Ted Feit offers this review of DAMAGE by John Lescroart.
Readers should not expect the author’s trademark court scenes in this
novel. Instead, it is more of a psychological study about a newly
elected DA, Wes Farrell, in San Francisco, protagonists also including
Chief of Homicide Abe Glitsky, Asst. DA Amanda Jenkins and others.
The antagonists include Ro Curtlee, a convicted rapist-murderer
released by an appellate court on a technicality after serving nine
years of a much longer sentence, and his parents, wealthy owners of
one of only two newspapers in town and not hesitant in using their
power to influence public officials or opinion.
Soon after Ro’s release pending a new trial, the question of bail
arises; Farrell takes no position and the judge grants it for a $10
million bond. And then the chief witness in the first trial is found
strangled and her apartment burned. Obviously, suspicion falls on Ro.
Another murder and threatening events soon follow. The thrust of the
plot is to get Ro back in jail, and the machinations of the cops and
prosecutors vs. the influence of the Curtlees.
So, instead of a courtroom drama, we have a thriller enhanced by peeks
into the conflicts and complexities, including ethics, values and
procedures, facing various professionals in their attempts to serve
justice. Written with insight and flowing narrative, the novel is