cover image The Vig

The Vig

John Lescroart. Dutton Books, $18.95 (295pp) ISBN 978-1-55611-221-8

Ex-San Francisco prosecutor Dismas Hardy (seen in Dead Irish ) seems to be mending his life as bartender and part-owner of a saloon, even spending more time with his ex-wife. Then prosecutor Rusty Ingraham appears with news that Louis Baker, whom he and Dis had sent away years ago, has been released from jail and is out to kill Rusty and Hardy. Within two days, a woman is murdered on Rusty's houseboat and Rusty is missing. Dis has a tough time convincing detective Abe Glitsky that Rusty has been killed by Baker. There are other suspects: the dead woman's husband; a cop driven from the force by Rusty; and a Mob loan shark. Hardy starts his own investigation--and an affair with a pregnant young widow. With a murder of a young drug-dealer, a Mob-like hit, a suicide and other felonies, the case turns in different directions before Dis nails the villain. A large cast, swift pacing and good local color--the bleak look at life in a housing project is riveting--fuel a gripping yarn. (Jan.)