Stepping outside of his popular Dismas Hardy universe, John Lescroart explores how a single guilty pleasure can have deadly consequences in his latest standalone novel, Fatal.
Kate and Ron are happily married, as are Peter and Jill. But when the couples meet at a house party hosted by mutual friends, Geoff and Bina Cooke, Kate finds herself attracted to Peter and develops an innocent crush on the married father of two.
Kate confides in Beth Tully, her longtime cop friend, about her crush on Peter. The two agree that it’s harmless but that Kate, obviously, needs to move on and focus her attention and energy towards her own husband and family. They laugh it off, joke about how potentially awful that situation could have turned out, and then move on.
In the coming days, however, Kate’s innocent, harmless crush turns to lust. Lust evolves into an obsession, and soon the middle-aged housewife is phoning up Bina Cooke to casually find out more about the couple they’d been introduced to at the party.
Kate’s obsession goes a step further when she finds out that the man’s name is Peter Ash, and that he’s an attorney. After Facebook-stalking him, she finally makes her move and contacts him under the guise of someone seeking legal help. Agreeing to meet, but caught off-guard by the randomness of Kate’s reaching out to him, Peter slips away from his office and heads to the hotel address Kate gave him.
Later, while her kids are at school and her husband is still at work, Kate returns home as if nothing happened. Taking an Uber to avoid using her own car, she strode inside with a long overcoat draped around her to shield prying neighbor’s eyes from the sexy garments she wore underneath, removed her high heels from her purse, and went about washing any and all traces of the affair off of herself and her clothes.
With the deed done, both Kate and Peter agreed to cut things off and go back to their spouses. No need for anyone to get hurt from this. They were, after all, adults, and they had families to think about.
Kate is the first one to break the established rules when she reaches out to Peter. But just as she’s finally mentally ready to move on once and for all, it’s Peter who can’t seem to let go. His less-than-discreet acts of affection are rebuffed by Kate, which only angers him. The obsession ball is now definitely in Peter’s side of the court, and his antics threaten to destroy both of their lives and families.
Still confiding in Beth, Kate and her friend inadvertently wind up in the middle of a terrorist attack that puts them both in the hospital. Hobbled and left dependent on crutches to get around, Beth gets back to work. But the plot thickens when the victim in a case she’s investigating about a dead guy with a single gunshot wound to his head turns out to be Peter Ash.
From there the author mixes an incredibly complex plot involving a police investigation, the aftermath of the terroris attack, and the unsettling reality that Beth might not know her friend as well as she thought she did, or what she’s capable of.
As multiple suspects emerge and different theories take shape, John Lescroart serves up a brilliant whodunit mystery that will have readers holding their breath and racing to uncover the truth.
Author: John Lescroart
Pages: 320 (Hardcover)
Publisher: Atria Books
Release Date: January 24, 2017 (Order Now!)