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18 January 2013

Lisa Scottoline: Final Appeal (Rosato & Associates)

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I was mislead by the book title which suggested that it was part of the Lisa Scottoline's superb Rosato & Associates series. There is no reference at all in the book to Rosato and I can't recall Grace Rossi being part of Rosato's all female legal team. This is an early work by Scottoline, which seems to pre-date the successful Rosato series.

Grace Rossi is a skilled lawyer who is a single mother trying to make ends meet by working part-time as a legal assistant to the handsome Judge Armen Gregorian in the federal appeals court. Gregorian asks her to help him prepare for an urgent appeal hearing against a death penalty. Because of the tight deadline they both work most of the night on the case - and their at the end of the night their work turns romantic. A few hours later Gregorian is found shot, apparently a suicide.

After their recent happy time Grace cannot believe the suicide verdict and suspects that it is a very clever murder. She decides to start a one-person investigation to prove that it is murder. She is helped by a most unusual homeless man who turns out to be a FBI undercover agent who specialises in tracking down corrupt judges. The plot is muddied by a lot of side-tracking through Grace's personal life and the staff who worked for Gregorian.

The plot and the action are not up to the pace, interest and page-turning standards of the Rosato series. I didn't dislike the book but couldn't give it more than an OK (a 3 star rating).

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