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Publisher's Summary

A riveting new legal thriller from the bestselling author of My Sister's Grave.

In San Francisco's seamy Tenderloin district, a teenage street hustler has been murdered in a shelter for boys. And the dedicated priest who runs the struggling home stands accused. But despite damning evidence that he's a killer - and worse - Father Thomas Martin stands by his innocence. And attorney Peter Donley stands with him.

For three years Donley has cut his legal teeth in his uncle's tiny, no-frills firm, where people come before profits. Just as Donley is poised to move on to a lucrative dream job, the shocking case lands in his lap, and he must put his future on hold while putting his courtroom skills to the test. But a ruthless DA seeking headlines and a brutal homicide cop bent on vengeance have their own agendas. Now, as he unearths the dirty secrets surrounding the case, Donley must risk his neck to save his client's life...and expose the face of true evil.

©2016 Robert Dugoni (P)2016 Brilliance Audio, all rights reserved.

What listeners say about The 7th Canon

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

What bothers me may not bother you

The choice to set this book in 1987 confused me and I didn't find the author consistent in the way he portrayed the time.

I seem to remember that in 1987 the main scandals about catholic priests hadn't really broken yet. (Absolutely things were happening, but the lid hadn't blown off yet.) Sometimes the characters seemed to speak from the perspective of what we know now, and at other times from an '80s perspective. As I write this, I think I realize that the author moved it back because there is no way the church would now allow a lone priest to set up a shelter staffed by just him for underage boy prostitutes. But too many things weren't "down-dated" for me.

And the priest retells the story of St. Paul saying that before his conversion, the then Saul persecuted and even "murdered" Jews. Saul was a Jew!!!! He persecuted Christians!!!! (He was a Roman citizen and claimed the right not to be crucified as such, but he was definitely a Jew.) To me there is no way that even a blue-jean wearing, tattooed priest would get that wrong.

I confess I tunes out once I started noticing these type of things. The story seemed good, but I wish the author had invested in a good substantive editor/researcher, especially after he decided to turn back the clock to 1987.

I don't return many audiobooks, but I'm returning this on.

125 people found this helpful

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Intense suspense; a real thrill ride

This new release by Robert Dugoni is a standalone suspense/legal thriller set in San Francisco in 1987. It is well written and the characters are vivid. In my opinion it is not as good as books in Dugoni's Tracy Crosswhite series, but I had a difficult time deciding between 4 and 5 stars. The narration brings it down to 4 stars. I highly recommend The 7th Canon. Robert Dugoni writes superb thrillers.

28 people found this helpful

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Not deserving of my money


blacks and women were used to fill a quota while deserving white men were overlooked. Yeah, that ended this crap of a book for me considering I'm both

19 people found this helpful

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Great book

Robert Dugoni is a great author. Can tell amazing stories and leave out the foul language. Wish he had more books. Can't wait for the next one

16 people found this helpful

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Not worthy of Dugoni

Robert Dugoni is a decent writer. I read My Sister's Grave a year or so ago and generally enjoyed it. In the acknowledgements on this book Dugoni says this book was written 20 years ago and sat in a file cabinet somewhere until he dusted it off for publication. I can't say the world would be a worse place if it had stayed there.

Dugoni writes good action, and this contains that touch. But there are premises that are hard to swallow, some hinky transitions, a collection of meh characters, and a few other hitches.

We can start with the basic premise. A Catholic priest who operates a shelter for teens in San Francisco's Tenderloin is found holding the bloody corpse of a murdered shelter resident. A rough and sexist/racist detective is one of the first on the scene. He breaks into the priest's office without a warrant and finds a bloody letter opener. A politically ambitious DA picks up the case and starts pushing for the death penalty. I have a problem right here. We're talking more-Catholic-than-average San Francisco here, and nationally there hasn't been a priest put on death row or executed since 1916 (a German-American priest and probable serial killer who chopped up a woman he impregnated.) I find it hard to believe that a DA would find it would boost his political standing to be the guy who sent a priest to the executioner.

The priest's case is taken by Peter Donley mostly by default. He's been working in his uncle's law firm and the uncle was set to represent the priest but suffered a stroke before getting the chance to meet the priest. Donley goes to interview the priest, who is sitting in a cell reciting the rosary on his fingers. Because of issues from an abusive father and a mother who often recited the rosary Donley freaks out in a PTSD moment and flees, never meeting the priest until the first hearing. There, because the priest is determined to plead not guilty, Donley (who has no experience in capital crimes) is compelled to represent the priest.

This is just to outline some of the weaker parts of the book, but as they're fundamental to the plot the action sequences that follow end up feeling more irritating than exciting. This is especially true near the end when a former-cop-turned-detective begins getting introduced, normally in ways that interrupt the flow of the best scenes of the book. Plus at one point this detective, who was relieved of duties, is allowed to lead a squadron of SFPD officers as a civilian on the raid of a building.

The book is further marred by less-than-realistic motives by the DA and the racist/sexist cop who turns out to have daddy issues. 

Again, in 20 years Dugoni has become a better writer. This book deserved a much better tweaking and edit to smooth out some of the weaknesses and perhaps a rewrite to bring it into the current decade. 

14 people found this helpful

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  • TH
  • 01-12-17

Not Bad

Would you listen to The 7th Canon again? Why?

probably not, because I didn't feel connected to any of the characters in the story

If you’ve listened to books by Robert Dugoni before, how does this one compare?

I have not, but it was interesting enough that I've added the Tracy Crosswhite series to my queue to begin listening. I also participate in Kindle Unlimited, and they are available to read and listen under that program at no additional cost.

Have you listened to any of James Patrick Cronin’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I hadn't heard him before, but he is easy to listen to.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No, I spread it out over several days, partly because of meetings.

Any additional comments?

The sappy ending scenes in the hospital seemed to detract from the story. The final scenes of the book were predictable.

14 people found this helpful

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The 7th Canon

Excellent story. So many facets of life experiences of good and evil, without bringing listener into slime.

14 people found this helpful

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Masterful!

Gripping, interesting story. Awesome narration. This is one of the very best AUDIBLE books I ever listened to!! Highly recommend!

12 people found this helpful

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First Review Lost, But this is Worth the Credit

I like Dugoni's work so much I actually wrote him. Each of his novels reflect a depth of character, humility and a riveting story line. The 7th Canon is no exception.

Great characters, writing and narration makes this well worth your time. I flew through it and actually have it queued to listen again.

11 people found this helpful

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Enjoyed it!

What's not to like? Here a flawed young Sam Sneed-Perry Mason-Sir Gallihad-Gulligan gone righteously wild and prevailing against big bad 'justice' system odds. Wrongs righted, lies exposed, spirits mended, reputations repaired, families are protected and grown, and saintly servants validated. Truth and justice in the overwatch of, and even with, if only, the slightest tip of the Fidora to, His Honor, God! Amazing boldness in these present days.

11 people found this helpful

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  • Fleetwoodboy
  • 02-26-17

All that glistens ..........

Another great and exciting tale by this author. Well read the story flows along st great pace with no filling out . Funny one liners add extra entertainment to the story. Most enjoyable and well recommended

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 09-22-21

excellent listen

Excellently narrated and really good listen. well written by an excellent author. try some of his other books. you will not be disappointed.

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  • mollyeyre
  • 04-15-19

A worthwhile listen!

I enjoyed this book, maybe not at the top of my list, but Robert Dugoni does craft characters that I care about and the story was interesting too. I enjoyed the Tracy Crosswhite books, and especially 'the extraordinary life of Sam Hell'.
Robert Dugoni is definitely my sort of a writer.

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  • Ann
  • 06-01-18

Thoroughly enjoyable!

This is the first audio that I have listened to from this author, absolutely super!