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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

The Truth About the Devlins

Narrator: Edoardo Ballerini

Penguin Audio

ISBN: 9780525539704

Publisher: PENGUIN GROUP Putnam

Publication Date: 03/26/2024

Format: Hardcover

My Rating: 5 Stars + (ARC)

Lisa Scottoline, the #1 bestselling author of What Happened to the Bennetts, presents another pulse-pounding domestic thriller about family, justice, and the lies that tear us apart.

TJ Devlin is the charming disappointment in the prominent Devlin family, all of whom are lawyers at their highly successful firm—except him. After a stint in prison and rehab for alcoholism, TJ can’t get hired anywhere except at the firm, in a make-work job with the title of investigator.

But one night, TJ’s world turns upside down after his older brother John confesses that he just murdered one of the clients, an accountant he’d confronted with proof of embezzlement. It seems impossible coming from John, the firstborn son and Most Valuable Devlin.

TJ plunges into the investigation, seizing the chance to prove his worth and save his brother. But in no time, TJ and John find themselves entangled in a lethal web of deception and murder. TJ will fight to save his family, but what he learns might break them first.

My Review

A POWERHOUSE author and novel!

Please bring back T.J.! My vote for 'best character' of the year!

Lisa Scottoline dazzles with her latest highly impressive addictive suspense legal crime thriller, THE TRUTH ABOUT THE DEVLINS—her best yet! The Devlins, a family of legal royalty, turn into a dysfunctional family of white-collar crime, murder, and mayhem. Top Books of 2024!

Brilliantly executed, THE TRUTH ABOUT THE DEVLINS is a wild ride, so buckle up and get ready!

An emotional and powerful character-driven story of redemption. T.J., the bad sheep of the family, will be the one you will be rooting for to the explosive conclusion in this fast-paced legal/crime suspense/family drama with well-developed characters and enough action and suspense to keep you frantically turning the pages into the wee hours of the morning.

The Devlins live in a McMansion on six acres of perfect landscaping in Philly's exclusive Main Line, complete with fancy cars and everything money could buy. They are lawyers at the prominent Devlin and Devlin family law firm, a powerful family with deep connections. They make unpleasant things disappear, but how far will they go to protect their own?

John, the firstborn, is considered the most valuable Devlin. Greedy and competitive, he is an attorney at the family firm, waiting for his dad to retire so he can take over. John is married to Nancy, and they have one son, Connor.

Gabby is also an attorney; however, unlike her greedy older brother, she is out to save the world, representing the innocent worldwide. She works pro bono. She does much good and is currently involved in an essential, timely case. She is married to a doctor, Martin.

T.J. is the youngest black sheep of the family. (Loved him)! He is a recovering alcoholic and spent time in prison. (this is so sad). The dad controls him and gives him the investigator position at the family firm. He always seems to be a convenient scapegoat for the family. Can he finally get beyond his past to a future?

As the novel opens, the family is celebrating their Dad's birthday. John shocks T.J. by confessing he murdered someone. TJ is astounded the golden boy could be asking the bad boy for help. He, of course, does not want him to tell anyone. He is loyal and off to devote his time and energy to help him in this alleged crime.

What comes next is a complex, multi-layered web of secrets, lies, and coverups of white-collar crimes. However, when they go to the spot, John says the murder took place, and there is nobody.

Are there co-conspirators? What is going on?

TJ is tenacious and works diligently to find out what happened that night, but the plot thickens as John is not honest and throws TJ under the bus, making him look like he fell off the wagon of his family and lies, and TJ prides himself in being sober for the last 4 years. Is he trying to frame him?

John says there was an accounting embezzlement with one of his clients. However, the story goes deeper into a complex web of secrets, lies, and murder. Of course, John blackmails JT to keep quiet and not tell the parents.

In the novel, there are two different action storylines:

~John's case: The murder and case with John's client. T.J. continues to investigate even when his brother says to stop.

~Gabby's lawsuit case on behalf of former inmates related to illegal drug testing on inmates in multiple prisons that were coerced with payment, which later turned into terminal diseases and death. (based on a true story —more on that below).

T.J. is also helping his sister interview the victims for her case, which is heartbreaking. Some do not have long to live, and they are fighting the big Pharma companies and their coverup.

T.J. gets caught in the middle of John's misdeeds and must prove his innocence and dig deeper to find out what is going on with his brother as he attempts to put the puzzle pieces together. John may not be as golden as his family thinks, putting them all in harm's way.

Will the Devlins be able to save their reputation? John hides much more than they know when all spirals out of control. Nothing will stop T.J. as he fights for his continued sobriety, his family, and the demons of his past on the road to redemption!

I LOVED THIS BOOK! A huge long-time fan of this gifted author; however, this is one of my favorites!

THE TRUTH ABOUT THE DEVLINS checks all the boxes for everything you want and expect from Lisa. It has all the thrills, action, and suspense of a first-rate legal crime thriller and all the compelling, gripping complexities of a riveting family drama. Fantastic character development and superb writing. I loved T.J. and Gabby and disliked John and the dad as they continued to put down T.J.

Scottoline is a pro at anything she writes, and I enjoyed her Author's notes immensely. From T.J.s recovery story, her research and her expertise in law and justice are apparent throughout as a former trial lawyer and adjunct law professor.

TRUE STORY: In addition, I enjoyed reading more about the true Holmesburg Prison in Philadelphia and the horrifying events with the inmates at the prisons used as human subjects of medical experimentation from the early late fifties to the early seventies, the era before informed consent.

The Holmesburg Prison experiments conducted by Kligman raised many questions about the ethics of using prison inmates for medical research. There were issues of informed consent since the prisoners weren't made aware of what substances were being tested on them at the time. While the plaintiffs in the novel are fictional, the case they brought is founded on actual historical facts as described in the novel with these horrific medical experiments.

BRAVO to the author for creating such an admirable and compelling character in T.J. (a huge fan) and his tenacious battle. I am happy he found happiness and would LOVE to see him again in a future book! Get this gem on your list now—Scottoline fans will devour.

A special thank you to Penguin Group Putnam/G.P. Putman's Sons and NetGalley for providing me with a digital review of this outstanding novel for my honest thoughts.

I have also ordered the audiobook narrated by Edoardo Ballerini (a favorite) and cannot wait to listen!

@JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks

Pub Date: March 26, 2024

My Rating: 5 Stars +


A LibraryReads Hall of Fame Pick

One of Brit+CO's Most-Anticipated & Best New Books of 2024

"The tense mystery plays out as a catalyst for redemption and family healing—Scottoline’s heart-warming specialty. . . . A new family thriller by best-selling Scottoline is automatically a must-have."


"A ripping blend of legal and family drama.”

—Publishers Weekly

"What do you get when you combine family dysfunction plus deep, dark secrets plus legal drama? A thoroughly engrossing thriller that will keep you riveted till the very end. Scottoline knocks this one out of the park!”

—Lisa Gardner

"Lisa Scottoline, always a sure bet to keep readers on the edge of their seats, skillfully combines fascinating elements of family drama, suspense, and crime in her latest expertly crafted thriller... Still at the very top of her game, Scottoline delivers another compelling thriller with The Truth About the Devlins, an irresistible story that dares to explore the fragility of familial ties, the quest for redemption, and the consequences of buried secrets."

—The Real Book Spy

About the Author

Lisa Scottoline is the #1 bestselling and Edgar Award–winning author of thirty-six novels. A former President of Mystery Writers of America, she has thirty million copies of her books in print and has been published in thirty-five countries. Her books have been optioned for film and TV, and she has also co-authored a series of humorous memoirs with her daughter, novelist Francesca Serritella. A former lawyer, Scottoline taught a course she developed, “Justice & Fiction,” at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, her alma mater. She lives on a farm outside Philadelphia with an array of disobedient pets. WEBSITE







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