I’ve read two novels in the past year or so titled The Drop that I’ve enjoyed. Unable to find a third book with that title that piqued my interest, I decided to settle for The Fall by John Lescroart as a fall is very similar to a drop.
The Fall is something of a spinoff of Lescroart’s Dismas Hardy series as it is the first to feature his daughter, Rebecca Hardy. She is often referred to in the book as “The Beck.” Annoying nickname aside, she’s a likable character, and for all you Dismas fans he is still in the book quite a bit. The Fall centers around the death of a young African-American woman named Anlya Paulson. She falls to her death from an overpass above a busy street in San Francisco. There has been trouble of late in the city prosecuting cases involving black victims, so this case ends up getting rushed to trial. The main suspect is Greg Treadway, Anlya’s CASA or Court Appointed Special Advocate. (Anlya was in the foster care system, although she was close to aging out of it.)
Rebecca happens to meet Greg at a bar before he is charged with Anlya’s murder, and she ends up taking on the case without quite realizing what she is getting into. Other suspects include a small time pimp involved with other girls at Anlya’s youth home and the violent ex-boyfriend of Anlya’s mother. During the course of this legal thriller there’s a lot of action with the various suspects and detectives. Lescroart does a nice job moving between the courtroom and the streets of San Francisco (sans Karl Malden and Michael Douglas). The ending reminded me a little too much of the final minutes of a Lifetime movie, but I would still recommend this to readers looking for something entertaining but also smart.