EXPOSED by Lisa Scottoline
Lisa Scottoline is always at her best when writing about the law firm of Rosato and DiNunzio. As she steps into the lives of the two partners at this firm her writing becomes more precise, more dramatic, and, in the case of her latest novel EXPOSED, more emotional. This is Scottoline’s fifth book headlining these characters and it certainly is her best effort on their behalf.
As the readers of prior books in this series know, Mary DiNunzio has been made partner with Bennie Rosato. It has taken her some time to get used to the idea that she and Bennie are now on an equal footing but it is finally sinking into her brain. The two operate in different areas of the law and each respects the other’s abilities.
One day Mary learns that her good friend Simon Pensiera has some problems that may require a lawyer. Simon is a friend of the family who has hit a rough stretch recently. He lost his wife at a young age and now their only child, a daughter, has been diagnosed with a form of leukemia. Simon tells Mary that because of the expenses of his daughter’s treatment he was fired from his job.
Mary immediately agrees to represent Simon, but this brings her into conflict with Bennie. She represents the parent company of the one from which Simon was fired. Now it all becomes a question of loyalty, at least in Bennie’s mind. To keep the partnership together Mary must withdraw from representing Simon. This is not something Mary feels she can do.
This loyalty issue is the crux of the story. Even after there is a murder and Mary and Bennie are put in peril, it is still the story of a man fighting to do everything he can to care for his daughter. Mary feels his desperation and knows she has to help. However it isn’t an easy question to answer when someone is put in the position of having to choose between friends.
Scottoline does an excellent job of creating a defense for both sides’ positions. Bennie never comes across as being uncaring about Mary’s plight, and Mary is always truly torn between her friend and partner versus the friend she considers family.
If you have read any of the previous Rosato and DiNunzio books you will know the warmth that arises from the pages of these stories. Mary’s family and Bennie’s friends welcome the readers into the story with open arms. It is homecoming time with a family reunion also thrown into the mix.
Scottoline is one of my favorite writers. I am always eager to read any book she writes on any subject. Still it is the Rosato and DiNunzio stories I most highly anticipate. These are always her best works and this newest is the best of the best in this series.
EXPOSED is published by St Martin’s Press. It contains 341 pages and sells for $27.99.
Jackie K Cooper