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Book Review: Dismas Hardy returns in 'The Rule of Law'

"The Rule of Law" (Atria), by John Lescroart Dismas Hardy and his colleagues are forced into a case with personal ramifications in John Lescroart's latest novel, "The Rule of Law." As time passes for the characters, they have to deal with both the joys and sorrows of growing older. Yet the past is always lingering in the background waiting to cause chaos at the most inopportune moment.

Dismas Hardy sees his practice expanding. His friend has lost re-election to the district attorney position and another close ally has retired from the police department. Things start to get wonky when his trusted secretary disappears. It's completely out of character for her, and when she returns as if nothing has happened, Hardy wants answers. She says her brother has been released from prison and she's letting him crash at her place. Then the police arrive to arrest her.

A human trafficker has been killed, and the evidence leads to her brother. Since she wasn't seen at the time of the murder, she's arrested as an accessory. Hardy knows she had nothing to do with this coyote's death, so he sets out to prove it, which puts him in a fight with the new district attorney, and he has a grudge against Hardy and his colleagues. Ron Jameson has already let the power of his new office go to his head, and if he has to bend the rules a bit to get what he wants, he will. Now Hardy is in the way.

Several strong themes resonate throughout this story including corruption, immigration, and the power of love and family. Hardy wants to follow the rule of law, and his foe in the district attorney's office will ignore it to succeed. Lescroart has crafted another wonderful legal thriller that will easily please his fans and those who aren't familiar with his body of work.

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