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Publisher's Summary

The first victim is Dylan Vogler, a charming ex-convict who manages the Bay Beans West coffee shop in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district. When his body is found, inspectors discover that his knapsack is filled with high-grade marijuana. It soon becomes clear that San Francisco's A-list flocked to Bay Beans West not only for their caffeine fix.

But how much did Maya Townshend - the beautiful socialite niece of the city's mayor, and the absentee owner of the shop - know about what was going on inside her business? And how intimate had she really been with Dylan, her old college friend?

As another of Maya's acquaintances falls victim to murder, and as the names of the dead men's celebrity, political, and even law-enforcement customers come to light, tabloid-fueled controversy takes the investigation into the realms of conspiracy and cover-up. Prosecutors close in on Maya, who has a deep secret of her own - a secret she needs to protect at all costs during her very public trial, where not only her future but the entire political landscape of San Francisco hangs in the balance, hostage to an explosive secret that Dismas Hardy is privilegebound to protect.

©2009 John Lescroart; (P)2009 Brilliance Audio, Inc.

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall

A 'Law and Order' Type Story

This story struck me as a full length movie version of Law and Order. It opens with a crime, the detectives do the investigation, an arrest is made, and the lawyers finish the story.

It is well written and clever. This is an accomplishment as the neither the crime or method of solution are extraordinary. Yet, I found myself wrapped up in the story wanting to know what was going to happen next. It has many of the classic elements of this kind of story: police with biases and agendas; district attorneys with agendas; the lone defense attorney who has to fight the police, the district attorney and deal with local politics, the defendant who is reluctant to tell of her past which may or may not have anything to do with the crime.

If you like this genre, you are likely to enjoy this book.,

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Ed
  • Saint Augustine, FL, United States
  • 04-20-11

Well-constructed plot

This book was well-written and didn't leave the impression, as many thrillers do, that the author was making plot decisions on the fly. I personally had the wrong person pegged as the villain, but when the mystery unfolded, everything fell logically into place. The narrator did an excellent job on altering his tone and cadence, allowing for quick identification of who was speaking. Not the best book that was ever written but it did well on all counts and synergistically earned five stars. An excellent offering by Lescroart.

13 of 14 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Keith
  • Fortrose, United Kingdom
  • 12-11-10

A great complex story

A great story complex enough to keep you interested and guessing but not too hard to remember when listening in 30 minute bursts on the commute. Nice production good voices great entertainment.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Good book, great by other author's standards

I always do John Lescroart a disservice by judging him differently than other authors. This is NOT Lescroart's best work, but it is very good!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

What about the two shots?

Maybe I wasn't paying attention, but was the issue of the two shots ever accounted for or was it just a red herring?
P.S. Excellent mystery.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

one of the better of the series.

Seems all of Lescroart's female characters fall into a few narrow categories. perfect wife/mother, tough police or judicial career woman or an accused who spends long periods in jail awaiting a trial -- and this type always handles the horrors of jail life with little complaint. His male characters are more varied and interesting. In this one, my complaint would be lack of Hardy-Glitsky interaction. I missed that in this book. Placing ABe's son in jeopardy seems to have only taken Abe out of the book. when he returns, it's in an odd way. Not till the end of the book does he (abe) act like himself.

These books lose me at about the 2/3 point. I have to fight to not fast forward to the last 1/4 or so. there is too much narrative in the middle with a lot of surmising and second guessing. then the truth comes out and all is well.

If you like the series, if you've come to know the characters and to expect the frying pan and the mixed cuisine restaurant to make their appearances, they do. The twist at the end is not really jaw-dropping, but it's different and unexpected until about the last 25% of the book, when the source of all the troubles became blatantly clear to me (the reader), yet not to him (the lawyer).

I don't know if I should be bragging that "I got it" before Hardy did or complaining that it was so easy. I do like all the "education" I get about the way the law and courtrooms work.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Rollin
  • Cholula, Mexico
  • 01-16-11

Lescroart in decline?

I hadn't read Lescroart in some years but remembered enjoying his work. I went back to him with Plague of Secrets with enthusiasm. But although the plot is, as always, very complex and interesting, his writing seems to have become sloppy. He uses a lot of fashionable phrases and jargon. His dialogue was especially disappointing: conversations made from templates. This book is OK for anyone interested in the current San Francisco political and cultural scene and in courtroom drama but not choosy about syle.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Jennifer
  • prescott, Ontario, Canada
  • 11-17-09

great pace, mystery with a bit of humour

Hardy is a great character and i look forward to catching up. i've been looking for someone to lookforward to since i ran out of stone barrington and dino!!! yay!!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Andi
  • Torrance, CA, United States
  • 08-29-09

great read

A highly entertaining and intelligent read. The underlying theme regarding the guilt one often feels if one has caused an accident was particularly insightful and could be useful to someone dealing with such issues.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Melissa
  • Arlington, TX, USA
  • 07-28-09

Overall - Good Book

Good.... but not great.

The story is just not quite intriguing enough to classify it as a "can't put down" novel.

However, I DID enjoy it. This was my first Dismas Hardy novel and I will probably try another.

I believe a previous reviewer in that this may not be one of his best.

I like the author's style, and he is quite brilliant at creating good legal angles and interesting dialogue.

Laurie is dead on in her review. The editor oughta be shot for leaving such a hole open in the conclusion - he/she totally missed closing it!!

Good Narrator - Overall recommended.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • c
  • 06-06-15

Not Enough Thrills in This Thriller

What did you like best about A Plague of Secrets? What did you like least?

I like the main character Dismas Hardy and in general these books (I've read 2 in the series) are quite well written . Using what I see as a sort of 'comfortable and routine formula' they draw the reader into a setting of familiar characters, fairly involved plots and then the ultimate courtroom where it all gets sorted out. Problem is for me that there's very little in the way of thrills and suspense and just too many scenarios where I have to suspend disbelief. Just a bit too tame and predictable for me.

Would you recommend A Plague of Secrets to your friends? Why or why not?

Yes if they don't like hard hitting and scary thrillers.

Which character – as performed by David Colacci – was your favourite?

Dismas Hardy but David Colacci is a very capable narrator and the delivery is just right for these novels.

Could you see A Plague of Secrets being made into a movie or a TV series? Who would the stars be?

Might make a series I suppose but its all very lightweight. Not what most people want these days I don't think.

Any additional comments?

Nothing wrong with the tried and tested formula used here but for me there are too many implausible incidents and just not enough thrills. I love courtroom dramas but feel more than a little let down after listening to 2 Dismas Hardy's. Might try 1 more before I give up.

  • Overall
  • Performance
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  • Consultant
  • 02-20-15

Nail biting

Well written and only reveals the protagonist at the end. Highly recommend. A good read and consistent with the author's other works