Fatal: Book Review and Interview

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Thanks to Reach And Teach alumni, consultant, friend, and all around nice guy Drew Durham for this great review of John Lescroat's newest book, Fatal. Drew knew that we were fans of mysteries here at Reach And Teach, especially ones with Bay Area connections. Read on to get Drew's take on this hot new title and then check out his interview with the author! We got an advanced review copy of the book from Simon and Schuster and LOVED it too!!!

AND, you can buy the book by clicking here.


Fatal by John Lescroart - book review


The fog comes
on little cat feet.

It sits looking
over harbor and city
on silent haunches
and then moves on.

now my review

A new stellar page turning yet philosophical legal detective thriller titled Fatal from expert mystery writer John Lescroart stays with you like lingering San Francisco Fog long after the clouds have dispersed. The intricate and complex mystery is set in familiar parts of San Francisco told with indelible characters and is fraught with unanswered ethical enigmas, personal problems and criminal crises.

As is well known by Lescoart readers, all of the descriptions of both San Fransisco scenery and enthralling characters in this New York Bestselling novel are all at once fantastic, immediately accessible, and intimately real.

The plot focuses on several local people caught in situations they struggle to control.

Kate Jameson is a wife caught up in an obsession, her lust for a married man named Peter Ash.

Kate's best friend and confidant, Beth, a San Francisco Police Department detective, has experienced and solved many infidelity cases thus Beth personally knows the devastation such lustful behavior creates for all parties involved.

Six months after Kate and Peter's first affair, Peter Ash ends up dead in the San Francisco Bay as the mystery unravels, the suffocating fog that is the full fledged drama of human emotions masterfully slowly and tantalizingly teasingly reveals all of the mysteries involved with Peter's death, including some really profound truths.

We are left to ask ourselves what do we let go of, what do we hold close? What matters most to us? What can we live without?

I have strong distain for anything about infidelity and sexual passion for other people while married and I still cant speak highly enough of this book whose focus is a married man who charms multiple women into affairs with him multiple times. The book is so well crafted in every way that it made me have readers withdrawal several times while reading and now after finishing it I am really having full fledged why John why did you end this book symptoms. My symptoms include like a serious serenity of feeling of the books mastery while at the same time being hurt by the all to sudden sadness of the book being a stand alone (hopefully just for now).

It could be a fatal mistake to not read Fatal by John Lescroart. Please comment below about this review especially people who have read it. PLEASE NO SPOILERS!

for more please check out John's awesome website: http://www.johnlescroart.com/

below is my interview with John Lescroart.
His answers are listed after my questions.

Yours Drewly with Thriller master John Lescroart

Drew and John 

All the Best.

1. How would you describe yourself in a police suspect interview? What crime would you be most likely to commit, if any? Why or why not?

I would say that I'm a professional author and I make things up for a living. The crime I'm most likely to commit would be murder, because if you're going to break the law, might as well break the big one.

2. Given your remarkable life and your greatest influences, why do you write detective mysteries and legal thrillers?

I write crime thrillers because I love the internal and external conflicts that usually come into play. Also, I am a big fan of plot and puzzle, and good crime fiction has those qualities in spades.

3. In the story of your life thus far as is told on your website and interviews and in a number of your books fate and fortune play a crucial role. Can you describe the role of luck or lack there of in your most recent New York Times Best Selling book Fatal? What is the role of luck in your own life?

Luck, karma, fate, happenstance, serendipity -- call it what you will, the ineffable playing out of things beyond our control is one of the great themes in all of literature. We are simply helpless against the inexorable pull of the unknown future. In FATAL, just such a happenstance occurs near the end of Part One and infuses the rest of the book with a huge universal underpinning that I didn't plan originally, but certainly did recognize when it came into play. See, I answered that without making it a spoiler.

In my own life, luck has also played a large role. I got spinal meningitis when I was 41 years old, and after that became a different kind of author. Beyond that, my book THE 13TH JUROR came out in paperback just as the OJ Simpson trial was beginning, and (aside from its good writing and super plot), that coincidence propelled that book onto the NY Times Bestseller List.

4. I've overheard in some interviews and talks you have given that you started your writing career with an overwhelming emphasis on character development and scenery and personal descriptions. Today your plots are nearly as dynamic as your characters. How do you keep plot and description so excitingly balanced?

This is a good question. The basic answer is that I used to write to understand what led up to actions almost exclusively -- motive, impulse, prejudice, etc. But now I try not to write scenes where nothing happens. I want some physical action in almost every scene, and as these pile up, the book takes on a much more active tone, and the narrative drive increases dramatically.

5. What was your favorite part of your writing process for Fatal? What was your least favorite part of writing Fatal? Why? What were the most memorable both great and bad moments of writing Fatal?

My favorite moment was, truly, the opening scene. After struggling literally for months with another, completely different book, I started this new one -- FATAL -- and from the opening sentence I suddenly felt that I knew where I was going. It was magic! My least favorite part, although it turned out very well, was the ending, which I re-wrote three times in its entirety. Not fun. Why? Because it's hell not knowing where something needs to be when you've worked it in your brain a zillion times. And by the same token, the greatest moment was when I finally knew I'd nailed it.

6. Given your mysterious yet marvelous characters in your new book Fatal, What is the role of emotions and personalities in Fatal?

Everybody feels things, and any writer who wants to have readers care about his characters and doesn't acknowledge the wallop that emotions have in store for us, isn't doing his or her job. Even if you're have a small moment of action, the emotional reaction cannot be ignored.

7. Your relationship to the city of San Francisco is clearly intimate and immediate. What is the role of scenery and setting in Fatal? Why did you chose those parts of San Francisco for particular plot points in Fatal?

In all of my books, the physical setting is enormously important. And since I've mostly written book set in San Francisco, I've developed a deep connection with that most romantic and zany of cities. In FATAL, I knew I needed to be near water -- the Bay and the ocean. I needed fog for atmosphere. I needed both upscale and tawdry neighborhoods. And don't forget food. Luckily, San Francisco supplies all this and more.

8. Why did you name your newest book Fatal?

Well, my agent and editor and I used up all the other names in the universe. I handed this book in under the title of PANDORA'S BOX, and starting there, we went through at least a hundred different titles. Finally, my editor gave me a list of twenty more titles, each of them starting with "fatal," so I said "Why not get rid of the middle man and just use the key word. And that's what happened.

9. What does love have to do with plot development in Fatal? What about the role of lust?

Lust plays a much larger role that love in FATAL. Lust drives the plot arcs of several of the main characters, whereas love is a much more fragile and yet durable thing by the time the book concludes.

10. Your personal acknowledgements at the end of your new book Fatal give us a glimpse into your influences in writing this book. What is one thing you want readers to come away with after reading Fatal?

I try not to load my books up with too much didacticism. My aim is to entertain, not teach. But FATAL is finally a cautionary tale showing how even apparently minor transgressions and sins can have unexpected and disastrous results. If any reader on the verge of temptation finds him- or herself taking an extra minute to reflect on the possible consequences of what might happen, that would probably be to the good.

11. Whats next for you? Whats next for your writing career?

I've already finished my next book, which is a Dismas Hardy mystery featuring my "usual" gang of characters -- Dismas Hardy, Abe Glitsky, Wyatt Hunt, Wes Farrell, and all of their families. I'd like to see that book embraced by fans the way that FATAL has been.

12. How would you describe your new book FATAL?

FATAL is a stand-alone suspense thriller that explores the emotional landscape of the crime of passion, with surprising and powerful results.

13. What's next for your characters?

Let's just say that a type of sequel to FATAL is in the earliest planning stages -- so early, in fact, that they might not make it to another full book, but I'm thinking that they also might. There is a lot unexplored with a few of the main characters in FATAL, and it might be fun to see what they do next. But no promises!

14. What is the role of sarcasm and humor in your book Fatal?

When you're writing about very serious stuff, and that's what I was doing with FATAL, you'd better include some light and funny stuff. So whenever I got to feeling that the seriousness of the story was bogging things down, I threw in some leavening of irony and humor to keep my readers happy. That's the ball game -- keeping readers happily turning the pages.

15. What do you think the role of a legal thriller/detective mystery writer is in todays society in the United States?

crime/detective/legal thrillers play a large role in keeping the idea of justice and fair play in the forefront of society's consciousness. We aspire to the right and the good, and books of this kind are a constant and largely optimistic reminder.

16. How do you define the word worthy? How do you gauge a books "worthiness"?

A "worthy" book is one the plays by its own internal rules, and does so in a competent and artistic way.

17. Any other words for your readers or the readers of this blog post?

I hope that readers of this blog post find a lot to like in FATAL, and may choose to explore other books I have written. Enjoy!

Check out John's website particularly the FAQ section http://www.johnlescroart.com/meet-john/faq/

Thanks for reading this post!


AND...... BUY THE BOOK!!!! Click here.

Green America approved