By: Lisa Scottoline
Rosato & DiNunzio, #3
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: 10/27/2015
My Rating: 4 Stars
Bennie Rosato the founder of the Rosato & DiNunzio law firm hides her big heart beneath her tough-as-nails exterior and she doesn't like to fail.
Now, a case from her past shows her how differently things might have turned out. Thirteen years ago, Bennie Rosato took on Jason Leftavick, a twelve-year-old boy who was sent to a juvenile detention center after fighting a class bully.
Bennie couldn't free Jason, and to this day it's the case that haunts her. Jason has grown up in and out of juvenile prison, and his adulthood hasn't been any easier. Bennie no longer represents those accused of murder, but when Jason is indicted for killing the same bully he fought with as a kid, she sees no choice but to represent him. She doesn't know whether or not to believe his claims of innocence, but she knows she owes him for past failures-of the law, of the juvenile justice system, and of herself. Forced to relive the darkest period of her life, Bennie will do everything in her power to get the truth, and justice.
A special thank you to St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
A long-time fan, always a "fun time" catching up with the gals at Rosato and DiNunzio--having read all the books in the series, plus many more winners by talented Lisa Scottoline—she never disappoints.
CORRUPTED (Rosato & DiNunzio #3) delivers Christmas cheer, Secret Santa, attitude, sass, wit, scandal, corruption, murder, kick-ass attorneys, an adorable golden retriever, Bear--the toughest complex legal case yet from Bennie’s past comes back to haunt her, and a reappearance of a former lover--- a juvenile case, and a murder trial connection. . . She will not stop until she receives justice this time around.
Bennie Rosato, the closest thing the girls had to a male lawyer (between Judy, Mary, and Anne) --a tough cookie and she has not taken a murder case in years; however, this one is one she cannot walk away from. The last time Bennie had seen Jason Lefkavich, he was only twelve years old. Wrongly adjudicated delinquent as a result of a childhood fight in a cafeteria at a middle school with judicial corruption.
Jason, now twenty-five is charged with premeditated murder of Richie Grusinia. Jason swears he did not kill anyone. He was framed. However, evidence shows the history of childhood conflict, and the previous year, the defendant moved to Philly rented an apartment a few blocks from Richie and began stalking him. Someone followed Richie into an alley, and murdered him by stabbing him in the throat with a hunting knife, in the defendant’s hand.
Years ago, Jason was sent to juvenile detention center after he was in a fight with a class bully. The case still haunts Bennie, as she could not get him his freedom. Now he is being indicted for killing the same bully he fought as a kid---she has to get justice this time. First degree murder.
From 2003 to Philadelphia 2015, we hear legal proceedings --no one can do courtroom drama like Lisa Scottoline! A scandal, River Street, a boy who never been in any kind of trouble. He gets bullied and he finally pushed back when another student called his late mother a nasty name. Jason is a protector. A great kid taken out of his home, for no reason, and railroaded into a juvenile detention center, to line the pockets of corrupt judges. It ruined his life and his family.
A justice system who let him down. A conflict of interest. Bennie let him down. She had let her heart rule over her head. She put her reputation on the line. She had been so close, years ago to setting Jason free. Jason’s father had fired her. She will never forget him. Kicking herself.
Now with PTSD, justice stole his childhood--- she owes Jason.
Declan, an old lover, the trooper she dated, the uncle of the victim. She does not want to think about her love life, as she has a murder case-- determined to get him to trial; an acquittal. After all, Jason deserves the best defense she can give him. She is all he has got. To further complicate matters, Richie had been Declan’s nephew.
Declan, presently an attorney, thinks Jason killed Ritchie. Bennie has regrets, the guilt…she could have taken Jason’s case to the Superior Court. She could have won. Kids-for-Cash –she could have put a stop to it. She could have prevented all the pain for Jason and Richie. She would never forgive herself. She had to make it right for Jason now. The boys had been victims of the same corrupt judge.
Jason came between them once, and now Declan does not want it to happen again. So now she cannot allow Declan to get in the middle. Even if she gets Declan in the bargain, she will not turn her back on Jason again.
Worst of all the press has gone public with the two cases and her former love connection. Bennie was mortified and now Mary would know, as well as all the associates.
“Cross-examination is the greatest legal engine ever invested for the discovery of truth.” –John Henry Wigmore
How will Bennie make a self-defense case without putting Jason on the stand; cross-examination (she calls Insanely Risky). Innocent unless and until the prosecutor provides him guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. If Bennie can take a chance on Jason, can she take a chance on Declan?
RIVETING! Twists and turns; complications and emotions. Courtroom drama---An intense legal suspense crime thriller with personal conflicts. Multi-layered with even more hidden dark ugly secrets with the turn of each page. Who will protect the innocent? Will the truth set everyone free?
Based on a true-life judicial scandal--well-researched and well-written. Loved Bear, the golden retriever-- reminding me of my Golden Duke (my faithful friend and companion of fifteen years). He is missed, lived a full life---with his famous six tennis balls in his mouth plus all his near death experiences. and front page news stories. Goldens are the best-- he has never been replaced - this one is for him!
In addition to the digital reading copy, I also purchased the audio, as it would not be a complete Rosato and DiNunzio, experience, without the audio- narrated by Kate Burton ---A perfect match for a suspenseful dramatic delivery. Well-done.
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About the Author
Lisa Scottoline is the New York Times bestselling author and Edgar award-winning author of 23 novels, including her latest, EVERY FIFTEEN MINUTES. She also writes a weekly column with her daughter Francesca Serritella for the Philadelphia Inquirer titled "Chick Wit" which is a witty and fun take on life from a woman's perspective.
These stories, along with many other never-before-published stories, have been collected in four books including their most recent, Does This Beach Make Me Look Fat?, and the earlier, Have a Nice Guilt Trip, Meet Me at Emotional Baggage Claim, Best Friends, Occasional Enemies, Why My Third Husband Will Be a Dog, which has been optioned for TV, and My Nest Isn't Empty, It Just Has More Closet Space. Lisa reviews popular fiction and non-fiction, and her reviews have appeared in New York Times, The Washington Post and The Philadelphia Inquirer. Lisa has served as President of Mystery Writers of America and has taught a course she developed, "Justice and Fiction" at The University of Pennsylvania Law School, her alma mater. Lisa is a regular and much sought after speaker at library and corporate events.
Lisa has over 30 million copies of her books in print and is published in over 35 countries. She lives in the Philadelphia area with an array of disobedient pets, and she wouldn't have it any other way. Read More