In my opinion, John Lescroart is one of the best mystery / courtroom drama authors writing today. Not only does he create complex, fascinating plots that keep you glued to the page from the first words to the last, he also creates very memorable, unique characters. Add to that Lescroart's love for San Francisco, the city where his mysteries are set, and you've got the perfect recipe for a great series of mystery and suspense novels.
I have read every book Lescroart has ever written (and usually more than once) because they are such a joy to read. I have to confess that I prefer Hardy / Glitsky series to the newer Wyatt Hunt series. The reason why I never really warmed up to Wyatt Hunt is because he was always way too perfect and idealized to be likable. I always perceived Hunt as one of those cardboard Superman figures: there is no flaw in him you can put your finger on but that's precisely what makes him less than appealing. In contrast, Hardy, Glitsky and especialy Wes Farrell are very complex, fascinating characters. Their demons and their complex personal histories are precisely what makes them so interesting to follow from one novel in the series to another.
In THE HUNTER, Lescroart finally shows to his readers that Wyatt Hunt is not as simple and one-dimensional as we might have started to think he was. There is a dark secret in Wyatt's distant past. When this private investigator sets out to explore the story of his mother's murder and his father's two trials as her killer, the readers start catching glimpses of those things about Hunt's personality that have been concealed from our view until this point. Wyatt's very perfection, his perennial need to be the best at everything he undertakes find their explanation in THE HUNTER. As a result, Wyatt Hunt becomes a lot more human and easier for the readers to identify with. I never felt any connection with this character or any actual sympathy towards him in the previous Wyatt Hunt novels. After THE HUNTER, however, my attitude to this character has changed.
In this novel, you will also find some new and curious developments in Wyatt Hunt's personal life. I don't want to create any spoilers, so I'll just say that, in my opinion of a devoted fan of Lescroart's mysteries, these changes have been long overdue.
If you haven't read any Lescroart novels before, I highly recommend this great author. His books are part of a series, but you can easily start with any one of them and enjoy it greatly. Lescroart is brilliant at making sure that each novel contains all the information a new reader would need in order not to feel lost in the characters' histories, while at the same time avoiding any hint of repetitiveness that would bore old-time fans like myself. THE HUNTER is, I believe, very characteristic of Lescroart's writing, and new readers will be well-served by beginning their acquaintance with his books with this most recent one. It contains all of the elements of Lescroart's writing that have made him famous and keep his fans desperate for new books: a plot that sucks you in from the very first paragraph, a very good but also easy-to-read and uncluttered writing style, a complex mystery that drives the plot, deep secrets from the past that come to light and transform the characters' lives forever, and, of course, the loving descriptions of the beautiful city of San Francisco. What else can one possibly need for a great reading experience?