Tuesday, January 27, 2015
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Davis-based author returns with legal thriller

By
From page A1 | May 14, 2013 |

New York Times bestselling author John Lescroart of Davis has a new legal thriller out, "The Ophelia Cut." Local residents can hear him speak and buy signed copies of his book at The Avid Reader on Tuesday, May 21. Sue Cockrell/Enterprise photo

Meet the author

Who: John Lescroart, discussing and signing copies of his newest novel, “The Ophelia Cut”

When: 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 21

Where: The Avid Reader, 617 Second St.

Approach the small downtown Davis abode in which local author John Lescroart writes with care, lest you discover what’s inside.

It’s the scene of a murder, in which there are no obvious clues as to who the killer may be.

Or at least that’s the picture you’d likely get if you were to reach to his shelves and pry open one of the more than 20 books Lescroart has written over the years. His novels have primarily been of the crime-drama sort, each brimming with thrills and mystery.

In Lescroart’s most recent novel, “The Ophelia Cut,” the portrait would be of a courtroom, wherein a man stands charged of murdering his daughter’s alleged rapist.

“The Ophelia Cut” continues the long-running narrative of protagonist Dismas Hardy, an ex-cop and lawyer. The fictional defense attorney must defend his brother-in-law and old friend Moses McGuire in the aforementioned case.

Lescroart found inspiration to continue his saga in the way he usually does: by buckling down to write, which he does from early in the morning until around 5 p.m. each weekday in his Davis home-office.

Though he admits to sometimes being struck with the curse that is writer’s block, the contemporary issues and themes that he decided to focus on in “The Ophelia Cut” acted as a creative spark enough to keep him going.

“It became an absolute killer story,” he said, no pun intended. “It’s kind of magic when that happens. You plan a little bit, get an outline and a basis for what to write about. Then, if all the planets align, other stuff comes up.

“That’s what happened with ‘The Ophelia Cut,’ it became this serendipitous well-spring of inspiration. … I just had this incredibly compelling group of issues that fell in my lap.”

It’s the first story of Lescroart’s to follow a trial since “A Plague of Secrets,” which was released in 2009. Most of his stories in between have fit more within the confines of a traditional action-thriller.

Despite how serious elements of “The Ophelia Cut’s” courtroom portions are, Lescroart makes it a point to insert some humor for a bit of comic relief.

“I have some courtroom scenes that when I was writing, I was laughing out loud,” he said. “It’s real things that could happen. My basic job is to entertain, and I think that this book does that.”

Though Lescroart is no stranger to writing of legal proceedings, his background is in no way similar to that of his fictional defense attorney.

Instead, authoring these “legal thrillers” was the niche he fell into, a key to turn his part-time writing hobby into a full-time job. He wrote his first novel upon moving to Davis in 1992.

He helps others turn their passion into a profession at the UC Davis creative writing graduate program, which he supported with a $50,000 donation in 2005. He endows prizes for winners of a long-form fiction writing contest, nearly all of which have gone on to be published.

Speaking of it hearkens back to the “life-changing” award he received, which put him on course to become an author. Just after he turned 30, his off-hand submission earned him $2,000 out of a pool of more than 200 other entrants.

Since then, Lescroart has been more than able to make a living off of writing. His past 15 novels, all of the San Francisco-based Dismas Hardy series, have hit New York Times bestseller list.

“My life is pretty good,” he said. “Well, I guess ‘pretty good’ is hardly the word; it’s ridiculous.”

And it only improves when his literary works strike the right chord with audiences, as he hopes is the case with “The Ophelia Cut.”

“Anecdotally, I’ve heard from a lot of people that I’ve sent advance copies to that it’s their favorite book of mine,” Lescroart said.

There’s plenty more opportunity for him to hear feedback, praise or otherwise, from locals at an upcoming book-signing at The Avid Reader, 617 Second St. He’ll be there at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 21, for those who dare to meet the man with the veneer of mystery.

— Reach Brett Johnson at bjohnson@davisenterprise.net or 530-747-8052. Follow him on Twitter at @ReporterBrett

Comments

comments

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    Interfaith event focuses on justice

    By Fred Gladdis | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    In vino veritas: A criminal case and intrigue in Napa Valley

    By New York Times News Service | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Parking lawsuit may be more than meets the eye

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1

     
    Share your love (story) with us

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Pets of the week

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3 | Gallery

     
    Workshop offers tips on GoPro cameras

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Sutter Davis Hospital seeks volunteer doulas

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A3

     
    Winter produce, treats available at Wednesday market

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Have a ‘Heart to Heart’ with Dr. G

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Apply now for Soroptimist service grants

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Learn nature photography from an expert

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

     
    Thorp receives UCD’s Distinguished Emeritus Award

    By Kathy Keatley Garvey | From Page: A4 | Gallery

    Innovation opportunities on the agenda

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Apply now to be on Davis’ coop crawl

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Seed swap set Friday at Davis Cemetery

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    VFW post plans Valentine’s Day Heroes Breakfast

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4 | Gallery

    Storyteller relies on nature as his subject on Saturday

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Vote for your favorites in Readers’ Choice poll

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Gerber nominations open now

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A10

     
    .

    Forum

    Taking turns as the halfway house

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

    A family was torn apart, but we survived

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6 | Gallery

     
    Locals will join march for climate change

    By Michelle Millet | From Page: A6

    .

    Sports

    Four DHS wrestlers soar at McClellan Air Force Base

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

     
    Aggie women almost get a sweep of Portland tennis teams

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    UCD women need to get in gear for a basketball road trip

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Anatomy of a hoops collapse: can Aggie men handle the pressure?

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    UCD swims past Santa Barbara

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B2 | Gallery

     
    Sports briefs: Eat ribs for the Davis Aquadarts

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8

    .

    Features

    Name Droppers: Lea Rosenberg leads Odd Fellows

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A5

     
    .

    Arts

    Wynonna Judd will perform Feb. 13 in Vacaville

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A9

     
    ‘Ideation’ a funny, dark, thrilling farce — and more

    By Bev Sykes | From Page: A9 | Gallery

     
    DHS Idol finals will be a tough competition

    By Krystal Lau | From Page: A9

    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    .

    Comics

    Comics: Tuesday, January 27, 2015 (set 1)

    By Creator | From Page: B5

     
    Comics: Tuesday, January 27, 2015 (set 2)

    By Creator | From Page: B7