"The Keeper" (Atria Books), by John Lescroart
John Lescroart has been delivering compelling legal thrillers for years, and his latest, "The Keeper," is another baffling and terrific read.
Abe Glitsky was a homicide detective for some time, but now he's retired — and bored. When his friend, attorney Dismas Hardy, asks for his help, he jumps at the chance to get back in the game. Hardy's client, Hal Chase, claims everything was fine when he left his house to pick up his brother at the airport. When they returned, Hal's wife, Katie, has vanished.
Hal reports her disappearance, but the police believe something more sinister has occurred. The drive to the airport doesn't take as much time as Hal took to get there, and his brother's plane was delayed. Hal claims he was at a bar waiting for the plane to arrive, but there is no evidence that he was there. To make things more complicated, the police find Katie's blood at the scene of her disappearance, and evidence reveals their marriage was on the rocks. Was Hal having an affair? Then Hardy learns that his own wife, a marriage counselor, was seeing Katie professionally. What really happened that night, and is Hal manipulating Hardy to escape justice?
The reason that Lescroart's novels are so readable is his ability to take compelling characters and baffling mysteries and mix them together like a top-rated chef. Many writers include great plot elements but leave a bad taste in the mouth with a subpar ending. Lescroart satisfies with every bite, and the finale is delicious.