• The Second Chair

  • Dismas Hardy, Book 10
  • By: John Lescroart
  • Narrated by: David Colacci
  • Length: 14 hrs and 12 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (311 ratings)

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The Second Chair  By  cover art

The Second Chair

By: John Lescroart
Narrated by: David Colacci
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Publisher's summary

Dismas Hardy is finally on top: as a managing partner at his thriving, newly reorganized law firm, he's a rainmaker and fix-it guy for clients leery of taking their chances in a courtroom. Now Hardy's up-and-coming associate, Amy Wu, brings him a high-profile case: Andrew Bartlett, the 17-year-old son of a prominent San Francisco family, has been arrested for the double slaying of his girlfriend and his English teacher. The D.A. wants to try him as an adult. Determined to get the case into juvenile court, and overwhelmed by the mounting evidence against her client, Wu asks Hardy to sit second chair for her in Bartlett's defense.

As the Bartlett case moves swiftly to trial, another series of murders grips the city. An unseen killer seems to be shooting citizens wantonly, and as fear and anxiety build around the Executioner (as he is quickly dubbed in the ensuing media frenzy), Abe Glitsky, the newly promoted deputy chief of the Investigations Bureau, leads the desperate hunt to stop him.

With the city on the verge of panic, Hardy and Glitsky are locked in a race against time - to save a client and to catch a murderer. But nothing is what it seems, and as both men's cases twist and turn to their shocking conclusions, the very foundations of San Francisco's legal system will be shaken to the core.

Check out more titles in the Dismas Hardy series.
©2004 John Lescroart (P)2004 Brilliance Audio

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    5 out of 5 stars

An insider's view of law-enforcement

As always, John Lescroart delivers an totally satisfying read with "The Second Chair." Also as always, David Colacci brings this novel to life with his excellent narration. Anyone contemplating listening to "The Second Chair" will probably enjoy it more if they have already listened to the previous novel in this series, "The First Law;" because "The Second Chair" makes several references back to events in "The First Law." These events, in turn, explain the anguish that our protagonists -- best friends Dismus Hardy and Abe Glitsky -- are suffering here. In general, it will reward the reader to listen to Mr. Lescroart's novels in sequence, because, as the characters develop over time, we begin taking proprietary interest in their lives and their predicaments. Lescroart's novels can accurately be called legal thrillers -- because most of them do contain a trial, and they always involve clever legal shenanigans -- but they can also be categorized as mysteries, police procedurals, and dramas. For instance, we learn from Mr. Lescroart's stories that defense lawyers need to generally assume the guilt of their clients, and work around that guilt. But, in the case of "The Second Chair" (and several other novels in this series), we discover that the attorney is actually defending an innocent person ... just as the attorney herself is making that discovery. Then the attorney must resort to the "SODDIT" ("Some Other Dude Did It") defense. The SODDIT defense works best if the attorney -- with or without the help of police detectives -- can discover the identity of the "other dude." The ensuing investigation transforms the novel into a thriller. "The Second Chair" definitely provides thrills, along with the requisite surprise ending.

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One of the best of the series.

I really enjoyed this one. It is a mystery with enough clues to allow the reader to guess the villain without being terribly disappointed by the ending. I've read most of the books in the Dismas Hardy series, and this is one of the more believable, action-packed stories, with substantial character development of Amy Wu and others besides the usual insights and foibles of Hardy and Glitsky.

Hardy & Glitsky age throughout the series so this would not be the best place to start. I recommend going back at least to book 3, Hard Evidence.

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