cover image Fatal


John Lescroart, read by Jacques Roy. S&S Audio, , unabridged, 10 CDs, 10 hrs., $39.99 ISBN 978-1-5082-1162-4

Lescroart’s new San Francisco–set standalone thriller is pretty much the ultimate literary exploration of the domino effect. Kate Jameson, who’s married, seduces Peter Ash, whom she just met at a dinner party. To her their nooner was a momentary amusement, but it unleashes a long-subdued satyriasis in Peter. A few months later, when his bullet-ridden body washes up on a beach, a police investigation ensues, led by SFPD Sgt. Beth Tully, who also happens to be Kate’s best friend. Theater actor Roy spins the combination of police procedural and modern-day morality tale smoothly, effectively dramatizing Lescroart’s highly charged passages—among them an unexpected terrorist shooting spree in a lunchroom where Beth and Kate are chatting. It’s a while before Beth and her investigation take command of the novel. Until then, Roy uses a coolly objective approach to the unpleasantly self-involved Jameson and Ash families. His approach is much warmer and more natural once Beth takes center stage, along with her equally likable partner Ike and her potential paramour Alan. Roy understands the other characters are there to serve the plot, but Beth and her people are the book’s heart and soul. An Atria hardcover. (Jan.)