Scottoline deserves a high five for her latest novels Damaged
and Exposed. These back-to-back home runs hit at
reader's heartstrings with her gripping and riveting storylines
and characters. These stories will not disappoint fans having
the traditional trademarks of fast-paced action combined with
an emotional gravity.
Within both books is an intense fight for
justice where Scottoline clearly explains the legal and ethical
issues, intertwining it throughout the story. The details
are presented in a way that is clear to any non-lawyer, without
making it seem like an info-dump. But the strength of the
novels is the characters that the readers get engaged with
early on in the story. Not only the main ones, law partners
Mary DiNunzio and Bennie Rosato, but the supporting cast as
well. Who would not want to be a part of Mary’s world,
her loving and caring parents as well as the extended family,
the Italian community? The antagonists in each story give
lawyers a bad name. They are controlling, hollow, and want
to win at all costs, not to mention their attempts to hit
on their former classmates.
Both plots are so gripping readers will not want to put the
books down. In Damaged, a ten-year-old child, Patrick, has
fallen under the radar of the government agencies. His needs
are not being met regarding dyslexia, abuse in a public school
by a teacher’s aide, and having to endure classmates’
bullying. Making matters worse the teacher’s aide filed
a lawsuit that alleges Patrick attacked him with a pair of
scissors. Willing to defend him, Mary counter sues and through
her investigative process finds that the public school district
offers no support to him. Mary becomes his champion, willing
to take on all, lobbying to get Patrick transferred to a more
appropriate private special educational school. In her struggle
to save Patrick, Mary finds herself fighting her associates,
her fiancé, and social services, as well as the opposing
counsel Nick Machiavelli (aka the Dark Prince), who is determined
to win a settlement, despite the emotional cost to the 10-year-old
Scottoline enjoys writing "about children. Sometimes
in fiction children are not really differentiated; although,
today we are more aware of children's disabilities and illnesses.
I think these children need to be given the spotlight with
my job making sure that the issue is as real as possible.
In essence blurring the line between fiction and non-fiction.
Patrick became an introverted and inward little boy because
dyslexia became an important aspect of his development. I
want readers to imagine what it is like for a child when he
does not get the programming that he needs or is entitled
to within a public school."
the latest just released book also has an engrossing storyline.
A childhood friend, Simon Pensiera, who is more like family,
requests Mary's help. He wants to file a wrongful-termination
case against his employer, OpenSpace, because his boss, Todd
Eddington, fired him when his daughter Rachel's medical expenses
rose into the stratosphere. The problem, her partner, Bennie,
represents Dumbarton Industries, OpenSpace's parent company,
so there's an obvious conflict of interest. To make matters
worse, Dumbarton's CEO Nate Lence files a retaliatory defamation
suit seeking $2 million from the newly unemployed Simon and
a misconduct complaint against Mary. The suspense increases
after a major plot twist that has both partners re-evaluating
their respective stances as the case heads off into an unexpected
direction that includes a dangerous cover-up.
been a lawyer herself Scottoline allows readers to get the
nuances of the justice system. "I always ask the question,
does law lead to justice? With both books, I wanted to show
if you really follow the law it might not lead to the result
you want. In Exposed the two law partners, Mary DiNunzio and
Bennie Rosato had what appeared to be a conflict of interest.
Bennie represented the parent company and Mary was suing the
subsidiary. I thought there must be an easy straight ethical
answer until I started doing the research. I called a lawyer
friend of mine, Larry Fox, who teaches ethics at Yale. He
allowed me to talk to the class and even made it their semester
project to find out if a lawyer like Mary could actually defend
someone if the client of the firm was the parent company.
All of the nuances I learned were put in the book."
series only gets better with each book. The characters and
their relationships grow over time with Mary becoming stronger
and more assertive and Bennie showing her soft spots. The
plots are captivating and the twists and turns only add to
& Associates Series
Killer Smile #9 [book]
Dirty Blonde [audio]
Daddy's Girl [review
- stand alone