From Publishers Weekly
The heroes of Lescroart's popular Dismas Hardy/Abe Glitsky series (The Second Chair
; etc.) have reached the point where age and professional success keep them from the gritty street-level investigations that made their adventures so good. While promising that he hasn't abandoned the duo, Lescroart keeps the action high by inaugurating a new San Francisco series, starring private investigator Wyatt Hunt and homicide detective Devin Juhle. Longtime Lescroart fans can relax: these pals are at least as interesting and enterprising as Hardy/Glitsky. Hunt's eccentric pack of friends and associates (aka the loose organization known as the Hunt Club) are investigating the murder of a federal judge and his young girlfriend. What would normally be a job for the police becomes personal after Hunt's love interest, who has connections to the judge, goes missing. Both Hunt and Juhle have appropriately troubled pasts: Hunt was forced out of a career as a child protective services officer, and Juhle is trying to live down a shoot-out that killed his last partner. As a PI, Hunt is free to detect in unorthodox and entertaining ways, while Juhle brings to bear the technical and logistic resources of official law enforcement. Most readers will agree that it's a great combination, both on the job and on the page. (On sale Jan. 24)
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Lescroart, the author of the New York Times
best-selling series starring Dismas Hardy and Abe Glitsky, introduces a new series character here. Wyatt Hunt is an embittered ex-caseworker in San Francisco, dismissed from Child Protective Services in a dispute with his boss. He is now at the first stages of recovering from this blow, which threatens not his love of salary or sense of self but his mission to save the most vulnerable castoffs in the city. It's pretty standard in mysteries, and even cliched, to have somebody wrongly fired (usually from the police) sink into seclusion or the bottle and then move into private-eye work as a way back to life. This premise gives the character a depth of expertise to draw on and, theoretically, a sufficiently cynical outlook on life. Lescroart draws on this tradition by having his hero drawn out of his seclusion by a homicide inspector friend asking him to look into a murder. The murder is pretty juicy--a federal judge and his mistress are both found dead in his home. One of the suspects is a lawyer/TV crime commentator whom Hunt has a crush on and who suddenly disappears. Hunt works with a loose group of friends, all with different backgrounds and expertise, to solve the judge's murder and the lawyer's disappearance. Hunt is the narrator, much given to long-winded descriptions of his thought processes. This works great with Spenser, but it's boring with Hunt, who hasn't emerged enough from his self-pity to be a credible sleuth, although his child-services background gives him the ability to read motives in surprisingly insightful ways. Enjoyable plot but unconvincing detective. Lescroart fans will be interested, even so. Connie FletcherCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved