Valyruh’s #CBR4 Review # 85: Guilt by John Lescroart
One of Lescroart’s best novels, Guilt is a chilling look into the mind of a true sociopath. Mark Dooher is a former Vietnam vet, a highly-successful lawyer, a husband, a father, a devout church-goer, a pillar of the community … and an impulse murderer.
When an ambitious young lawyer gets a chance to bring a multi-million lawsuit against the Catholic church, Dooher negotiates on behalf of the Archbishopric. The young lawyer’s sudden death by bayonet seems to point to Dooher, but without evidence and—more importantly–a motive, no charges are filed. When Dooher’s wife of nearly 30 years gets in the way of his lust for a beautiful young law student, the wife is found dead from an apparent stab wound to the heart in her own bedroom. Evidence appears to point to a burglary gone wrong, but things don’t add up and Dooher comes under suspicion. He, in turn, hires his best friend and buddy from Vietnam War days, fellow lawyer Wes Farrell, to defend him and to prepare an unbeatable defense of the Teflon-coated Dooher.
But unlike Dooher, Farrell has a conscience and it begins to prick him as more and more facts simply don’t add up. On the side of the prosecution is Abe Glitsky, a half-Jewish, half-black homicide cop who has just lost his wife to cancer and sees Dooher’s callous disposal of his wife almost as a personal challenge he cannot ignore. Things escalate in a trial that is frighteningly realistic, but the story is far from over when the verdict is delivered.
Lescroart is a master not only in the art of story-telling, but also in delivering fleshed-out characters with backstories of their own, so that the reader can’t help but engage with them—whether they are the good guys or the bad. Once you’ve read one Lescroart story, you have to read them all—and there are about two dozen of them. So enjoy!