The Mercy Rule
John Lescroart, , read by David Colacci. . Brilliance Audio, $38.99 (0pp) ISBN 978-1-4233-8693-3
Lescroart's multilayered 1999 novel, the fifth to feature San Francisco bartender-turned-barrister Dismas Hardy, is a heady brew of courtroom drama, hot topics (assisted suicide), and family dynamics among richly drawn characters. David Colacci, the primary narrator of the series, brings back his renditions of Hardy's easygoing but always intelligent voice and his police lieutenant Abe Glitsky's hoarse delivery, along with introducing a cast of new characters. New interpretations include a gruff, halting speech pattern for fishmonger Salvatore Russo, an Alzheimer's sufferer whose death triggers the plot; the calm, almost beatific voice of Sal's son, Graham, who's charged with Salvatore's murder; and the fluty, aristocratic murmurs of Sal's socially prominent, long-since-remarried ex-wife. Though the author may go a little too far in placing the heroic Hardy in final jeopardy, Colacci maintains the perfect pace throughout, moving us through the thrills to a smooth and satisfying conclusion.
Reviewed on: 02/22/2010