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Nothing but the Truth


Fans of John Lescroart's series hero Dismas Hardy, the thoughtful and likable San Francisco lawyer, will welcome this meditation on marriage served up as a murder mystery. In previous outings, Hardy has been a cop, a bartender, and even an assistant prosecutor, so he knows that, "Sometimes the whole truth is the last thing you want to hear." But then his wife Frannie goes to jail for refusing to tell what she knows about the husband of a murdered environmental activist. The Hardy's children are classmates of the victim's youngsters, and Dismas must confront the secrets in his own relationship that have been concealed by the all-too-familiar pressures of trying to balance work and love in the modern family. The plot, which involves oil, gas, ethanol, and gubernatorial politics, doesn't take center stage in this carefully written and deeply compelling novel; the real action is the series of revelations about the crime in question, which uncover the more interesting story of how even a good marriage can deteriorate despite--or perhaps because of--the daily work of trying to keep it going. Lescroart is in Scott Turow territory here, and he explores and conquers it with the same keen talent for describing the distance between private life and public trust. Nothing But the Truth represents a major step forward for Lescroart, who expands the mystery genre with every Dismas Hardy outing.

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Tags: Hardy, knows, thing, Frannie, truth, Nothing, Truth