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The Vig
Cover of The Vig
The Vig
Dismas Hardy Series, Book 2
Borrow Borrow
Former San Francisco lawyer Dismas Hardy is being hunted by one of the thugs he once put away in this thriller from New York Times bestselling author John Lescroart.

Soldier. Cop. Lawyer. Dismas Hardy’s done the tough jobs, and had some tough luck. Now he’s kicking back and tending bar at the Shamrock in San Francisco. But the past returns in the form of Rusty Ingraham—a former fellow prosecutor who drops by for a drink, warning Hardy that a perp they put away nearly ten years ago just got released...and might still be looking for revenge.

Next thing Hardy knows, Ingraham’s houseboat becomes a murder scene, with a dead woman on board and Ingraham, presumably, at the bottom of the bay. To save himself, Hardy’s got to solve the case. But there’s more than one kind of payback, and it’s not just the ex-con who might have wanted it. Now, as he tangles with a mob enforcer, a rejected lover, and a renegade cop, Hardy is haunted by the knowledge that the later you pay, the steeper the price...
Former San Francisco lawyer Dismas Hardy is being hunted by one of the thugs he once put away in this thriller from New York Times bestselling author John Lescroart.

Soldier. Cop. Lawyer. Dismas Hardy’s done the tough jobs, and had some tough luck. Now he’s kicking back and tending bar at the Shamrock in San Francisco. But the past returns in the form of Rusty Ingraham—a former fellow prosecutor who drops by for a drink, warning Hardy that a perp they put away nearly ten years ago just got released...and might still be looking for revenge.

Next thing Hardy knows, Ingraham’s houseboat becomes a murder scene, with a dead woman on board and Ingraham, presumably, at the bottom of the bay. To save himself, Hardy’s got to solve the case. But there’s more than one kind of payback, and it’s not just the ex-con who might have wanted it. Now, as he tangles with a mob enforcer, a rejected lover, and a renegade cop, Hardy is haunted by the knowledge that the later you pay, the steeper the price...
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  • From the book At 2:15 on a Wednesday afternoon in late September, Dismas Hardy sat on the customer side of the bar at the Little Shamrock and worked the corners of his dart flights with a very fine emery board.  A pint of Guinness, pulled a quarter of an hour ago, had lost its head and rested untouched in the bar's gutter.  Hardy whistled tonelessly, as happy as he'd been in ten years.

    He'd opened the bar at 1:00 p.m. sharp and had served a bottle of Miller Draft to Tommy, a regular who'd retired from schoolteaching some years back and who now spent most afternoons by the large picture window, talking to whoever would listen.  But today Tommy told Hardy he had an appointment and left after one beer.  Tommy was all right, but being left alone didn't break Hardy's heart.

    Hardy finished one flight and raised his head.  He took the Guinness and sipped at it.  Through the window over Tommy's table, light traffic passed on Lincoln Blvd.  Across the street, the evergreens and eucalyptus that bordered Golden Gate Park shimmered in a light breeze.  There had been no fog that morning, and Hardy guessed the breeze would still be warm.  If you want summer in San Francisco, plan your vacation for the fall.

    A bus pulled up across the street and stopped.  When it pulled away, it left a man standing, lost looking, at the corner.

    A minute later, the double doors swung open; Hardy scooped up his flights and swung himself around the end of the bar.  He stood behind the porcelain beer taps and nodded at the customer.

    If it was a customer.  At first glance, the man didn't bring to mind visions of bankrolls and limousines.  Whether he had sufficient money for a beer seemed questionable.  His shirt was open at the collar and frayed badly.  His baggy pants needed pressing.  Under a forehead that went all the way back, eyes squinted adjusting to the relative darkness of the bar, although the Shamrock was no cave.  He needed a shave.

    "Help you?" Hardy asked, then as he looked more closely, the pieces began to fall into place.  "Rusty?"

    The man let loose a low-watt smile that seemed to require an effort.  He stepped closer to the bar.  "Ten points." He stuck his hand over the bar and Hardy took it.  "How you doin', Diz?" The voice was quiet and assured, cultured.

    Hardy asked what he was drinking and said it was on him.

    "Same as always."

    Hardy closed his eyes, trying to remember, then turned and reached up to the top shelf, grabbed a bottle of Wild Turkey, and snuck a glance at the man who'd shared his office back in the days when they'd both worked for the district attorney.

    Rusty Ingraham had aged.  There was, of course, the hair, or lack of it.  At twenty-five, Rusty had sported a shock of orange-red hair and a handlebar mustache.  Now, with no facial hair except the stubble, bald on top and gray on the sides, he looked old—handsome still, but old.

    Hardy poured him a double.

    "Prodigious," Rusty Ingraham said, nodding at his glass.

    Hardy shrugged.  "You know somebody at all, you know what they drink."

    "Well, you found your calling." He lifted the glass, Hardy raised his pint, and they both said "Skol."

    "So"—Hardy put down his glass—"you still a lawyer?"

    Ingraham's lips turned up, yet there was a gentleness Hardy hadn't seen...
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  • Publisher's Weekly

    January 1, 1991
    Ex-San Francisco prosecutor Dismas Hardy (seen in Dead Irish ) seems to be mending his life as bartender and part-owner of a saloon, even spending more time with his ex-wife. Then prosecutor Rusty Ingraham appears with news that Louis Baker, whom he and Dis had sent away years ago, has been released from jail and is out to kill Rusty and Hardy. Within two days, a woman is murdered on Rusty's houseboat and Rusty is missing. Dis has a tough time convincing detective Abe Glitsky that Rusty has been killed by Baker. There are other suspects: the dead woman's husband; a cop driven from the force by Rusty; and a Mob loan shark. Hardy starts his own investigation--and an affair with a pregnant young widow. With a murder of a young drug-dealer, a Mob-like hit, a suicide and other felonies, the case turns in different directions before Dis nails the villain. A large cast, swift pacing and good local color--the bleak look at life in a housing project is riveting--fuel a gripping yarn.

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The Vig
The Vig
Dismas Hardy Series, Book 2
John Lescroart
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