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On the heels of The Hunt Club, his biggest bestseller to date, John Lescroart weaves a new story of crime and justice in San Francisco that will keep pages turning and readers guessing from start to dizzying finish.
When Dr. Caryn Dryden is found floating dead in her hot tub, homicide inspector Devin Juhle targets a suspect close to home: her husband, Stuart Gorman. After all, Stuart was recently asked for a divorce…and he stands to gain millions in insurance. His alibi that he was at his cabin on Tamarack Lake that weekend doesn't keep him out of hot water. But maybe a shrewd attorney will.
Gina Roake, a partner in Dismas Hardy's firm, is eager to take on such a high-profile case, especially when the client's innocence seems so easy to prove. Yet the more time she spends with Stuart, the more complicated her feelings become; she feels strangely drawn to him at first, then has to confront the possibility of a dark history lurking in his past. Desperate to know the truth, Gina calls in Wyatt Hunt to investigate. Before the facts are in, her client is on the lam; he's already been tried in the press, and so he's certain the courtroom won't bring him any mercy either. Racing to a stunning conclusion as Gina uncovers disturbing answers, The Suspect is a chilling story of secrets, love, and lies.
Building on The Hunt Club's phenomenal success, The Suspect showcases the writing of a master of suspense at the height of his art.
John Lescroart is the author of seventeen previous novels, including The Hunt Club, The Motive, The Second Chair, The First Law, The Oath, The Hearing, and Nothing But the Truth. He lives with his wife and their children in northern California.
- What were your first impressions of Stuart Gorman? Were you sympathetic to his situation, or did you believe he was the one who murdered his wife?
- The book opens with this quote from George Berkeley: "Truth is the cry of all, but the game of few." What does this quote mean in the context of what happens in The Suspect?
- We learn about Caryn Dryden through flashbacks in the novel; what did you think of her?
- Do you believe Stuart and Caryn's attempts to hide their daughter's bipolar disorder and to protect her when she got into trouble because of her illness helped or hurt Kymberly?
- The book is set in very scenic places; San Francisco and the Lake Tahoe area. Did any particular imagery or descriptions stand out for you?
- On pages 78-80, we read an excerpt from one of Stuart's books. What did you think of what he's written?
- What did you think of Inspector Devin Juhle? Were his instincts about Stuart off base, or did he have good reason to think Stuart was the one who murdered Caryn?
- Answer the question that Stuart poses to Gina Roake in Chapter 15, as he tries to explain his motivation for finding Caryn's killer: "If I didn't love her anymore, why would it matter so much?" [page 140]
- "Gina found herself fighting for the job she now wanted more than anything in her life." [page 227] Why did she want to keep Stuart's case so badly?
- Has your opinion of the U.S. justice system changed in any way now that you've read The Suspect? Do you believe that people are innocent until proven guilty? Was Stuart treated this way?
- In addition to Stuart, many other characters had a motive to kill Caryn: her sister Debra; Kymberly; business partner Bob McAfee; the head of PII, Bill Blair. At any point, did you believe that any of these characters killed Caryn? Were there others that you suspected might be responsible?
- Did you suspect that Gina's "date" with Jedd Conley was a sting?
- Did Jedd's role in the mystery come as a surprise to you? Why or why not?
- Were you surprised that Gina got together with Wyatt Hunt at the book's end? Do you think they make a good couple? Why or why not?