Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Review: Treasure Hunt by John Lescroart

Treasure Hunt I won this book from GoodReads but it never arrived. Then someone gave me a copy so I got to read it anyway. Although this is the second Wyatt Hunt novel, it didn't suffer at all from my not having read the first one.

This is about a private detective service in San Francisco called The Hunt Club which has been suffering from a lack of business since the economy tanked. It's so bad that Wyatt Hunt has been dreading the day when he will have to let employees Mickey Dade and his sister Tamara go even though they are like his own kids. In fact Wyatt had saved the two from the foster child program and they love him like a father.

Then Mickey sees a hand protruding from a lagoon beside the Palace of Fine Arts and is interviewed on television because the dead man is Dominic Como, a high profile, publicity-loving citizen who serves on the board of several charitable organizations. Suddenly business at the Hunt Club is booming as former clients, and new ones seem to realize they are still in business. Meanwhile, they are trying to solve Como's murder.

Suspects are plentiful because of the nature of his life and the fact that he was associated with such bountiful sums of money in his charitable work. Follow the money is the best advice on this case, although his wife is a good suspect and his associate, the young beautiful Alicia.

Mickey has been studying to be a chef, as a back-up plan in case the firm went under but also because he loves cooking. Cooking, therefore, is a feature of the book, and also San Francisco's renowned restaurants. A funny part of the book is the response they get when they set up a tip line for people who are not fond of the police to phone in anything they think might be related to the murder. The calls they get are hilarious, but one might be a solid tip after all.

I loved the characters Mickey and Wyatt, and was happy to see Tamara come out of what seemed to be a dangerous depression. Wyatt's home is a bit of a stretch to believe, but that's a minor quibble in a very enjoyable read. The mystery isn't easy to solve but at the end I was able to see where clues had been there all along. I'm easily led down the garden path to a red herring. I recommend this book; I think I'll find and read the first Wyatt Hunt novel.

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