Three years ago, John Lescroart announced his plan to retire. His fans didn’t know what to think.
It sounded like fiction. Lescroart is a best-selling author, with 30 crime mysteries to his credit. He lives in Davis, writes about San Francisco and has an international following. He is known for putting his characters through multiple plot twists.
A few months later, the writer had a personal plot twist. Lescroart decided he didn’t like retirement, so he wrote another book — his 30th. "The Missing Piece" will be released this month.
Donna Apidone talked with Lescroart about his new book, his style and the surprises he encounters as he writes.
On killing his popular characters
It’s not fun to kill your character, especially after 15, 16 books, but you gotta keep your credibility. Some of these people, it breaks my heart. It’s one of those decisions I had to make early on: was I going to step over that line or not? You have to do it once in a while. Sad, but true.
On exoneration in fiction versus real life
I have a son, Jack, who is a public defender in Sacramento. So he is from the other side of the universe that I have been inhabiting with my characters. It’s so interesting to see him go on about my plot ideas. I like to think I’m a liberal guy, and I’m okay with jail reform and things like that, but I’m not the same as my son, who is very involved in all this. He’s got actual cases going on.
On confusing his readers
It’s kind of a game, you know. You make it a puzzle, and you’re trying to make the puzzle fascinating for people to put together. And I hope that’s what I’m able to do in most of these books, because the whole “who dunnit” element is the moment that you get the greatest pleasure in the book. You try to get it to so it’s in the last five pages … then the last three pages … then occasionally down to the last page. “Who did it” is really an important part of it, in fact the most important, I think.
CapRadio provides a trusted source of news because of you. As a nonprofit organization, donations from people like you sustain the journalism that allows us to discover stories that are important to our audience. If you believe in what we do and support our mission, please donate today.