There's nothing particularly distinctive about Kate's life: she's happily married with two kids, living in one of San Francisco's nicer neighborhoods and wanting for nothing. At least until she meets Peter at a dinner party, and realizes that she wants him. Unable to ignore her sudden and unexpected feelings for this strange man, Kate carefully plans her next move--one that proves to have larger consequences than she could ever have imagined.

In Fatal, John Lescroart (The Keeper; The Fall) focuses on Kate and Peter's short but impassioned entanglement, which continues to haunt her--first in Peter's repeated appearances in her life, and then in the news of his death six months after their affair. The investigation into his death leads detectives through lie after lie, until a tangled web of deceit captures Kate, her family, Peter, his family and many friends in its threads.

Most of Fatal moves forward at breakneck speed, though the story is sometimes cluttered by side plots and unnecessary details: a terrorist attack in central San Francisco, a detective's sick child, the reappearance of a one-time suspect with an eating disorder. Somewhat surprisingly, Lescroart manages to tie these disparate threads back together, pushing the novel forward to an unexpected conclusion. Fatal marks a departure from Lescroart's more typical series novels, offering a standalone story of suspense that combines questions of marital infidelity with a complex whodunit that leaves a string of bodies in its wake. --Kerry McHugh, blogger at Entomology of a Bookworm

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