Best-selling author John Lescroart does a terrific job combining elements of an intricate suspense tale while highlighting the clashes between the justice and political systems. This is a book that is both thought provoking and engrossing.

Fisherman Sal Russo has been a fixture at the San Francisco Wharf for decades. Now fighting the twin battles of cancer and Alzheimer's, Sal's days are numbered. However, when he is found dead in his apartment, the police suspect murder.

The minute attorney Dismas Hardy sees ex-baseball-player-turned-lawyer Graham Russo in his office, he knows trouble is on the horizon. Once a promising young attorney, Graham made some powerful enemies in the justice system by temporarily returning to baseball. Graham feels that he is going to wind up as the polices prime suspect. Sal and Graham had talked about assisted suicide, as Sal was afraid of being institutionalized.

When he is arrested and charged with murder, his case becomes a national battle cry for proponents of assisted suicide, although Graham insists that he didnt give his father that fatal dose of morphine. If the police are right and it was murder, then who, and why? Dismas will have his work cut out for him trying to save his client and find the true culprit.

(Sept., 466 pp., $24.95)

Reviewed by: 
Jill M. Smith