The Keeper

John Lescroart’s latest novel, his 25th, is a legal and political thriller much like his others, but with one major difference: Abe Glitsky, the fearsome San Francisco Police Department head of homicide, who appears regularly in these stories, has retired and, bored at home, gone to work for his best friend, attorney Dismas Hardy, as an investigator on the defense side of the criminal-justice system. It’s an awkward fit at first for this lifelong cop, but Glitsky focuses on finding the truth, and it turns out he’s still got the chops needed to sidestep all the red herrings and unravel the plot twists this novel presents. When a jail guard’s wife mysteriously disappears and the guard becomes a “person of interest,” he hires Hardy to defend him. Then the bodies start piling up. The trail Glitsky follows eventually leads to corruption at the highest levels of the sheriff’s department. As always, Lescroart is fastidious in his depiction of the legal process and courtroom scenes, and the novel is believable despite its slightly overwrought plot. The author, who lives in Davis, knows San Francisco intimately, and the city is one of the several vivid characters in this well-written entertainment.