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Exposed by Lisa Scottoline

Exposed” may be Scottoline’s best Rosato & DiNunzio novel yet.

The story explores the relationship between the attorneys in a law firm and the businesses that are part of a large conglomerate that is represented by one of those attorneys.? Are the other attorneys in the group ethically forbidden to represent someone who is suing one subordinate company when another attorney in the practice is representing the larger holding company? Bennie Rosato says that her partner, Mary DiNunzio must turn down the case of an old family friend when he is fired from his job very obviously as a result of the extremely expensive medical treatment that employee’s daughter needs. Mary maintains that it is one of those questions that legally could go either way.

Exposed” is about legal ethics, what constitutes a conflict of interest in a law practice, questions of loyalty, and building deeper relationships both within the practice and with clients. It leads to murders and danger of losing not only the practice but also life for Bennie and Mary because the stakes are very high for both the plaintiff and the defendant in the case of whether the firing was legal or not. The action keeps the reader on the edge throughout and makes this a fast read.

In the end it really brings Mary and Bennie closer together as friends and partners because they have had to resolve life and death issues both personally and in terms of their practice.

Exposed” is a highly recommended legal procedural murder mystery.

 

Liz Nichols

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Betrayed by Lisa Scottoline

Betrayed” is another in Lisa Scottoline’s Rosato & Associates Novel series.  This mystery concentrates on the less-well-known of the all-female law firm’s members, Judy Carrier.  Unlike Judy’s more out-going friend, Mary Di Nunzio,  Judy does not seek the limelight and has not been sought out by wealthy clients.  Therefore, Judy has not been on the partner track with the firm until boss, Bennie Rosato, lands the defense side of a series of asbestos cases against a major company and she assigns them to Judy.  Judy begrudgingly recognizes that her job is to minimize the damage claims and for that she will bring in millions of dollars in fees to the company and be considered worthy of partner status.

Judy’s main concern, however, is caring for her aunt who is about to have breast cancer surgery.  Shortly before the surgery she meets her aunt’s best friend, an illegal immigrant from Mexico named Iris, who is later found dead in her car of an apparent heart attack or possibly suicide.  Aunt Barb insists that Iris’ death could not have been of natural causes or by her own hand, and Judy turns the heat up on the police department to investigate when a huge amount of cash is found stashed in her aunt’s garage, ostensibly by Iris.  The money trail leads back to an extensive ring of corruption on both sides of the border with Mexico and it puts the lives of Judy, her mother, her aunt and anyone they come in contact with in jeopardy. Amidst the investigation into Iris’ death a couple other bombshells fall into Judy’s lap that make her feel very betrayed and alone.

Scottoline addresses a number of issues that millions of people face on a daily basis in this country.  Undocumented workers are frequent victims of crime and abuse because they believe they cannot freely report crimes to the police.  In order to stay in this country many who would never take up criminal activity feel forced to commit fraud and other crimes in order to be able to work and go to school under false identities.  The book also touches on generational issues and differences that lead to misunderstanding between ethnic groups and people of different economic strata.

There are some stereotypical things in “Betrayed” that might raise a quibble or two, but for the most part, Scottoline does a good job of introducing people to issues that affect millions living in this country, and yet are little discussed or understood by the majority of the population.

Liz Nichols

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