Damage

John Lescroart, Author
John Lescroart, Dutton, $26.95 (420p) ISBN 978-0-525-95176-6
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San Francisco homicide chief Abe Glitsky takes on a particularly nasty villain in Lescroart's hair-raising 16th novel featuring Glitsky and lawyer Dismas Hardy (after A Plague of Secrets). After Ro Curtlee serves 10 years of a long prison sentence for the rape and murder of one of his family's housekeepers, an appeals court orders a new trial and his wealthy and powerful parents post bail of $10 million for his release. Cocky and ruthless, Curtlee eliminates one of the witnesses who testified against him and threatens Glitsky's family, while his parents, who own San Francisco's #2 newspaper, and their favorite columnist, Sheila Marrenas, apply other kinds of pressure to new DA Wes Farrell, among others. Either influence or lack of hard evidence frustrates every move Glitsky and his colleagues make to try to nail Curtlee. What at first appears to be a stunningly stark black-and-white portrayal reveals many subtle shadings by book's end. (Jan.)
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