Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Moment of Truth -- Lisa Scottoline

This is the legal thriller with the nice opening I mentioned a few posts back. It's the first thing I've read by Lisa Scottoline, and it turned out to be a pretty good book.

The set-up is interesting: a corporate attorney in Philadelphia frames himself for murder so he can protect the real killer, and in order to insure that he's convicted, he hires the youngest, most inexperienced defense lawyer he can find, a woman named Mary DiNunzio (who evidently appears in some of Scottoline's other books). Well, seeing as how this is a legal thriller, you know how this is going to go. Mary's a lot sharper than her client thinks, and when she realizes that he really is innocent, even though he confessed to the crime, she sets out to find the real killer.

Most of the way through the book I thought that Scottoline had played too many of her plot cards too early, but there are a couple of nice, late twists that I didn't see coming. The characters are well-drawn, the style is very smooth and readable, and there are some welcome touches of humor, something you don't always find in legal thrillers. As a result, I feel confident that I'll read more of Scottoline's novels, although I probably won't rush out to find another one right away simply because I don't read that many legal thrillers. But I'm coming to enjoy them more, at least when they're well-written, so who knows.

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