“The Missing Piece”

Is this the perfect crime or a perfect conundrum?

“The Missing Piece” is about one shot, just one bullet, fired, that hits its mark, and changes everything for everyone. It is book nineteen in the “Dismas Hardy Series.” I had not read any of the previous books, but was able to follow the complex narrative. There are a lot of multifaceted characters with multifaceted backgrounds and associations, but the narrative gave me the details I needed; all are introduced with pertinent information. Readers get to know them within the context of the narrative, their appearance, their mannerisms, their opinions, and their ability to hide secrets. This is a conversation driven story filled with what people say to each other, say about each other, and occasionally what they say to themselves.

The action takes place in a week and over many past years. An exonerated prisoner is released, but perhaps he is not actually innocent, but had only been released because of legal errors. This makes him a free man but not an innocent man. Then there is a murder, and another one, or two. Something serious and dangerous is happening; things have to be somehow related, but connection does not mean causation. There is no hard evidence, no pattern, nothing. People are looking, but not seeing. This is a five-hundred piece puzzle, dropped on the floor, with a missing piece.

“The Missing Piece” is a complex story that evolves bit by bit. Each character holds a piece of the puzzle, and multiple points of view bring out the diverse part that each character plays. The seemingly unrelated clues ultimately come together, and the whole story is exposed. The chain of events may be elaborate and diverse, but the motive is simple and uncomplicated. I received a review copy of “The Missing Piece” John Lescroart and Atria Books. And, yes, “Sympathetic Pheromones” would be a great name for a band.

“The Missing Piece” is now available in print, as an e-book, and on audio from independent bookstores, online booksellers, retail stores, public libraries and anywhere you get your books.