Courting Trouble (Rosato & Associates Series #7)

Courting Trouble (Rosato & Associates Series #7)

3.7 53
by Lisa Scottoline
     
 

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"Anne Murphy is smart, gorgeous, and young, the redheaded rookie at the Philadelphia law firm of Rosato & Associates. She leaves town for the Fourth of July weekend to prepare for a high-profile trial, but when she buys her morning newspaper, her own photo is plastered all over the front page. And the headline - LAWYER MURDERED - supposedly refers to her. Anne sets… See more details below

Overview

"Anne Murphy is smart, gorgeous, and young, the redheaded rookie at the Philadelphia law firm of Rosato & Associates. She leaves town for the Fourth of July weekend to prepare for a high-profile trial, but when she buys her morning newspaper, her own photo is plastered all over the front page. And the headline - LAWYER MURDERED - supposedly refers to her. Anne sets out to find her killer, playing dead in order to stay alive." She tries to go it alone but quickly realizes that she'll have to trust people she barely knows - colleagues who hate her guts, a homicide squad that wants her out of the crime-fighting business, and a new love who inconveniently happens to be opposing counsel. The investigation takes all of Anne's boldness and ingenuity - plus a pair of red satin hot pants. But her knack for courting trouble makes it almost impossible for Anne to play well with others, defend the lawsuit, and fight her urge to sleep with the enemy. Then an unexpected event places her in lethal jeopardy and leaves her with everything to lose - including her life.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
New York Times bestseller Scottoline's cast of beautiful female lawyers at Philadelphia's Rosato & Associates is augmented by red-headed bombshell Anne Murphy, a woman with a secret past, who's trying to make a go of it in a new city. An intriguing character jammed into a laborious plot, Murphy toils as a career-minded loner. On a much-needed weekend away from her heavy caseload, she picks up a newspaper to read that she has been murdered by an intruder who blasted her in the face with a shotgun. Murphy knows the real victim was the woman who had agreed to feed her cat; she also knows that the murderer was likely Kevin Satorno, the stalker who nearly killed her a year earlier while she was living in Los Angeles. Murphy figures that if Satorno discovers he actually killed the wrong person, he'll continue hunting her, so she decides to play dead and enlist the help of her new colleagues at Rosato & Associates to track him down. Scottoline (The Vendetta Defense; Moment of Truth) wraps up the far-fetched action in high style, with a few predictable twists, at Philly's big outdoor Fourth of July celebration. As in her eight previous women-in-peril legal thrillers, she tempers the plot's bloodshed with a bouncy tone that some readers may find cloying. But this doesn't bother the former lawyer's growing base of fans she's now translated into 25 languages and despite Murphy's occasional "you go, girl" silliness, she's the best character Scottoline has created in a while. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
The lawyers in Scottoline's all-woman law firm, Rosato and Associates, are generally attractive and interesting; they tend to act on emotion and feeling, in addition to judgment and logic. In the case of protagonist Anne Murphy, the author takes this a bit too far; Anne's actions are irrational and unreasonable in many instances, making the plot somewhat unbelievable. Still, the story is exciting and deals with some interesting issues, e.g., stalking, sexual harassment, family estrangement, and high-tech corruption. As usual, Scottoline's descriptions of the Philadelphia scene are great. Barbara Rosenblat does a good job with the characters, but the fireworks at the end of the story need a different approach. Recommended where legal thrillers are popular.-Christine Valentine, Davenport Univ., Kalamazoo, MI
Kirkus Reviews
The newest member of Philadelphia's ladies-only law firm of Rosato & Associates (The Vendetta Defense) lands a once-in-a-lifetime case: investigating her own murder. Using Scottoline's trademark razzle-dazzle tactics, Anne Murphy-who honors "precision . . . in the law, brain surgery, and lipliner"-has just succeeded in getting the judge to exclude a crucial witness against Gil Martin, the dot-com millionaire client she's defending in a sexual-harassment case, when the legal machinery grinds to a halt for the 4th of July weekend. Flush with success, Anne has nobody to celebrate it with. She's new to the East Coast, long estranged from her alcoholic actress mother, and wary about seeing men ever since her first date with LA erotomaniac Kevin Satorno turned him into a stalker now doing hard time. Deciding on a whim to leave town for the weekend, she's happy to accept her artist acquaintance Willa Hansen's offer to house-sit her cat. Next morning, though, her holiday ends when she reads a headline announcing her own murder. Clearly, Willa's been shotgunned to death in her place-and it's no mystery by whom, since a phone call confirms that Kevin has indeed just escaped from prison. Figuring that reporting their little mistake to the authorities would put her back at the top of Kevin's hit list, Anne resolves to stay underground. But things don't exactly work out that way. She's forced to reveal herself first to Rosato & Associates; then to Matt Booker, the plaintiff's attorney who's been making puppy-dog eyes at her across the aisle; then to Philadelphia's finest; and finally, at the height of Independence Day festivities, to Kevin himself. A glamorpuss lawyer whose behavior defies belief; gay bars and hooker disguises; a little detection, a little courtroom drama, and one noisy finale: it's all as fleet and breathless as it is synthetic.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061031410
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
05/27/2003
Series:
Rosato & Associates Series, #7
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
432
Sales rank:
134,775
Product dimensions:
4.18(w) x 6.75(h) x 1.08(d)

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Anne Murphy barreled through the bustling lobby of the William Green Federal Courthouse, her long, auburn hair flying. She was about to do something crazy in court and couldn't wait to get upstairs. If she won, she'd be a hero. If she lost, she'd go to jail. Anne didn't think twice about the if-she-lost part. She was a redhead, which is a blonde with poor impulse control.

"Ms. Murphy, Ms. Murphy, just one question!" a reporter shouted, dogging her heels, but Anne charged ahead, trying to ditch him in the crowd.

Federal employees, lawyers, and jurors crisscrossed the lobby to the exits, hurrying home to start the Fourth of July weekend, but heads turned at the sight of the stunning young woman. Anne had wide-set eyes of willow-green, a straight nose dusted with freckles, and a largish mouth, glossy with an artful swipe of raisiny lipstick. Very female curves filled out a suit of cream-colored silk, and her long, lean legs tapered to fine ankles, ending in impractical Manolo Blahnik heels. Anne looked like a model, but given her past didn't even think of herself as pretty. None of us outgrows the kid in the bathroom mirror.

"Uh-oh, here comes trouble!" called one of the court security officers, as Anne approached the group of dark polyester blazers clustered around the metal detectors. Manning the machines were five older guards, all retired Philly cops, flashing appreciative grins. The guard calling to Anne was the most talkative, with a still-trim figure, improbably black hair, and a nameplate that read OFFICER SALVATORE BONANNO. "Gangway, fellas! It's Red, andshe's loaded for bear!"

"Right again, Sal." Anne tossed her leather briefcase and a Kate Spade messenger bag onto the conveyor belt. "Wish me luck."

"What's cookin', good-lookin'?"

"The usual. Striking a blow for justice. Paying too much for shoes." Anne strode through the security portal as her bags glided through the X-ray machine. "You gentlemen got plans for the holiday weekend?"

"I'm takin' you dancin'," Officer Bonanno answered with a dentured smile, and the other guards burst into guffaws made gravelly by cigarette breaks at the loading dock off of Seventh Street. Bonanno ignored them cheerfully. "I'm gonna teach you to jitterbug, ain't I, Red?"

"Ha!" Officer Sean Feeney broke in, grinning. "You and the lovely Miss Murphy, Sal? In your dreams!" Feeney was a ruddy-faced, heavyset sixty-five-year-old, with eyebrows as furry as caterpillars. "She's an Irish girl and she's savin' herself for me." He turned to Anne. "Your people from County Galway, right, Annie? You got pretty skin, like the girls in Galway."

"Galway, that near Glendale?" Anne asked, and they laughed. She never knew what to say when someone commented on her looks. The X-ray machine surrendered her belongings, and she reached for them as two reporters caught up with her, threw their bags onto the conveyor belt, and started firing questions.

"Ms. Murphy, any comment on the trial next week?" "Why won't your client settle this case?" "Isn't this ruining Chipster's chance to go public?" They kept interrupting each other. "Anne, what's this motion about today?" "Why do you want to keep this evidence from the jury?"

"No comment, please." Anne broke free, grabbed her bags, and bolted from the press, but it turned out she didn't have to. Officer Bonanno was confronting the reporters, hard-eyed behind his bifocals.

"Yo, people!" he bellowed, Philly-style. "You know the rules! None o' that in the courthouse! Why you gotta give the young lady a hard time?"

Officer Feeney frowned at the first reporter and motioned him over. "Come 'ere a minute, sir. I think you need a full-body scan." He reached under the security counter and emerged with a handheld metal detector. "Come on, in fact, both of youse." He waved the wand at the second reporter, and the other security guards lined up behind him like an aged phalanx.

"But I'm the press!" the reporter protested. "This is my beat! You see me every day. I'm Allen Collins, I have an ID." Behind him, his canvas briefcase stalled suddenly in the X-ray machine, and the guard watching the monitor was already confiscating it. The reporter turned back, puzzled. "Hey, wait a minute!"

Officer Bonanno dismissed Anne to the elevators with a newly authoritative air. "Go on up, Miss!"

"Thanks, Officer," Anne said, suppressing a smile as she grabbed the open elevator and hit the button for the ninth floor. She hadn't asked for the assist and felt vaguely guilty accepting it. But only vaguely.

Minutes later, Anne reached the ninth floor and entered the spacious, modern courtroom, which was packed. The Chipster case, for sexual harassment against Gil Martin, Philadelphia's best-known Internet millionaire, had attracted press attention since the day it was filed, and reporters, sketch artists, and the public filled the sleek modern pews of dark wood. Their faces swiveled almost as one toward Anne as she strode down the carpeted center aisle.

Bailiffs in blue blazers stopped conferring over the docket sheets, law clerks straightened new ties, and a female court reporter shot daggers over her blue steno machine, on its spindly metal legs. Anne had grown accustomed to the reaction; men adored her, women hated her. She had nevertheless joined the all-woman law firm of Rosato & Associates, which had turned out to be a very redheaded career move. But that was another story.

She reached counsel table and set down her briefcase and purse, then looked back. A young man dressed in a lightweight trench coat was sitting, as planned, on the aisle in the front row behind her. Anne acknowledged him discreetly, then took her seat, opened her briefcase, and pulled out a copy of her motion papers. The motion and the young man on the...

Courting Trouble. Copyright © by Lisa Scottoline. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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What People are saying about this

Nelson Demille
Lisa Scottoline's legal suspense novels are a law unto themselves -- biting humor, social satire, snappy dialogue, and surprising plot twists. Best of all, Scottoline's characters command your attention and draw you into their lives and their world. Courting Trouble is a great work of contemporary writing: smary, edgy, witty and perfectly paced, not to mention great fun.

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