Last Breath (Good Daughter #0.5) by Karin Slaughter

Book Description:

Published: July 11. 2017

Format: Audio/OverDrive

Protecting someone always comes at a cost.

At the age of thirteen, Charlie Quinn’s childhood came to an abrupt and devastating end. Two men, with a grudge against her lawyer father, broke into her home – and after that shocking night, Charlie’s world was never the same.

Now a lawyer herself, Charlie has made it her mission to defend those with no one else to turn to. So when Flora Faulkner, a motherless teen, begs for help, Charlie is reminded of her own past, and is powerless to say no.

But honour-student Flora is in far deeper trouble than Charlie could ever have anticipated. Soon she must ask herself: How far should she go to protect her client? And can she truly believe everything she is being told?

Review –

The book opens as Charlie is at a career women speaking event with the Girl Scouts. It seems like most of the girls don’t care that she’s there. She’s also not feeling well. Suddenly, she knows she’s about to be sick and bolts for the bathroom. It’s there that one of the girls decides to talk with her. As the girl, Florabama Faulkner (Flora) starts to talk about her life, Charlie feels a kinship with her. At first, Flora is hesitant to say what she really wants to say, but finally blurts it out….“I want to be emancipated”

Flora tells Charlie about everything that’s going on. Charlie feels for this seemingly fragile, young, and lonely girl. (I knew right there that Flora was TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE) She wants to help her. People like Flora Faulkner are one of the main reasons Charlie chose to move back to Pikerville, instead of working at some hotshot firm in some big city.

But not everything is what it seems. Normally as a defense lawyer, she knows more about her clients, their friends, and family etc. than they know about themselves. But this time, Charlie isn’t sure just what she’s gotten involved in.

From there, she does some investigating into her grandparents, in an effort to try and understand how to get Flora out of there… however, nothing is ever that simple, not even in a short story. What thrills me with this story is that Karin Slaughter has accomplished a satisfying OMG moment, which is only one amazing part of this short story, and more importantly to me, highlights the strengths of her characters.

As far as prequels go, it’s an effective one into Charlie, into her past and where she now. It’s also insight into how her past affects her choices and her thinking with regards to her clients — which can be prove dangerous in her line of work. 

It is not necessary to read this prior to reading The Good Daughter, but is does give you more insight into the character of Charlie Quinn.

 

 

 

Damaged (Rosato and DiNunzio #4) by Lisa Scottoline

Book Description:

Published: August 16, 2016

Format: Audio/OverDrive

Damaged finds Mary DiNunzio, partner at the all-female law firm of Rosato & DiNunzio, embroiled in one of her most heartbreaking cases yet. Suing the Philadelphia school district to get help for a middle school boy with emotional issues, Mary ends up becoming the guardian ad litem of her minor client. As she goes up against Nick Machiavelli, her opposing counsel and the dark prince of South Philly lawyers who will use any means necessary to defeat her, she becomes more and more invested in the case—and puts everything, including her engagement to her longtime boyfriend, on the line.

Review –

Mary DiNunzio, a partner in the Philadelphia law firm of Rosato & DiNunzio, takes on a heartbreaking case involving a dyslexic fifth grader, Patrick O’Brien, who’s bullied at school and is getting no support for his language disability. Patrick, who’s being raised by his paternal grandfather, allegedly attacked a school aid with scissors, and now the aid is suing both Patrick and the school board for damages. On the brink of her wedding to college professor Anthony Rotunno, Mary becomes emotionally attached to Patrick, more so than any previous client, and finds herself pitted against a diabolical attorney, Nick Machiavelli (aka the Dark Prince), who’s determined to win a settlement, despite the emotional cost to the 10-year-old boy. In her struggle to save Patrick, Mary finds herself fighting her associates, her fiancé, and social services. Tensions mount until the story concludes with a satisfying, unexpected twist. 

This was the fourth  book in the Rosato & DiNunzio series, and it’s an excellent addition to the series although it can certainly be read as a stand-alone novel. Damaged made an excellent addition to my Scottoline collection, and I highly recommend it!

The Good Daughter (Good Daughter #1) by Karin Slaughter

Book Description:

Published: August 8, 2017

Format: Audio/OverDrive

Two girls are forced into the woods at gunpoint. One runs for her life. One is left behind…

Twenty-eight years ago, Charlotte and Samantha Quinn’s happy small-town family life was torn apart by a terrifying attack on their family home. It left their mother dead. It left their father — Pikeville’s notorious defense attorney — devastated. And it left the family fractured beyond repair, consumed by secrets from that terrible night.

Twenty-eight years later, and Charlie has followed in her father’s footsteps to become a lawyer herself — the ideal good daughter. But when violence comes to Pikeville again — and a shocking tragedy leaves the whole town traumatized — Charlie is plunged into a nightmare. Not only is she the first witness on the scene, but it’s a case that unleashes the terrible memories she’s spent so long trying to suppress. Because the shocking truth about the crime that destroyed her family nearly thirty years ago won’t stay buried forever…

Review –

Five Stars !!!!!!

What a roller coaster ride! Just when I thought I knew where this book was headed Karin Slaughter (one of my favorites) throws in a giant twist.

I had the audio version and listening was very painful in some parts and I won’t say which because it would give too much away.

The Good Daughter is the kind of exceptional psychological thriller that only comes around once every so often—a story as in-your-face shocking as it is tender and heartbreaking. Chapter by chapter, the author unceremoniously  unfolds the history of two sisters, and reveals the horrific past that has both tied them together and driven them apart.

This is a brilliant, bold crime novel that examines the unbreakable bond of family and the lengths two women will go to uncover the truth about the brutal secrets of their past.

It is  tough and dark  and  Slaughter doesn’t shy away from describing violence in graphic detail, yet each moment of violence is purposeful and intentional, driving character development and giving readers firsthand investment in finding justice for the victims of these horrific acts. 

It is character driven and readers who want a straight police procedural or a true legal thriller will be better off looking elsewhere—THE GOOD DAUGHTER is first and foremost a story of a family struggling to overcome its dark and secret-laden past. While this isn’t the kind of read I went into the book expecting, the story’s rich character development and emotional, often horrific flashbacks left me all the more invested in it.

This book is dark, but it’s dark for a purpose. 

I highly recommend it!

 

 

Wilde Lake by Laura Lippman

Book Description:

Published: May 3, 2016

Format: Audio/OverDrive

Luisa “Lu” Brant is the newly elected—and first female—state’s attorney of Howard County, Maryland, a job in which her widower father famously served. Fiercely intelligent and ambitious, she sees an opportunity to make her name by trying a mentally disturbed drifter accused of beating a woman to death in her home. It’s not the kind of case that makes headlines, but peaceful Howard county doesn’t see many homicides.

As Lu prepares for the trial, the case dredges up painful memories, reminding her small but tight-knit family of the night when her brother, AJ, saved his best friend at the cost of another man’s life. Only eighteen, AJ was cleared by a grand jury. Now, Lu wonders if the events of 1980 happened as she remembers them. What details might have been withheld from her when she was a child?

The more she learns about the case, the more questions arise. What does it mean to be a man or woman of one’s times? Why do we ask our heroes of the past to conform to the present’s standards? Is that fair? Is it right? Propelled into the past, she discovers that the legal system, the bedrock of her entire life, does not have all the answers. Lu realizes that even if she could learn the whole truth, she probably wouldn’t want to.

Review –

“What begins as a tale of lost innocence in the summer of 1980 becomes, woven with alternating chapters set in the present, an unsettling study of the moral compromises people make to keep their lies hidden. As the events of her childhood insinuate themselves into her current life, Lu begins to question essential truths about her beginnings: Who is her father beneath his comforting words and mysterious behavior? Who was her mother before she died in childbirth? What really happened with her brother on that fateful graduation day? (Free to attend Yale, AJ got rich with the Lehman Brothers, left to take up with a yoga instructor, and now is an “Eat, Pray, Love”-type guru and MacArthur fellow.)

Lu, who moved into her father’s house with her two daughters following her husband’s death, is no angel herself. She regularly meets with one of AJ’s old friends for bruising motel room sex. As assertive and irreverent as she is (“Have you ever noticed only another competitive person will ever call you competitive?”), she didn’t get to become state’s attorney without making political — and personal — compromises.

Ultimately, “Wilde Lake” is not so much a crime novel that rises to the level of serious literature as serious literature that rises to the level of great crime fiction. ” taken from the Chicago Tribune.

This book was so much more than I had expected and I recommend it to anyone that likes a heart-breaking mystery.

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My Sister’s Grave (Tracy Crosswhite #1) by Robert Dugoni

Book Description:

Published: November 1, 2014

Tracy Crosswhite has spent twenty years questioning the facts surrounding her sister Sarah’s disappearance and the murder trial that followed. She doesn’t believe that Edmund House — a convicted rapist and the man condemned for Sarah’s murder — is the guilty party. Motivated by the opportunity to obtain real justice, Tracy became a homicide detective with the Seattle PD and dedicated her life to tracking down killers.

When Sarah’s remains are finally discovered near their hometown in the northern Cascade mountains of Washington State, Tracy is determined to get the answers she’s been seeking. As she searches for the real killer, she unearths dark, long-kept secrets that will forever change her relationship to her past — and open the door to deadly danger.

Review – 

Because of all the twists and turns in this book, I think I have whiplash!

If the main players in this story had just been honest –  there would have been NO story.

The daughter of a prominent man in a small community goes missing and presumed dead, although no body was found, and a convicted rapist who served his time and now back in town, is “framed” for the disappearance. All of those involved in the frame up take a vow of silence. The missing girl’s sister has never believed that the trail was all it could have been and when, after twenty years, her sister’s body is discovered, she vows to get the convicted man a new trial and have her sister’s case re-opened.Well, that opens a whole new can of worms and she finds out how dangerous it is to uncover some things.

I won’t give anything away, but you’ll be surprised who turns out to be the murderer.

Great read/listen.

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Final Appeal by Lisa Scottoline

Book Description:

Published: April 14, 2009

Grace Rossi is starting over after a divorce, and a part-time job with a federal appeals court sounds perfect. But she doesn’t count on being assigned to an explosive death penalty appeal. Nor does she expect ardor in the court in the form of an affair with the chief judge. Then Grace finds herself investigating a murder, unearthing a secret bank account and following a trail of bribery and judicial corruption that’s stumped even the FBI. In no time at all, Grace under fire takes on a whole new meaning.

Review –

Another great book from Lisa Scottoline about the judical system from a women’s view-point.  I had the audio version and the narrator, Kate Burton, did a fantastic job.  This book involves  the murder of a chief judge with whom Grace just had sex, dealing with coming to grips with parents who are far from perfect, the love of a child, friendships and relationships, and betrayal. It’s a murder mystery with a twist and so much more.

I loved it.

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Courting Trouble (Rosato & Associates #7) by Lisa Scottoline

Book Description:

Published: May 27, 2003

Anne Murphy thought she’d put her unhappy past a continent behind her when she joined Philadelphia attorney Bennie Rosato’s all-woman law firm. Then a friend who’s housesitting for Anne is murdered in what’s clearly a case of mistaken identity, and Anne realizes that the past has caught up with her and that the only way to outrun it is to catch the killer before he realizes that she’s still alive. But how can Anne play dead with a high-profile case just days away from starting? The only way to pull it off is to let her new colleagues in on the secret, which would mean telling them her other secrets, too, including the fact that she’s in love with opposing counsel and the probability that her client may not be as innocent as she thought he was.

Review –

Action begins early in this book and hardly lets go all the way to the end. It is crime fiction at its finest because there are many twists and turns and heart stopping moments before the identity of the killer comes to light. This is my third venture into the lives of Rosato & Associates and I’m enjoying them more and more.  I had the audio version and the narrator was very good.

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Want it Bad by Melinda DuChamp

Book Description:

Published: December 8, 2014
Carla thought she had it all together.Then Jake moved in next door.

She never expected to fall for someone half her age. Especially Jake, an escort who specialized in very kinky sex.

But Carla was curious. And rich. And when Jake accepts her as a client, they each may have gotten more than they’d bargained for…

Review –
This is the first erotic romance that I found with humor as one of its main components and I love it. It’s too funny how Carla, a partner in a law firm, turns into a peeping tom when a male escort moves in next door. It’s hilarious when she goes to the yarn store and the adult toy store. (you’ll have to read the book to find out how yarn and learning to crochet  has to do with sex). There is even some humor in the HOT sex scenes which makes them less embarrassing (at least for me)
I loved this book and it’s characters.   Great read.
Adult
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Dead Ringer (Rosato and Associates #8) by Lisa Scottoline

Book Description:

Published: October 13, 2009

They say that blood is thicker than water, but just how far should you go for a sister?

When ace lawyer Bennie Rosato’s twin sister returns to Philadelphia, she knows that trouble is on the horizon, for her sister never contacts her with familial love at the forefront of her agenda – if she contacts her at all. At the same time, Bennie’s law firm is in trouble, so she takes on a potentially lucrative class-action suit to try to save the day. It could be make or break – both for her family and her firm.

Meanwhile, her colleague Mary DiNunzio persists in bringing in a case that looks more like an Italian wedding than a lawsuit, and then a mysterious stranger appears just in time to help Bennie in the fight of her life – for her life.

Full of pace, suspense and laugh-out-loud humor, bestselling New York Times author Lisa Scottoline has written her strongest book ever, featuring many of the much-loved characters from the wise-cracking all-women Philadelphia law firm of Rosato and Associates.

Review –

I know I said I wouldn’t read another book in the Rosato & Associates Series  but, again, I found this one at my local library and since the narrator was different I decided to check it out.  The narrator made all the difference, plus Mary didn’t have a large part so her family members weren’t around too much.

The story line was great and involves Bennie’s twin and a lot of hatred toward the successful lawyer.

So glad I tried another book by Lisa Scottoline.

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Motive (Alex Delaware #30) by Jonathan Kellerman

Book Description

February 10, 2015
Jonathan Kellerman writes razor-sharp novels that cut to the quick. Now comes Motive, which pits psychologist Alex Delaware and homicide cop Milo Sturgis against a vicious criminal mind—the kind only Kellerman can bring to chilling life.Even having hundreds of closed cases to his credit can’t keep LAPD police lieutenant Milo Sturgis from agonizing over the crimes that don’t get solved—and the victims who go without justice. Victims like Katherine Hennepin, a young woman strangled and stabbed in her home. A single suspect with a solid alibi leads to a dead end—one even Alex Delaware’s expert insight can’t explain. The only thing to do is move on to the next murder case—because there’s always a next one.

This time the victim is Ursula Corey: a successful, attractive divorcée who’s been gunned down—not a robbery but an execution, a crime that smacks of simple, savage revenge. And along with that theoretical motive come two strong contenders for the role of perp: the dead woman’s business partner/ex-husband and her divorce lawyer/secret lover. But just as Alex and Milo think they’re zeroing in on the most likely suspect, a bizarre new clue stirs up eerie echoes of the unsolved Hennepin murder. And the discovery of yet another crime scene bearing the same taunting signature raises the specter of a serial killer on a mission, whose twisted method is exceeded only by his manipulative and cunning madness.

Review –

I love the friendship between Alex Delaware and Milo Sturgis because of the way they play off of one another. They both have a dry sense of humor and  want the same thing – justice for victims.

This storyline is twisted and one I’ve never read before. The killer murders the victims, who are on the surface not related, and then leaves a meal for two at the crime scene or somewhere meaningful. The main suspect turns out to be wrong and the story goes into another direction and not until the end do we find out how the killer is.

Great story with well-defined characters and steady paced action. I highly recommend it.

**I had the audio book version and the narrator did a fantastic job.**

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Review –