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27 November 2014

Lisa Scottoline: Betrayed

Carrier carries the day
Lisa Scottoline has morphed her long running successful Rosato & Associates series into Rosato & DiNunzio after Mary DiNunzio became a partner in the all female law firm. Mary and Judy Carrier are still greatest of friends but their friendship has been altered with Mary's elevation to partner. Carrier's professional relationship within the firm is disturbed when Bennie Rosato thrusts 75 cases of asbestos litigation on her shoulders which will take years process and are personally abhorrent to Judy.

Judy is going through a lot of personal stress with her long-standing relationship with Frank under strain, when she hears that her favourite Aunt Barb is fighting breast cancer and is about to have a double mastectomy. Barb introduces Judy to her best friend Iris Juarez, a Mexican illegal who helps Barb with her rose garden and works in appalling conditions at one of the local independent mushroom growing factories. Top marks to Lisa Scottoline for revealing the something about the lives of Mexican illegals in the USA.

A couple of days before Barb's operation she is shocked by Iris's death from an apparent heart attack at the wheel of her car. The police are convinced that it is accidental but Judy is suspicious, especially when she finds that Iris has hidden $50,000 in notes in various places around Barb's house. This leads Judy into a dangerous investigation of what looks like the proceeds of drug trafficking. At the same time she confronts some painful personal confrontations that unearth long-buried family secrets.

This story is more about Judy, her family and a personal quest for vengeance than the kind of legal thriller I expected where Scottoline really excels. It is a page-turner, carefully plotted with lots of, frequently unbelievable action, with enough twists in the plot and the family circumstances to keep the reader absorbed.

On the last page Scottoline leaves us with a seed that should be a great theme for the next in the Rosato & DiNunzio series.

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