Dylan Vogler was found shot dead in an alley behind his shop. He was manager of the popular Bay Beans West Coffee Shop located on a busy corner in the Haight-Ashbury district of San Francisco. At first, it appeared he was shot for no discernable reason. But when investigators on the scene found his knapsack filled with high-grade marijuana, the A-listers who frequented the coffee shop were suddenly placed under scrutiny. Apparently, a number of them were clients of the deceased, and not only for the specialty coffee.
Investigators soon zeroed in on absentee owner Maya Townsend, a beautiful, wealthy socialite who happened to be the niece of the Mayor of San Francisco and sister of Harlen Fisk, the city supervisor. She retained Dismas Hardy who underestimated the depth of Maya’s involvement in the case. When journalists published the list of high-end clients of the coffeehouse, and another of her acquaintances was murdered, the case heated up and Maya found herself in jail.
In the meantime, homicide lieutenant Abe Glitsky, Dismas' best friend, is distracted by his son who was severely injured in an accident that Abe blames on himself. Unfortunately, with Abe's mind elsewhere, his inspectors get tangled up with power brokers who have a special interest in making sure the killer is caught and prosecuted, whether they have the right person or not.
The deeper Dismas gets into his clients past, the more he realizes Maya may not be as innocent as she first claims, and he is legally bound to keep her secret.
A Plague of Secrets is John Lescroart's twentieth thriller and his first legal thriller in years. In this novel, he has brought a number of his past players together for an able courtroom thriller. The story is intriguing with many twists and turns before arriving at the most shocking climax I have read in years.
True to the title, there are a number of secrets that are unraveled along the way. One of them especially takes Dismas by surprise, but because it involves his client, he must keep it to himself. The best part of the book to me was the courthouse scenes. Lescroart is a master storyteller when it comes to courtroom narrative and builds his story with a spellbinding tension that will keep the reader engaged throughout the story.
Fans of Dismas Hardy, and author John Lescroart, will appreciate the wait for this superb thriller.