This book makes two 5-star novels I've read in 2024! Kristin Hannah's The Women was a fantastic read of a different sort. John Lescroart has outdone himself again with The Missing Piece. I have always enjoyed Lescroart's writing and these characters, and it was good to meet them again and follow their work through another fascinating case. The book is definitely character driven, but the plot is also multi-faceted and fast paced. I finished the book and watched Dismas and Abe drive away until we get to visit again in Lescroart's next novel.
The Missing Piece is a multilayered mystery/legal thriller/procedural about a convicted murderer and rapist who, when evidence demonstrates his innocence, is released from prison only to be murdered months later.
There were many characters to keep track of and multiple points of view to wade through. I struggled to keep track of who was who, but Abe Glitsky stood out from the others. I liked most of the characters, but I need to get to know them better to truly care. Since I had no attachment to the characters, I didn’t find myself invested in their personal lives, but I was intrigued by the case.
The plot goes in many directions, takes some surprising twists and turns, and often misdirects with red herrings to unravel the events surrounding the mysterious murders. At the same time, the plot is tightly wound, and all angles eventually tie together. I found The Missing Piece to be fast-paced and easy to read. Although there are many characters and pieces to keep track of, they all flow together. This was an enjoyable read, but not one I loved, but I feel like if I read the earlier books in the series that my love will grow!
Paul Riley has served 11 years for rape and murder when he is released from prison early thanks to the work of the non-profit group the Exoneration Initiative who uncover a forensic anomaly. Shortly after he is murdered and an eye witness is able to name his killer. The eye witness is the released convict's father and the man he identifies is the victim's father, Doug Rush - a man who very publicly became violent and aggressive during the trial.
The two detectives who arrive first at the scene go straight to pick up the suspect, already certain of his guilt, and his jaded attitude does nothing to convince them otherwise. Soon the questions descend into an altercation. Unfortunately for the detectives, passers-by have captured video evidence of the confrontation and they are placed on leave.
The DA who convicted Riley is now working in criminal defence, and having seen his impressive performance, Rush asks him to represent him as his defence lawyer. A tough call as the pressure is on to convict following the problems with the arrest, and he already saw first hand Rush's hatred of Riley.
However, when Rush turns up dead, it's clear another unknown person is involved, and former homicide detective turned PI Abe Glitsky sets his mind to solving the mystery and uncovering the culprit.
Well rounded and action packed.
unputdownable, riveting, private-investigators, law-enforcement, local-politics, friends, contemporary, mental-health-issues, cooperation, lawyers, ex-cons, false-information, false-identities, family, family-dynamics, family-expectations, mistakes, multiple-murder, investigations, investigators*****
Despite the steep learning curve rising from the fact that I jumped in at book #19, I only read two or three chapters when I hunted up an affordable audio copy (vision issues).
The plot itself spiraled and branched like elk antlers and scooped up extra characters along the way. Each of the characters, both main and ancillary, are very clearly drawn and realistic. Thanks for the intro, but it was definitely worth the price for the audio!
I requested and received an EARC copy from Atria Books via NetGalley. Thank you!
P.S. Bernie Rhodenbarr says that St Dismas is the patron saint of thieves ;)
On the off chance you did not read the blurb before coming to the comments: a convicted murderer is released from prison (based on the work of the nonprofit Exoneration Project) – and murdered not too long afterward. Who killed him, and why?
John Lescroart is an author whose books I will pick up without even reading the blurb – I know it will be well written, cleverly plotted, and enjoyable. This one, The Missing Piece, was no exception.
The other thing I really appreciate (and it’s so well done I’m not aware of it as I’m reading, only in retrospect) that despite the pretty hefty cast of significant characters, never once in 400 pages did I forget who was whom, and their role in the story.
Besides the always excellent plotting and writing, I enjoy catching up on all the recurring characters’ lives.
Thank you NetGalley for giving me the chance to read this book ahead of time in exchange for a review. It didn't disappoint! Must read!!
Due to a sudden, unexpected passing in the family a few years ago and another more recently and my subsequent (mental) health issues stemming from that, I was unable to download this book in time to review it before it was archived as I did not visit this site for several years after the bereavements. This meant I didn't read or venture onto netgalley for years as not only did it remind me of that person as they shared my passion for reading, but I also struggled to maintain interest in anything due to overwhelming depression. I was therefore unable to download this title in time and so I couldn't give a review as it wasn't successfully acquired before it was archived. The second issue that has happened with some of my other books is that I had them downloaded to one particular device and said device is now defunct, so I have no access to those books anymore, sadly.
This means I can't leave an accurate reflection of my feelings towards the book as I am unable to read it now and so I am leaving a message of explanation instead. I am now back to reading and reviewing full time as once considerable time had passed I have found that books have been helping me significantly in terms of my mindset and mental health - this was after having no interest in anything for quite a number of years after the passings. Anything requested and approved will be read and a review written and posted to Amazon (where I am a Hall of Famer & Top Reviewer), Goodreads (where I have several thousand friends and the same amount who follow my reviews) and Waterstones (or Barnes & Noble if the publisher is American based). Thank you for the opportunity and apologies for the inconvenience
Although released last year, THE MISSING PIECE, John Lescroart’s nineteenth Dismas Hardy novel should not be missed. As he teams up with former homicide detective, now PI Abe Glitsky and the gang, they are investigating the murder of a victim’s father who it is assumed was the perpetrator of killing the man who killed HIS daughter?! Sounds pretty confusing, right? But in the very capable hands of Mr. Lescroart, it all makes perfect sense.
When the Exoneration Initiative succeeds in gaining the release of convicted murderer Paul Riley, the father of his victim apparently kills him, being convinced of his guilt, even though another man has confessed to the crime. When Doug Rush is suspected of the crime and then is also murdered, Abe is on it. What he and the others piece together leads them on a cross country search that provides a much bigger picture than anyone was expecting. Oh, and did I mention the biker gang?
I always love a Dismis Hardy novel. I love the banter between all of the old friends. But be warned. If you haven’t been following the series, there are a lot of people to get straight; who works with who, who’s married to who, who has switched from the prosecution side of the courtroom to the defense, etc.. I CAN say that this one will be well worth your time even if you need a flow chart. Bravo, Mr. Lescroart, you’ve done it again!
Thank you to Netgalley and Atria Books for this ARC opportunity. All opinions are my own and left voluntarily.
When Wes Farrell was a San Francisco DA, he put suspect Paul Riley in prison for the assault and murder of his girlfriend. After new evidence uncovered by The Exoneration Initiative secures the man's release, his short lived freedom is cut short by Paul's murder. The police immediately turn to Doug Rush, the girlfriend's father. Farrell, now out of politics and practicing law with attorney Dismas Hardy, agrees out of obligation to represent Doug Rush. When the Doug disappears, it is up to PI Abe Glitsky to track him down.
I have been a fan of the Dismas Hardy series for many years, so I was instantly excited to read The Missing Piece. Unfortunately, the novel did not live up to my expectations. It was unnecessarily complicated and the convoluted plot did nothing to help the pacing. It was nice to have a visit with the characters, but The Missing Piece was not a book that I would recommend.
Disclaimer: I was given an Advanced Reader's Copy of The Missing Piece by NetGalley and the publisher. The decision to read and review this novel was entirely my own.
John Lescroart's latest novel, The Missing Piece, continues the story of defense attorney Dismas Hardy & gang, this time with former DA Wes Farrell defending Doug Rush, a bereaved father, accused of killing Paul Riley, the newest released prisoner thanks to the Exoneration Project. Paul Riley was convicted of raping and killing Doug's daughter.
I gave this book 3.5 out of 5 stars. The 1.5 stars were mainly deducted because of the overbearing white privilege. Also, this book is not a legal thriller but a murder mystery. While I appreciate a good mystery, I didn't care for the bait-and-switch copy on the Amazon page. If you mention the former DA now defending a murderer, then you should deliver on your promise.
I really enjoyed this legal/crime thriller. It was fast paced, interesting and the plot was great.
DA Wes got Riley in jail for murder, but after getting out of jail he turns up dead, Wes wants to find the killer, but needs the help of the cops.
The characters were all written so well and I didn’t want the book to finish. I’ll definitely be reading more by this author.
Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for a copy.
I’ve read the other books in this series set in San Francisco & really enjoyed them. This one centers on Wes Ferrell, former district attorney turned defense attorney and Abe Glitzky, former head of homicide turned private investigator.
Paul Riley, thief, rapist & murderer, is released from prison after 11 years on a technicality. He is shot and killed at his apartment over his father’s garage.
His killer is identified (by Paul’s father James Riley) as the victim Dana Rush’s father, Doug Rush.
Doug, pleading his innocence, hires Wes Ferrell to defend him. Wes asks Abe to investigate.
Just as they begin the process, Doug is killed.
Even though their client is deceased, Abe continues to investigate- interviewing friends, neighbors, and especially members of Doug’s biker club.
Keeping the homicide department in the loop while exploring a couple of theories leads to dead ends.
The killer is finally revealed in the last 10 pages of the book.
A fun read & holds up well as a stand alone novel.
I love the Dismas Hardy series, and this is another good legal mystery.
Convicted murdered Paul Riley is released after being exonerated in an Exoneration Initiative Case. Several months later, Riley is killed and the father of the murder victim is a suspect. After he is arrested and then released on bail, he disappears. Abe Glitsky, Hardy’s chief investigator, has his hands full with this investigation.
I will say there were some confusing parts for me, but things cleared up as I continued reading. I will continue to read Lescroart’s Hardy series.
Many thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for sharing this ARC. The review is totally my own.
John Lescroart is one of my favorite authors and I was delighted to be able to read his latest book after what seems like a bit of a hiatus. My treasured favorite characters have matured but remain interesting and viable, the story development is still on point and the twists and turns compelled my interest. My only complaint, and it is mild, is that I felt there was a tad too much analyzation. Given that I am familiar with San Francisco and the Bay Area, being able to picture the various locales added to my enjoyment. I highly recommend The Missing Piece and thank Net Galley and the publisher for giving me the opportunity to read it.
Lescroart is always reliable as a mystery writer with accurate police and DA procedure in front of a beautiful yet realistic San Francisco backdrop. Having once worked in the SFDA's office, I can attest that this is as accurate as it gets.
A solid John Lescroart mystery that is packed with his ongoing characters, vividly described settings, and complex, intriguing plot lines. A number of twists and turns build the engaging story.
Thanks to NetGalley and Atria for the opportunity to read this book.
The perfect cop drama for a snowy day, this book was a one day read for me. I didn't realize it was number 19 in a series, so i wish i had the time to go back and read the whole series prior to this review, but there was no time for that. Luckily this book could be read as a standalone, for the most part. I do feel like i didn't connect with the characters, but i'm assuming that is because their reader relationship has been built up over the last 18 books. I will be putting the rest of this series on my TBR list.
The Missing Piece was a well written legal drama, perfect for fans of James Patterson and John Grisham. I loved the multiple POV and the twist at the end was good and unexpected. There were a few story lines going at once in the beginning, but once everything was established, it flowed very well.
I am sorry to say that this was not what I recalled from the other books in this series, Things either were slow and convoluted or racing to finish. It seemed that each time I took a break, I had to reread an entire chapter to recall the story, which is very unusual.
I received a copy of this book from Net Galley and am leaving this review voluntarily.
*** 2.5 ⭐️ ***
I’ve literally just finished this book, and I’m thoroughly confused! After spending hours and days reading, I’ve come to the conclusion that the plot of this story was too…. full. Too many characters, too much background on each, too many suspects, and too many theories by cops, lawyers, and civilians.
The premise for the story was straightforward, as far as murder mysteries go: Someone shoots someone else, try to find the murderer. This story, however, involved 2 main murders, 2 murder/suicides stemming off the main murders, and then 3 additional murders across the country. As far as I can tell, there were about 20 supplemental characters (including neighbours, spouses, office workers, etc.) who, while they added to the copious amounts of theories of who dun it, only added to the confusion of such.
As for the actual who dun it part, I feel that was roughly a one-liner to identify the murderer. There was lead up to a sting operation, and the person wasn’t identified until the last second. Usually there are some hints, some clues, but here, no. It felt almost left field with a flimsy justification.
I haven’t read any other bodies of work by this author, nor have I read other books in this particular series, so I can only review this book as a standalone… but I’m not a fan.
This ARC was provided by the publisher, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review.
2.25/5 stars! I had no idea this was book 19 in the Dismas Hardy series prior to picking it up. I think this showed in the final work. It felt tired, like everything the author had to say had already been written. It was hard to follow. I felt like the author was trying to be John Grisham but didn't quite reach that lofty goal. The legal banter was interesting and I would give another book by the author a try to see if I like it more.
I received an advance review copy for free through NetGalley, and I am leaving this review voluntarily