Prosecutor to the crime fiction stars

The San Mateo County Times profiles San Mateo County Deputy District Attorney Al Giannini, who has provided legal advice and guidance to John Lescroart for 17 years and almost 19 books:

For 17 years, he’s
used his extensive experience — since 2002 as deputy DA in San Mateo
County and 23 years as assistant DA in San Francisco — to collaborate
with Lescroart to finesse the legal tangles that ensnare the characters
in the author’s novels.

This week, he and Lescroart (pronounced less-KWAH) have to
figureout how to exonerate a man that appears from the evidence that he
murdered someone, but is in fact innocent.

  And all this in a way readers will find believable.

"What we’re trying to do is weave the murder plot so that our
guy looks prosecutable as a suspect," Giannini’s said. "But when
someone else is the killer, the reader doesn’t feel cheated."

It’s a collaboration born out of many years of friendship; the two met when they were 14 and became best friends at 16 when they both attended Junipero Serra High School in San Mateo. But Giannini works with best-selling crime novelist Richard North Patterson, also a
friend, to labor through the details legal or law-enforcement scenarios.

Why do it? Undoubtedly because the work provides Giannini a break from the often brutal reality of his day-to-day work, investigating and prosecuting homicides. "What he brings to the
table in an insider’s verisimilitude," Lescroart said. "And without
that, the books would not have the same density and would not have the
same power."