Ten years after his incarceration for rape and murder, Roland (Ro) Curtlee was released on bail due to a technicality pending a retrial that could take years. Within twenty-four hours after his release, the severely beaten body of his main eyewitness was found in her burned out home. Shortly after, another fire claimed the life of someone else associated with his case. While the prosecution and police were sure Ro was responsible for the deaths, his father’s clout stifled their investigation at every turn.
Billionaires Cliff and Theresa Curtlee are the owners of San Francisco’s second largest paper, and leave no stone unturned or important political pocket empty in their quest to get their son out of prison. Ro’s over protective parents strongly believed their son was innocent and should never have gone to jail in the first place.
In fact, immediately after the trial everyone involved in sending their son to prison were swiftly sent a message that they messed with the wrong family. The jury foreman, lead prosecutor, and head of the homicide investigation all paid a heavy price that took years from which to recover.
Now that Ro is out of prison, his family continues their public campaign to keep their son free in spite of the growing evidence that he could be involved in the current murders and the harassment of those who would seek to rescind his bail. With Wes Farrell as the new District Attorney and Abe Glitsky back as the head of San Francisco’s homicide detail, the tension between the two sides continues to increase, often played out in the newspapers and on television thanks to the slanted view of the Curtlees as they increasingly intimidate those who seek justice.
In Damage, John Lescroart has written a gritty thriller of a legal system gone awry. Tension throughout the novel keeps readers glued to a storyline that is intriguing and disturbing, but never disappointing. Lescroart draws the reader into the circumstances and sacrifices made by those who tried to live honest and upright lives and then were forced to pay a horrendous price for their honesty as they attempted to uphold the law against a powerful corrupt family bent on protecting the evil within.
Lescroart deftly balances the lives of several characters at once, showing the result of the damage to their lives just because they were doing their jobs, and how the effect of that damage continues in their careers and relationships ten years later.
The powerful climax was well worth the wait, both for the characters whose lives were turned upside down and for the reader who was drawn into the hard-hitting storyline. The author is a master storyteller who holds his readers hostage throughout this compelling tale that could very well have come from current headlines. This is a must-read book for those who enjoy a good thriller!
A special thank you goes to Dutton for providing a complimentary copy of Damage for review. If you are interested in purchasing this book, it is available at Amazon.