Edgar-winner Scottoline’s lackluster 14th Rosato and DiNunzio novel (after 2014’s Betrayed) focuses on law firm–founder Bennie Rosato. In 2002, a panic-stricken father from Mountaintop, Pa., hires the Philadelphia lawyer to appeal his 12-year-old son’s juvenile conviction. Jason Lefkavick shoved bully Richie Grusini, and both boys have been incarcerated. In the Poconos town, Bennie discovers rights violations and judicial corruption—and becomes involved with Declan Mitchell, Richie’s uncle. When Jason’s father learns of the relationship, he fires Bennie and drops the appeal; then Declan ends the affair. Thirteen years later, Bennie receives a desperate call from Jason, who’s being charged with Richie’s murder but insists he’s been framed. Guilt-stricken, she agrees to represent him, even though she doesn’t believe his story. Bennie’s uncharacteristically unprofessional affair with Declan strains credibility, especially when she’s utterly blindsided by the repercussions. The surprise courtroom twist lacks punch, and a predictable ending may satisfy series fans but is unlikely to win new readers. Author tour. Agent: Molly Friedrich, Friedrich Literary Agency. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/31/2015 Release date: 10/27/2015 Genre: Fiction
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