The Ophelia Cut ~ John Lescroart

  • Title: The Ophelia Cut
  • Author: John Lescroart
  • Series: Dismas Hardy Mystery #14
  • Genre: Legal Thriller
  • Format: Trade Paperback
  • Source: GoodReads First Read
  • Reviewed by: DarthVal
  • Rating: 3 out of 5

Description:  Brittany is 23, the pretty, popular daughter of Moses McGuire — and niece of defense attorney Dismas Hardy. Her most recent of many ex-boyfriends, Rick Jessup, can’t get over her. His abuse escalates, culminating in a terrible night when Brittany is raped. Within 24 hours, Rick is dead, Moses is the prime suspect, and Hardy must defend his old friend. The case threatens to uncover old secrets that could destroy the careers of Hardy and police lieutenant Abe Glitsky.

*This review may contain spoilers.*

Review:  The Ophelia Cut is your basic run-of-the-mill legal thriller. Don’t get hung up on the fact that it book 14 in series. This is the first and only book that I’ve read in the series and I felt that it is a solid stand-alone book. Mr. Lescroart did a really good job of feeding the relevant back story without leaving the reader frustrated that they missed something. I do suspect that had I read past books in the series I might have perceived more depth to the characters, but it wasn’t necessary.

They plot itself was interesting, however, I never felt that edge-of-you-seat pull that typical of a really good suspense story. I just did not get the thrill from this thriller. This book was surprisingly easy to put down. It did have enough going for it to make me want to finish the book. I am also not sure that I actually liked any of the characters. In fact, I kind of wanted Moses to be convicted just because I found him to be whiny and annoying. Was it wrong that I found it kind of funny that all of his friends and family just automatically believed that he did it?

One interesting thing about this book is that it really was not “who-dunnit” so much as a how-do-we-defend it. I know this might bother those die-hard mystery buffs who need a solid resolution, but I was ok with it. In fact, it was kind of refreshing to let my mind consider the possibilities. It certainly was no Scooby-do, “I would’ve gotten away with it if it weren’t for you meddling teenagers” ending.

As for the resolution of the trial, I really did not like how this was handled at all. It was really lame and I didn’t buy it any more than the fictitious jury should have. I was left wondering if the author was not sure where to take it and his deadline was coming up, so he reached for the low hanging fruit.

Another thing that bothered me was the implication at the very end that the prosecutor was sympathetic. This did not add up, especially considering the lengths that he went to, sometimes using under-handed methods, to win the case. Oh, but he allowed a sympathetic jury? Why would he let up in that one area? Maybe the author was trying to make a statement that a father going after his daughter’s rapist would be justified? Whatever the case, it just did not play out well.

I thought the cover was a great cover for a thriller. The dark blue wash suggests a sinister tone, along with the body language of the people in the image. However, as I read it, I just didn’t see where the cover fit the book. The title also nagged at me throughout most of the book. I kept trying to figure out what it had to do with the story. This, however, the author did explain in the epilogue.

In the end, this book was just OK.

*Disclaimer: this book was provided free of charge to the reviewer through Good Reads first reads.