Tuesday, November 04, 2008

by John T. Lescroart
ISBN 0-440-22104-8
pb Island (Dell) 527 pg.

San Francisco, the most tolerant city in the universe, right? Well, don’t forget it killed Harvey Milk. And now it’s after Kevin Shea, an innocent ordinary white male who was at the wrong place at the wrong time. In fact, if Shea had walked away from the incident that starts riots, lootings and burnings in the city by the bay, he’d have been home free. Instead, he tries to be a good Samaritan. Everything after that is down a very steep hill for Kevin Shea.

In A CERTAIN JUSTICE, Lescroart brings together a divorced, honest cop with serious child care problems, an ambitious black city prosecutor and her mother, police administrators of several races, and other demagogues from the right and the left, so he has to keep track of multiple threads. And he does, in a masterful clean way which allows the reader to move with him cleanly through the story. Besides these sometimes murky relationships, the central very suspenseful story of the attempts to find Kevin Shea before something bad happens.

Anyone who reads A CERTAIN JUSTICE will find he or she must reexamine many previously held and automatic presumptions. But always, this novel deserves the cliché, a real page-turner.

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