Good, I’m happy…a new writer for me whose writing I really enjoy, John T. Lescroart.
This is the first in the series of many books with the introduction of Dismas Hardy. Dismas ‘Diz’ Hardy, ex-copy, ex-lawyer, and ex-husband is presently a bartender. A thirty something guy who is trying to find himself and hold it steady in the face of past tragedies.
I’ve always enjoyed characters who aren’t perfect, who have flaws and Diz has one or two. The main one is his inability to face life head on. He’s disassociated himself to hide, presently as a bartender. Granted a good bartender but it’s not a complicated or challenging position however it keeps him out of the fray of living life to the fullest.
Dismas is asked by his friend and boss, the owner of the bar where he works, to ‘look into’ the possible murder of his Irish Catholic brother-in-law. There is some question as to whether it’s a suicide or murder. If it’s a suicide the insurance will not pay off the widow. Both the widow and murdered(?) man are old friends of Dismas and although he is not anxious to take on the challenge since the police are investigating it, he relents. His hesitancy is related to his inability to stay away from obligations and remain as uninvolved with others as possible except on a shallow level.
Unfortunately, I am not good at guessing the ‘bad guy’ until it is obvious and the author lets the reader know. However, I got this one early on. Pure happenstance, nothing to do with any clues provided or the writing. Just a good guess on my part which does not happen often so I'm boasting.
Nice writing on the part of Lescroart who gave the characters depth and made the reader care about them. This is what I enjoy most about the writing of authors; an excellent description of the scene. Excellent dialog and character descriptions such that the reader cares about them (or hates them) and becomes involved in the story and what happens to them.
By the way, Dismas is a unique name which I had never heard before. So I had to find out where it came from. St. Dismus was the ‘good thief’ who hung on the cross when Jesus was crucified. Interesting name for the author to choose for a unique character. Look forward to reading more of Dismas Hardy to see how he evolves, if he does.