cover image The Truth About the Devlins

The Truth About the Devlins

Lisa Scottoline. Putnam, $29.95 (384p) ISBN 978-0-525-53970-4

A wealthy Philadelphia family’s dysfunction threatens to undo them in the engrossing latest from Scottoline (What Happened to the Bennetts). Married attorneys Paul and Marie Devlin work beside their two eldest children and fellow lawyers, John and Gabrielle, at their esteemed family firm. TJ, the youngest Devlin, is a recovering alcoholic with a criminal record who works as the firm’s informal “investigator,” spending most of his days doing busywork to keep him out of trouble. When John tells TJ he may have accidentally killed a client one night, a shocked TJ agrees to help his brother avoid arrest. As TJ digs deeper into the client’s death, however, he uncovers his siblings’ involvement in a vast pharmaceutical conspiracy that puts his safety and sobriety at risk. Scottoline successfully anchors the story’s legalese and shady pharma dealings in TJ’s personal struggles, wringing real emotion from his gradual realization that, while he may be the Devlins’ black sheep, he’s far from the family’s most amoral member. The midsection sags a bit, but for the most part, this is a ripping blend of legal and family drama. Agent: Robert Gottlieb, Trident Media Group. (Mar.)