The Ophelia Cut by John Lescroart

The Ophelia Cut Reviewed by Allen Hott

An interesting though somewhat cumbersome read. The Ophelia Cut begins with a hired assassin killing someone but then he is caught. However the killing is kind of involved because the cops are working on breaking up a large gang and this victim was one of the gang’s targets. Also since the assassin is a police officer (took up killing for the gang on the side) the authorities do not want to put him in jail nor do they want him around where the gang can find him. They plan to use him as a witness against the gang at a later time so they send him off under the witness protection plan with the idea of bringing him back later.

Tony (his new name) ends up in San Francisco where he becomes friends with first off a lawyer, who also owns a bar, and then with all of the friends of the lawyer. This group of friends including Dismas Hardy, the lawyer, was involved in a strange escapade of their own some years back and is afraid that the story of that will someday come out. The group is made up mainly of police type folks and lawyers. However one of the group, Moses McGuire (who is Hardy’s brother-in-law), is feeling very anxious over their problem from the past and since he is a recovering alcoholic the entire group are concerned that he will not only fall from the wagon but on the way down begin to tell the tale of their past.

McGuire’s daughter, Brittany, is very pretty but also of the young wild set since her college days and in her bar travels she hooks up with all type of guys. Sometimes the hookup isn’t exactly what she wants or expects and she has to break them off. However her latest escapade’s partner isn’t happy about the breaking off and he roughs her up. When Moses finds out about what happened to his daughter he meets up with the young man and gives him a thorough beating.

That beating becomes a pretty important part of the whole story as later on the story pretty well winds down in a very lengthy courtroom scene. It so happens that one of his group is being charged with murder and Hardy takes on the job of defense attorney. The author does a great job of putting the reader into the courtroom so that all parties get to play a part in the trial one way or another.

John Lescroart has written many bestselling books and no doubt that The Ophelia Cut is one of them. It is a great story line with many possibilities for the reader to digest and put in order. The only two negatives that some readers may find are that it is because of the nature of the story it is very long and somewhat draggy in places. Also Lescroart like some other authors tends to spell out the characters names in full at the start but then throughout the story they often use only the first name in one place and shortly thereafter use only the last name. It is somewhat confusing but in no way does it ruin this story. Great interesting read for lovers of suspense and legal drama tied together.

Lescroart built up the trial and also the book to a great unexpected ending. And then added even a little addendum that explains the name The Ophelia Cut.

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