Dutton, Jan 2003, 25.95, 384
It is a little known fact that some selected areas of San Francisco are policed by Patrol Specials, licensed private security specialists accountable to the SFPD. Wade Panos has six areas that he and his team patrol, but they are also into payola, shakedowns and when somebody gets in their way, they use intimidation tactics to get in his way. Pawn Shop dealer Sam Silverman couldn't afford their rates anymore and suddenly he is robbed and killed.
The police led by the Patrol Special's tips are convinced that bar owner John Holiday and two of his friends are the guilty parties because Wade wants his shop and this is a cheap way to get it. John's lawyer is Dismas Hardy, who is bringing a civil suit against Wade and his men for brutality and intimidation. Dismas is threatened twice and he thinks Wade is behind the threats to him and his family. To obtain justice, he, his brother-in-law, Lt. Abe Glitsky, and John might have to go outside the law to see justice done.
Make room John Grishan for John Lescroart as the new king of legal thrillers. THE FIRST LAW is full of action, seat-of-your pants suspense, and plenty of chilling scenes. The hero doesn't want to fight and even leans towards caving in when he and his family are threatened but in the end he stands for justice when the law doesn't work. Readers will definitely want to put this legal thriller in the keeper shelf.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner