Sunday, June 14, 2015

Review: The Fall by John Lescroart

Gone are the days when John Grisham was my go-to when I was in serious need of a great legal thriller that is captivating and thrilling from page one. John Lescroart is definitely the one I seek nowadays. Sure Grisham still holds a place in my heart, but Lescroart brings that thrill factor in a way that others cannot. He simply holds my attention by bringing thrill after thrill, throwing curve ball after curve ball, all the while keeping readers entranced in a story that is just interesting as the outcome. The Fall is no different.

The literally drops in on us as a young, black teenage girl named Anlya Grace Paulson (my version at least) drops onto the hood of a young woman's car in a seemingly deserted parking lot. Because of the importance in bringing to justice her killer, the main suspect turns out to be Greg Treadway. He's a volunteer as a special advocate for foster children who assists in extending their benefits beyond their 18th birthday. His questionable relationship with the deceased, an eyewitness statement, and a rush to judgement puts him in the hot seat.

Enter Hardy. Not that Hardy. Enter Dismas' Hardy's daughter, Rebecca, who's now employed at the prestigious law firm. She's still wet behind the ears and totally unprepared for such a high profile trial that holds a young man's life in the balance. Readers follow along as she grows as a lawyer. Followers of the Dismas Hardy series will appreciate her tenacity and enjoy the journey she's on. Newbies to this series will ultimately find her exhausting and a little too naive. I found myself in the middle.

What I liked most about this title is that when I thought I knew who the culprit was, Lescroart provided more and more doubt, reasonable doubt. I couldn't quite pinpoint who the killer was based on the shady characters who have come into this young woman's life. There's the maybe ex best friend turned trickster, or the crazy molester that's seemed to disappear in the wind, or it could quite possibly be the man on trial. Who's to say?

Of course the courtroom scenes are what I live for in legal thriller. Sure the occasional gunfight and danger lurking at every turn is the courtroom battle. Who will win? Will the person on trial be found guilty? Could the judge and jury be making the wrong call? I love the back and forth banter that is a trial. Trying to poke holes in every testimony, gaining strategic points with the jury by a carefully placed objection. I mean, I love 20/20 or Dateline... my favorite video game is Pheonix Wright. All you gamers should know who he is (js). Lescroart gives life to his courtroom scenes. I am essentially one of the many patrons who troll in hopes of being privy to the world's next high profile case.

Although I enjoyed The Fall and was a much needed reprieve from the dreadful novels I had just read, I found Rebecca to be annoyingly naive. I wanted to like her but I couldn't. There is no replacement for Dismas Hardy. Please don't pass the torch to her Lecroart. I beg you to please reconsider if this is where you're headed. I can accept a wet-behind-the-ears attorney so long as they are truly so. Rebecca shouldn't qualify as one when he father is one of the most sought after defense attorneys. Being a rookie is not acceptable.

Regardless of my 3-star rating, I really did enjoy The Fall. John Lescroart is definitely one of my favorite legal thriller authors. I will definitely read the next novel he writes even if it doesn't feature Dismas Hardy... actually the last few I've read have Dismas taking a backseat but was done in a much less annoying way. I digress... fans of this series will appreciate catching up on the characters they've grown to love while newbies to the series will maybe step away needing more. Hopefully needing more in a good way. As for me, I don't would rather fall into a great legal thriller that isn't only captivating when the main character is nowhere to be found.   ***

Copy provided by Atria Books via Netgalley

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