Picks and Pans Review: The Mercy Rule
Beach book of the week
Beloved San Francisco fishmonger "Salmon" Sal Russo lies dead in his dingy room. He suffered from Alzheimer's disease and an inoperable brain tumor. Found at the scene: empty vials of morphine, a syringe and a Do Not Resuscitate notice. Suicide? The police arrest his estranged son Graham for "helping" his father to die, a capital crime under California law. For Graham's attorney Dismas Hardy—the protagonist of several successful Lescroart novels—the case leads to a labyrinth of lies, old crimes and tangled relationships inside the federal justice system.
Carefully wrapped in a stylish whodunit, The Mercy Rule is a morality play about assisted suicide that finds Lescroart in his best form yet. (Delacorte, $24.95)
Bottom Line: A master's take on a troubling social issue