Thursday, July 5, 2012

John Lescroart: A Certain Justice

 John Lescroart looks what happens when a mob mentality takes over San Fransisco and everyone is willing to condemn a man for being in the wrong place at the wrong time

Kevin Shae really just wanted a night of drinking by himself, but when the pub he is sitting in starts to get rowdy and making racial remarks, Kevin knows it is time for him to leave. He never imagined that the men drinking in the bar would spill out to the street and start a frenzy of events that will change Kevin's life forever. The mob has decided to attack the lone black man and string him up like they used to in the 1960s. The few men from the pub has attracted more people and they all seem to be saying the same thing, Hang Him. Kevin seems to be the only individual who has some sense, he attempts to save him. But Kevin's photograph is taken and this image is immediately misinterpreted by everyone. Kevin has just become San Fransisco's enemy number one. And while some are willing to search for the truth and others are willing to condemn Kevin, one thing is sure everyone is looking for Kevin, but not everyone cares whether he gets turned over alive.

This is the first book that I have read by John Lescroart and I thought it was good, it started off great the first chapter of the mob scene were fantastic, but it was unable to completely hold this fast paced start. This novel was well written and you could tell when Lescroart was in his element of knowledge and the premise of the plot was very interesting and it had everything to make a great thriller novel but I felt that it lacked the suspense that is key in any thriller. I never felt that I was on the edge of my seat as I was reading this book. There points where it should have been suspenseful but the events were never able to get there.

I also found it interesting that the character that is supposed to be the book smart, not street smart character turned out to be the individual that Kevin came to rely on and it was Melonie who had better ideas of how to keep Kevin safe. This did not seem very realistic as Kevin was in the military and you think would know a thing or two about staying hidden. I also could not believe that they decide part way through the book, when everyone in the book is looking for them (and there is a price on Kevin's head) they go out for pizza and the only thing that Kevin uses to disguise himself is a cap. When an individual's picture is plaster all over the news and he is the person who everyone is talking about I think more than one person would recognize them espically with police lining the street. Not very realistic at all.

The political aspect of this book was awesome, very interesting how there were many individuals willing to condemn one man just to further their own political careers. You can tell that Lescroart is in his element when he is talking about law and politics. These were the high points of the book, the interchange between the police department, the D.A.'s office and the elected officials. This is where the decisions in this book are made, whether they are good or bad and it really highlighted the flaws in the justice system especially the one about being presumed innocent until proven guilty.

I liked that Lescroart highlighted that there still an ever present idea of racism within people and that one event can cause a mob mentality where people do loose their own morals and since of right and wrong and that this mob mentality. Also I liked that Lescroart showed how easily people will condemn an individual based upon very little information

I really liked Abe Glinsky as a character, he was everything you want a Homicide Lieutenant to be, he is always after the truth and when events and the evidence do not add up, he has no problem going against the grain of the higher ups and elected official's beliefs in order to make sure that justice is served. I would read another novel with Abe as the main character. I just really enjoyed his detective style.

This book is not an easy read, but not for the wrong reasons. The dialogue and the plot can make an individual think way beyond what an easy read would. If you are looking for something more in a thriller novel than just sitting on the edge of your seat, then you will enjoy this book. For me I just wanted a little bit more suspense in the novel, but I would read another novel by Lescroart.


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