With their park view and old-fashioned detail, the Victorian houses on San Francisco's Steiner Street were highly valuable. But with their wooden construction, they were also highly vulnerable. So when Paul Hanover's multimillion-dollar home went up in flames, it was all over very quickly. And when the bodies of Hanover and his girlfriend were found in the charred debris, it appeared that the end came even more quickly for them-judging from the bullet holes in their heads. But this isn't just any double homicide. Hanover was a friend-and donor-to the mayor, who wants answers. And in trying to provide them, Abe Glitsky and Dismas Hardy will face an old lover and an old enemy-and follow a trail of evidence that stretches far beyond their usual jurisdiction.
Audio reviews reflect PW's assessment of the audio adaptation of a book and should be quoted only in reference to the audio version.FictionTHE MOTIVEJohn Lescroart, read by David Colacci. Brilliance Audio, unabridged, 12 CDs, 14 hrs., As series protagonists Deputy Chief Inspector Abe Glitsky and defense attorney Dismas Hardy struggle to solve a dual murder in this first-rate audiobook, listeners learn quite a bit about firefighting, arson investigation, the San Francisco police department line of command, how city contracts are awarded and, the author's specialty, the complexities of courtroom procedure. This, plus a large cast, an intricate story line replete with red herrings and a particularly tricky finale, makes this audio a formidable test for any narrator. Colacci passes it stylishly, matching Lescroart's crisp and accessible procedural descriptions with a confident, no-nonsense delivery, while providing the secondary characters with subtle touches wariness for an arson investigator; smug cynicism for a city planner; a suspicious, chip-on-the-shoulder inflection for a troubled cop; etc. But his expertise is most evident in his handling of the protagonists. For Glitsky, Colacci assumes a voice conveying a flat, middle-aged weariness that increases in frustration and sadness as the lawman learns of his newborn son's potentially fatal heart defect. And he captures Hardy's many shifting moods from the lawyer's pretrial uncertainty to the jauntiness in his byplay with law partner Wes Farrell (another Lescroart series protagonist) with ease. Listeners couldn't ask for a better performance. Simultaneous release with the Dutton hardcover (Forecasts, Nov. 29, 2004).