Saturday, January 31, 2009

Julie's Review: Lady Killer

Summary: Philadelphia attorney Mary DiNunzio, last seen in Killer Smile (2004), agrees to help her high school nemesis, Trish Gambone, at the start of this less than convincing thriller from bestseller Scottoline. Trish, whom Mary used to regard as the quintessential Mean Girl, has turned in desperation to the lawyer, the all-around Most Likely to Achieve Sainthood at St. Maria Goretti High School, because she wants to escape from her abusive, and possibly Mafia-connected boyfriend, Bobby Mancuso. Trish rejects Mary's practical suggestions for dealing with Bobby, but once Trish disappears, Mary finds herself under pressure from other high school classmates as well as people from her old neighborhood who blame her for not doing enough. Mary unwisely hides a connection with Bobby from the Feds, who then shut her out of the search for Trish when they learn of it. Scottoline fans will cheer Mary as she stumbles toward the solution, but others may have trouble suspending

Review: I can't remember when I started reading Lisa Scottoline but I do remember the first book of hers I read....The Vendetta Defense. Lady Killer brings us back to Mary DiNunzio and Rosato & Associates. Coming back to them is like putting on your favorite sweatpants after a long day or week, it just feels so good. Mary is someone that all of us can identify with, unless of course you were the "mean girl" in high school and identify with Trish. Trish comes to Mary for help because she's afraid her mob connected boyfriend is going to kill her. Mary tries to get her to go to the cops but that's not going to happen and then Trish goes missing. That's when the story starts. Mary becomes and investigator to try to find Trish because she feels guilty since Trish came to her and she didn't do anything.

We meet, Trish's gaggle of girlfriends, who are a bit much at first but then turn out to have their heart in the right place and give the book some comic relief. Since Mary grew up in South Philly it seems that word spreads that she let Trish down and her clients start to fire her. So much for the "Good girl made good" identity.

The plot goes along at a good clip and there are at least 2 twists that I didn't see coming and somehow feel like I should have seen one of them, but I thought it was going to take a different turn.

There was only a minor thing wrong with the novel, a subplot that I just didn't really care about. I understand why it was in the book, I just think we could have gotten Mary's emotional connection to Bobby without it. It got a bit maudlin for me at times. It seemed to shift the story in a direction that didn't need to be taken.

All in all another fine novel by Lisa Scottoline. It makes you wonder if you would help the person who made your life hell if their life was in danger. Are you a bigger person to let go of the painful past and do good? I like to think I could but then again it would depend on the type of trouble they were in. Yes, I harbor grudges.

Final Take: 4/5


M. L. Kiner ,  February 1, 2009 at 2:11 PM  

"The Hong Kong Connection" is a legal thriller about a gutsy female attorney who takes on high ranking International officials. It's a taut, rollercoaster of a ride from New York to Palm Beach to Washington D.C. to Hong Kong. The plot is expertly woven, the characters persuasive, and the dialogue snappy and spot on.

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