The DA is equally eager to capitalize (pun intended) on the murder: bent on reversing her public image as being soft on crime, Sharron Pratt declares that her office will seek the death penalty. Enter Dismas Hardy, author John Lescroart's smooth-talking Irish lawyer, cajoled into defending Burgess. He doesn't like his client, but he doesn't trust the confession nor Pratt's sudden blood thirst. Joining investigative forces with Elaine's paralegal, Treya Ghent, and Glitsky himself suspended after news of the confession leaks out, Hardy will find himself on the trail of corruption and deceit in the most rarefied of legal circles.
The Hearing is a big, burly legal thriller, and its size is both vice and virtue. Lescroart handles his courtroom scenes with a deft touch, but his ex judicia narrative is often ponderous. He tends to introduce plot developments with sweeping statements, bolstering them with clumsy retrospection, and his characterization leaves something to be desired: "the very cute Amy Wu" has "large enough breasts so that people rarely noticed the bit of thickness at her waist"; and "Visser had a couple of character flaws that were going to negatively impact his aspirations on the force." These cavils aside, The Hearing will doubtlessly appeal to Grisham and Turow fans-- and to Lescroart's own considerable retinue. --Kelly Flynn -- From Amazon.com Amazon.com Review