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Sunday, June 05, 2005

The Motive

About two-thirds of the way through The Motive by John Lescroart, I thought this book was ripe for abridgment. Here was a storyline that could easily have been dropped; the crime has been solved, the client gotten off, no problem.

But as I continued, the moral ambiguities faced by Abe Glitzky, deputy chief of inspectors for San Francisco, became more interesting. This is the first novel I have read by Lescroart, so I was not aware of the previous connection between Glitzky and Dismas Hardy, former cop, now criminal attorney. In any case, they are friends, and the personal animosity toward them from Sergeant Cuneo, the lead homicide investigator on the case, causes all sorts of problems for both them and their client, Catherine Hanover, who has been charged with the double murder of her father-in-law and his fiance, Missy D'Amiens.

The courtroom scenes are outstanding, and without giving too much away, suffice it to say that the real murderer, as vicious and cruel as he/she (no hints, here) must commit the crime in order to prevent the killing of many other people. If she is caught and charged, those people will die.

It's been a mantra of our society that sacrificing one to save many is a valued ethic. Should Glitzky just drop the chase as high feds advise him to do? Interesting dilemma.
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