REVIEW: FEARED, BY LISA SCOTTOLINE

 

When three men announce that they are suing the Rosato & DiNunzio law firm for reverse sex discrimination—claiming that they were not hired because they were men—Mary DiNunzio and Bennie Rosato are outraged. To make matters worse, their one male employee, John Foxman, intends to resign, claiming that there is some truth to this case.

The plaintiffs’ lawyer is Nick Machiavelli, who has already lost to Mary once and is now back with a vengeance —determined to not only win, but destroy the firm. It soon becomes clear that Machiavelli will do anything in his power to achieve his end…even after the case turns deadly. The stakes have never been higher for Mary and her associates as they try to keep Machiavelli at bay, solve a murder, and save the law firm they love…or they could lose everything they’ve worked for. Told with Scottoline’s trademark gift for twists, turns, heart, and humanity, this latest thriller asks the question: Is it better to be loved, or feared…

My Thoughts: I always love revisiting the characters in the Rosato & DiNunzio law firm, but in Feared, the newest outing, I was even more drawn in by Mary DiNunzio in her new role as an expectant mother. Her fierceness masked her vulnerability, and kept her swinging as she worked with her partners to battle their nemesis, Nick Machiavelli.

When the lawsuit began to look like an uphill battle, everything got much worse when someone was murdered. Bereft and still swinging, the women did everything in their power to solve that case and follow the clues that would bring the lawsuit to an end.

I’ve always enjoyed Mary’s thought processes, and watching her figure out the connections that would tie the case up for them was as enticing as always. I especially enjoyed the camaraderie between the law partners, Mary, Benny Rosato and Judy Carrier. The family and friends from the neighborhood added just the loving network that Mary needed during difficult times.

As solving the murder seemed to elude the partners, the suspense increased dramatically; and then an unexpected clue brought the answers, but would it be too late? I kept rapidly turning pages until the very end of this 5 star read.


***My e-ARC came from the publisher via NetGalley.

REVIEW: SNAP JUDGMENT, BY MARCIA CLARK

When the daughter of prominent civil litigator Graham Hutchins is found with her throat slashed, the woman’s spurned ex-boyfriend seems the likely suspect. But only days later, the young man dies in what appears to be a suicide. Or was it? Now authorities are faced with a possible new crime. And their person of interest is Hutchins. After all, avenging the death of his daughter is the perfect reason to kill. If he’s as innocent as he claims, only one lawyer has what it takes to prove it: his friend and colleague Samantha Brinkman.

It’s Sam’s obligation to trust her new client. Yet the deeper she digs on his behalf, the more entangled she becomes in a thicket of family secrets, past betrayals, and multiple motives for murder. To win her case, she’s prepared to bend any law and cross any boundary that stands in her way. Sam has always played by her own rules, and it’s always worked…so far. But this case cuts so deep and so personal that one false move could cost her everything.

My Thoughts: Samantha Brinkman hits the ground running on a typical day of lawyering in Snap Judgment. A young woman has been found with her throat slashed, and her father, Graham Hutchins, a prominent lawyer, is devastated.

A student at USC, Alicia seems to have no enemies or any dark secrets that would lead to her murder. As Sam and her team, which includes her “hacker” investigator Alex, zero in on the group of students that were part of Alicia’s “tribe,” there are numerous questions raised about each of them, at one point or another. And when Alicia’s ex-boyfriend Roan, whom everyone believes killed her, turned up dead by hanging, it looked like a suicide. But there are doubts about that. There are some indications he might have been murdered. Suddenly Graham Hutchins becomes a person of interest.

The best part about this series is how the reader gets to watch Sam maneuver around and turn the facts to her advantage, preparing for creating a reasonable doubt should a case end up before a jury.

Meanwhile, a horrible mobster from Samantha’s past, who has “something on her,” shows up to collect. What he wants from her goes against everything she believes in, and might involve revealing the whereabouts of a young woman. Can she turn his plans upside down and create her own scenario for his target?

All the red herrings and twisted possibilities led to a very satisfying and surprising denouement, and now I can’t wait to see what Sam will do next. 5 stars.

 ***