the 2nd entry in the excellent series featuring defense attorney Dismas Hardy and his longtime friend San Francisco Police Department Homicide Investigator Abe Glitsky. This is a good book with an interesting story, but it is more important as a set-up novel for the great series that follows. Hardy and Glitsky are threatened by an dangerous felon recently released from prison. This is an important book in the series as the relationship between Hardy and his ex-wife is explored, as is the tragic death of his son years prior. Franny also factors in the drama. Gritty scenes from the projects in San Francisco really provide the author an opportunity to showcase his talents.

This is enjoyable reading and rates 4 stars.

For those new to this outstanding series, the order of books is as follows:

Dead Irish
The Vig
Hard Evidence
The 13th Juror
The Mercy Rule
Nothing but the truth
The Hearing
The Oath
The First Law
The Second Chair
The Motive
Betrayal
& A Plague of Secrets [scheduled for release in July 2009]

I personally recommend reading them in order for the best experience. The characters evolve and are fully realized.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book! Essential for fans of Dismas Hardy., June 4, 1999
I couldn't disagree more with the other customer review of this book. I read 'Hard Evidence' first, and then went searching for earlier Dismas Hardy outings -and I wasn't at all disappointed in either case, just as I haven't been disappointed by later Hardy mysteries (or Lescroart mysteries in general). Lescroart's mysteries are character-driven, well-written and well-plotted - exactly what I look for in a mystery, with the added bonus of a Bay Area setting - an added bonus for a former Bay Area resident, and for anyone who loves San Francisco and its environs. I recommend it most highly, along with all the other Lescroart mysteries.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A solid, more upbeat sequal to 'Dead Irish', April 6, 2006
Although intended to be a stand alone, I would strongly recommend reading the previous Dismas Hardy book entitled 'Dead Irish' to understand some of the self-torment on the part of Dismas Hardy that continues into this book.

For those that have read 'Dead Irish', this book is not nearly so dark and tortured. Not that it's a comedy since there are plenty of people dying, being set up in criminal schemes and hard choices are faced by many of the main characters. However, the overall climate of the book is much less severe.

As to the general plot - an old colleague of Hardy's named Rusty from the DA's office warns him that a murderer who had threatened to kill them both when he was released was being released soon. Rusty's houseboat becomes the scene of an apparent double murder and it turns out that lots of people had a motive to kill Rusty, including an ex-cop, a jealous husband, the mafia, a prosecutor and the ex-con murderer.

Good, solid read. I give this one a B+.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun., December 18, 2004
John T. Lescroart's The Vig was a fun read. The plot moved along at a fast pace. This book is light fiction. The plot revolves around groups of different people who have connections with each other. I really liked reading about the minor mob characters. That was because of my interest in the Mafia rather than that part being extraordinarily well-written.

The Vig was sometimes annoying, because the story wasn't totally believable. Some of John Lescroart's characters were over the top. For example, Rusty Ingraham was too clever to be believable, but I won't go any further because it might ruin it for other readers. Lescroart seemed to stereotype black gangsters. These characters killed each other over money and dope. To me, The Vig is not as good as any of the Robert B. Parker's novels.

I recommend this book to readers who want a light mystery novel.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Character invariably trumps plot, April 23, 2009
By 
Domestic Gnome (Cornwall, CT USA) - See all my reviews
This review has more to do with the series than specifically with The Vig. Working my way through the Dismas Hardy novels. Unlike many current detective writers, Lescroart eschews the charismatic psychotic serial killer and his/her elaborate, shocking crimes - burned, hanged, flayed, dismembered, et al. - and offers rather average folks - cops, secretaries, lawyers, etc. - caught up in difficult and unusual circumstances but trying to deal with the challenges of everyday life - work, family, friends.

His characters' reflections on these challenges are simple, poignant, thoughtful evocations of the issues that we all face, and Lescroart does a superb job of coalescing the vapors, giving voice to our ruminations and fears.

His work reminds me of the writing of James Gould Cozzens who won a Pulitzer Prize and was considered for the Nobel Prize. Writing during the middle decades of the 20th century, Cozzens was attacked by critics for being hopelessly out of date. His heroes are quite ordinary men, living quite ordinary lives and find themselves in the midst of a crisis that tests their moral and ethical beliefs. Like Cozzens' characters, Lescroart's heroes stand near us, offering the opportunity to reflect on our own lives.

The plots have the requisite twists and turns and tensions to keep them moving briskly, but it is the thoughts and feelings of the characters that lift these books well above the general run of detective/thriller/mystery novels. The layers build as the series progresses so stay the course and enjoy the books - it's definitely worth it.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars It's a shame Dismus survived that fall . . ., August 28, 2006
I almost abandoned this book like three times. Was Dismus really a cop in other books? Because I'm a housewife in Ohio and I know better than to stand on the edge of a cliff with a bad guy. Dismus is the hapless victim of everything in the story, including his affair with a pregnant woman only four months widowed. I had the ending figured out well before halfway, a record for me and a sad indictment of the story. The only person I cared about in the whole book was the convicted felon -- another sad indictment. I should have bailed early, and given this mutt one star.

I rate books as follows:

***** Fun and meaningful book, or changed/challenged me in a positive way.

****Really fun or meaningful; well worth the time.

***Pleasantly skimmed the surface; not memorable.

**Plodded through.

*Abandoned; very flawed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book! Essential for fans of Dismas Hardy., June 4, 1999
I read 'Hard Evidence' first, and then went searching for earlier Dismas Hardy outings - and I wasn't at all disappointed in either case. Lescroart's mysteries are character-driven, well-written and well-plotted - exactly what I look for in a mystery, with the added bonus of a Bay Area setting - a treat for a former Bay Area resident, and for anyone who loves San Francisco and its environs. I recommend it most highly, along with all the other Lescroart mysteries.
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The Vig (Dismas Hardy)
The Vig (Dismas Hardy) by John Lescroart (Mass Market Paperback - August 1, 2006)
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