After San Francisco lawyer Dismas Hardy agrees to assume the workload of a lawyer who mysteriously vanished, he discovers one of the cases, an appeal of a murder conviction, isn’t as simple as it first appears. For one thing, Evan Scholler, the National Guardsman found guilty of killing a private contractor in Iraq, had learned that his victim committed several murders. John Lescroart dispatches courtroom scenes with crisp efficiency in Betrayal, but what’s interesting here are the peripheral issues he’s researched so diligently: the conflicts between the military and the private firms in Iraq, medical care for veterans, and the lawlessness of wartime. A-

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