Accused by Lisa Scottoline
Another book from the Library of Grandma. I didn’t realize this was part of a series, but it reads well as a standalone.
Mary DiNunzio hasn’t gotten used to thinking of herself as partner at Rosato & Associates. Doubts and insecurities still plague her, amplified further when her boyfriend wants to take the next step in their relationship. Still reeling from all these changes, she encounters her most unusual case yet, brought to her by a thirteen-year-old genius from one of the area’s wealthiest families. The client, Allegra, has two obsessions: beekeeping and her older sister’s murder. She believes the man the police jailed is innocent, and hires Mary to find the real killer. Content with the closure they received six years ago, Allegra’s powerful family opposes re-opening the case, but Rosato & DiNunzio can never resist an underdog. Was justice served all those years ago? Mary will risk everything to find out.
Lawyers are often depicted as stiff and self-assured, but Mary is refreshingly insecure and friendly. I admit I lost patience with her, but she comes around in the end. Her boyfriend, Anthony, is disgustingly perfect and unrealistic. The rest of the characters, however, represent a realistic array of personalities and backgrounds. I especially loved the scene where the Tony’s get into mischief. The book is worth reading for that scene alone.
A typical mystery, the plot weaves through false starts and dead ends at a pace fast enough to maintain tension, but not too fast for the reader to follow. Mary encounters many obstacles—legal, personal, professional—which she overcomes or cannot overcome like any human.
Scottoline writes in great detail, sometimes a little too much, but I liked that many of the seemingly irrelevant passages proved critical to solving the case.
With many red herrings and both personal and professional obstacles, Accused creates an intriguing mystery. Far from the stoic lawyer often portrayed, Mary is personable, and her family heartwarming. A great read for people interested in legal mystery crossed with women’s fiction.
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