Daddy's Girl

Daddy's Girl

4.0 84
by Lisa Scottoline, Barbara Rosenblat
     
 

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Natalie Greco loves being a teacher, even though she can't keep her students from cruising sex.com during class. She loves her family, too, but her boyfriend fits in better with the football-crazy Grecos than she does. Then a colleague, handsome Angus Holt, talks Nat into teaching a class at a local prison, and her world turns upside down.

A violent prison riot

Overview

Natalie Greco loves being a teacher, even though she can't keep her students from cruising sex.com during class. She loves her family, too, but her boyfriend fits in better with the football-crazy Grecos than she does. Then a colleague, handsome Angus Holt, talks Nat into teaching a class at a local prison, and her world turns upside down.

A violent prison riot breaks out, and Nat rushes to save the life of a mortally wounded guard whose last words are: "Tell my wife it's under the floor." Nat delivers the cryptic message, but before she knows it, she's suspected of murder and hiding from cops and killers alike. She is forced on the run to solve the riddle of the dead man's last words and to save her own life—and find real love.

Editorial Reviews

The Barnes & Noble Review
The unlikely heroine of this Lisa Scottoline thriller (which follows 2006's Dirty Blonde), mousy University of Pennsylvania assistant law professor Natalie "Nat" Greco, finds herself in way over her head when an unintended visit to a minimum-security prison in nearby Chester County puts her in the middle of a deadly uprising -- and places her at the center of an elaborate plot that involves an incarcerated crime boss and more than a few improbable conspirators.

Greco's classes at Penn Law -- the History of Justice, for example -- aren't nearly as well attended as those taught by charismatic and handsome prof Angus Holt. Greco herself is far from immune to Holt's charm, so when he asks her to accompany him to Chester County Correctional Institution to lecture to inmates involved in an externship program, she quickly agrees. But the professors' visit soon turns deadly; a riot erupts, and amid the chaos Greco finds herself alone with a dying correctional officer who has been stabbed through the heart with a metal shank. His last words are a cryptic message to his wife: "It's under the floor." Soon thereafter, Greco is inexplicably set up for the murder of a state trooper and is forced to become a fugitive from justice while she tries to unravel the mystery of the dying man's words…

While not as sexually supercharged or frenetically paced as Dirty Blonde, Daddy's Girl derives its power from the subtle and compelling coming-of-age of protagonist Greco, a sheltered and socially naïve woman who, when faced with the ultimate adversity, discovers herself. Paul Goat Allen
Maureen Corrigan
… [anyone] who needs a good laugh, should scuttle over to the nearest bookstore and pick up a copy of Scottoline's latest, Daddy's Girl.
— The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly
The undistinguished academic career of Natalie "Nat" Greco, a mousy and naOve law professor at the University of Pennsylvania, takes an unexpected turn at the start of this less than compelling legal thriller from bestseller Scottoline (Dirty Blonde). When an attractive male colleague, Angus Holt, convinces Nat to accompany him on a teaching assignment at a nearby prison, a sudden riot puts them both in peril. Nat finds herself desperately attempting to save the life of a guard, apparently stabbed by an inmate during the fracas. The dying man asks her to pass on his last words to his wife, but possessing knowledge of this cryptic message proves dangerous. Nat finds herself accused of murder and must evade the law while also tracking down the bad guys. Her methods more often resemble that of Nancy Drew than an Ivy League professor, and the plot suffers by comparison with Peter Abrahams's gritty End of Story (2006), which makes better use of a similar theme. 11-city author tour. (Mar.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal

Edgar Award-winning author Scottoline's new legal thriller features Natalie (Nat) Greco, a University of Pennsylvania law professor with a knack for history and storytelling and a firm belief in justice. It is this commitment that compels Nat to accompany a colleague to a prison-held legal aid clinic. When a riot breaks out, Nat becomes the witness to a dying man's last words, which causes her life to spiral rapidly out of control. In a quick succession of events, Nat stands accused of murder and finds herself living as a fugitive. Unfortunately, Daddy's Girl is not as compelling as previous Scottoline novels, but the writing remains fast paced and full of appropriately placed humor. And, fortunately, reader Barbara Rosenblat again gives an amazing performance of the author's work, conveying a distinct personality and voice for each character. The audio production flows well and is of good quality. Recommended, but not an essential purchase; particularly suited for public libraries with general fiction and/or mystery collections and for those that include previous Scottoline titles.
—Nicole A. Cooke

Kirkus Reviews
Still another untested female member of the Philadelphia bar undergoes baptism by fire when a routine prison visit erupts in violent death. Unsure of her skills and status as an assistant professor at Penn Law, Natalie Greco reluctantly accepts her scruffy, charismatic colleague Angus Holt's invitation to join him at the legal clinic he runs at Chester County Correctional Facility. Their visit to the minimum-security prison goes fine until a riot breaks out. Amid the call to lockdown, three inmates are killed. So is correctional officer Ron Saunders, who dies as Nat is struggling to administer CPR. She's too late to save his life, but not too late to hear the last words he's desperate to pass on to his wife Barbara: "It's . . . under the floor." Contemplating her boyfriend Hank Ballisteri's likely reaction to the cuts and bruises she got when she was attacked during the melee, Nat is glum. But the worst is still ahead. First, Barbara Saunders disclaims any knowledge of what might be under the floor; then her house is burgled; finally, minutes after Nat leaves her, she's shot and left for dead, with another murder right around the corner, just waiting to be pinned on Nat. Seasoned fans will eagerly anticipate the obligatory developments that follow. Nat and her lawyer talk the police into letting her go; new evidence makes her look guiltier than ever; and, in the tale's most absorbing pages, she takes it seriously on the lam, showing all the resourcefulness of Scottoline's other Philadelphia lawyers (Dirty Blonde, 2006, etc.) in disguising herself, boosting a new set of wheels and evading pursuit en route to a clever and well-prepared surprise. On the down side, Nat's relation to hermale-dominated construction family, despite the emphasis promised by the title, is less compelling than usual, and the lead criminal is easily spotted by readers less starry-eyed than Nat.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781428152908
Publisher:
Recorded Books, LLC
Publication date:
06/28/2007
Edition description:
Unabridged

Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

Nat Greco felt like an A cup in a double-D bra. She couldn't understand why her tiny class was held in such a huge lecture hall, unless it was a cruel joke of the registrar's. The sun burned through the windows like a failure spotlight, illuminating two hundred empty seats. This class filled only nine of them, and last week the flu and job interviews had left Nat with one very uncomfortable male student. The History of Justice wasn't only a bad course. It was a bad date.

"Justice and the law," she pressed on, "are themes that run through William Shakespeare's plays, because they were central to his life. When he was growing up, his father, John, held a number of legal positions, serving as a chamberlain, bailiff, and chief alderman."

As she spoke, the law students typed on their black laptops, but she suspected they were checking their email, instant-messaging their friends, or cruising the Internet. The classrooms at Penn Law were wireless, but not all technology was progress. Teachers didn't stand a chance against sex.com.

"When the playwright turned thirteen, his father fell on hard times. He sold his wife's property and began lending money. He was hauled into court twice for being usurious, or charging too much interest. Shakespeare poured his empathy for moneylenders into Shylock, in The Merchant of Venice. It's one of his most complex characters, and the play gives us a historical perspective on justice."

Nat stepped away from the lectern to draw the students' attention, but no luck. They were all in their third year, and 3Ls had one foot out the door. Still, as much as she loved teaching, she was beginning to think she wasn'tvery good at it. Could she really suck at her passion? Women's magazines never admitted this as a possibility.

"Let's turn to the scene in which Antonio asks Shylock to lend him money," she continued. "They agree that if Antonio can't pay it back, the penalty is a pound of his flesh. By the way, future lawyers, is that a valid contract under modern law?"

Only one student raised her hand, and, as usual, it was Melanie Anderson, whose suburban coif and high-waisted Mom jeans stood out in this clutch of scruffy twentysomethings. Anderson was a forty-year-old who had decided to become a lawyer after a career as a pediatric oncology nurse. She loved this class, but only because it was better than watching babies die.

"Yes, Ms. Anderson? Contract or no?" Nat smiled at her in gratitude. All teachers needed a pet, even lousy teachers. Especially lousy teachers.

"No, it's not a contract."

Good girl . . . er, woman. "Why not? There's offer and acceptance, and the money supports the bargain."

"The contract would be against public policy." Anderson spoke with quiet authority, and her French-manicured fingertips rested on an open copy of the play, its sentences striped like a highlighter rainbow. "Antonio essentially consents to being murdered, but murder is a crime. Contracts that are illegal are not enforceable."

Right. "Anybody agree or disagree with Ms. Anderson?"

Nobody stopped typing emoticons to answer, and Nat began second-guessing herself, wondering if the assignment had been too literary for these students. Their undergraduate majors were finance, accounting, and political science. Evidently, humans had lost interest in the humanities.

"Let's ask some different questions." She switched tacks. "Isn't the hate that drives Shylock the result of the discrimination he's suffered? Do you see the difference between law and justice in the play? Doesn't the law lead to injustice, first in permitting enforcement of the contract, then in bringing Shylock to his knees? Can there be true justice in a world without equality?" She paused for an answer that didn't come. "Okay, everyone, stop typing right now and look at me."

The students lifted their heads, their vision coming slowly into focus as their brains left cyberspace and reentered Earth's atmosphere. Their fingers remained poised over their keyboards like spiders about to pounce.

"Okay, I'll call on ¬people." Nat turned to Wendy Chu in the front row, who'd earned a Harvard degree with honors in Working Too Hard. Chu had a lovely face and glossy hair that covered her shoulders. "Ms. Chu, what do you think? Is Shylock a victim, a victimizer, or both?"

"I'm sorry, Professor Greco. I didn't read the play."

"You didn't?" Nat asked, stung. "But you always do the reading."

"I was working all night on law review." Chu swallowed visibly. "I had to cite-check an article by Professor Monterosso, and it went to press this morning."

Rats. "Well, you know the rules. If you don't do the reading, I have to take you down half a grade." Nat hated being a hardass, but she'd been too easy her first year of teaching, and it hadn't worked. She'd been too strict her second year, and that hadn't worked either. She couldn't get it just right. She was like Goldilocks and all the beds were futons.

"Sorry," Chu whispered. Nat skipped Melanie Anderson for the student sitting next to her, class hottie Josh Carling. Carling was a tall twenty-six-year-old out of UCLA, with unusual green eyes, a killer smile, and a brownish soul patch on his square chin. A Hollywood kid, he'd worked as an A.D. on the set of a TV sitcom and he always wore an Ashton Kutcher knit cap, though it never snowed indoors.

"Mr. Carling, did you do the reading?" Nat knew Josh's answer because he looked down sheepishly.

"I didn't have time. I had a massive finance exam to study for. Sorry, for reals."

Damn. "Then you're a half-grade down, too," she said, though her heart went out to him. Carling was in the joint-degree program, so he'd graduate with diplomas from the law school and the business school, which guaranteed him a lucrative job in entertainment law and a spastic colon.

Nat eyed the second row. "Mr. Bischoff? How about you?"

Daddy's Girl LP. Copyright © by Lisa Scottoline. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

Meet the Author

Lisa Scottoline is a New York Times bestselling author and serves as president of the Mystery Writers of America. She has won the Edgar Award, as well as many other writing awards. She also writes a Sunday humor column for the Philadelphia Inquirer, titled "Chick Wit," with her daughter, Francesca Serritella. There are thirty million copies of Lisa's books in print, and she has been published in thirty-two countries. She lives in Pennsylvania with an array of disobedient but adorable pets.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Date of Birth:
July 1, 1955
Place of Birth:
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Education:
B.A., University of Pennsylvania, 1976; J.D., University of Pennsylvania Law School, 1981
Website:
http://www.scottoline.com

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Daddy's Girl 4 out of 5 based on 3 ratings. 84 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was soo good. I bought it for a road trip and figured I'd read a few here and there and sleep most of the way. Well I couldnt put this book down!! I finished it in the 1st 2 days of our road trip!! I will have to check out more from this Author!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I bought Daddy's Girl for all the wrong reasons. I loved the cover, it was short and it was on sale. I didn't even read the description, and I never heard of Lisa Scottoline. Sorry. However--I must say that I was pleasantly surprised. Seldom does a book draw me in where I find myself making time to read it. This book did. I so thoroughly enjoyed it that I was deeply disappointed to find that it was the only novel with Nat. She reminders me very much of my wife, height and all, and like Nat she doesn't always express the confident she greatly deserves. I ended up randomly buying four more of Lisa's books, and can't wait to see what mysteries await!
BolivarJ More than 1 year ago
Scottoline's Daddy's girl is brilliant, Lisa Scottoline manages to deliver a suspenseful thriller, filled with a few but great twists, and a surprising ending, that readers may not see coming. The brilliance of Daddy's girl lies in the fact, that underneath this great thriller, Scottoline delivers a noble message. " A single person could change the world, if he had justice on his side" In this matter, through the works of fiction and history, in Daddy's Girl, Lisa Scottoline accomplishes this and more. Scottoline's signature is present on Daddy's Girl. Enter Natalie Greco, an unlikely heroine, that is difficult to like in the first few chapters, however, the author manages to ignite interest in her character, making readers to actually enjoy the ride along the main character. Having herself being caught in the middle of a prison riot, Natalie witnesses the last dying words of one of the correction officers, in his last breath he whispers a message for his wife. A message that will change the comfort of Natalie's affluent life. In that process Nat has become collateral damage in a murder, and in the unfolding of that she becomes the primary suspect on the death of a police trooper. Now on the run from presumed killers and from the law, professor Greco will use her book smart skills to uncover what she think hides a conspiracy and the ones pulling the strings behind. I really liked the way the author presented the story, the developing and unfolding of the events was eloquent, not over the top, but just right. The transformation of Natalie's character throughout the book was credible. Scottoline was great in cementing a background for her, and all the supporting characters. I was even extremely satisfied that she named a cat " jelly." Mrs. Scottoline deserves respect for incorporating those special elements, " I am not supposed to mention" in her story. But is this fact I will tell readers, and her talent of natural writing what makes this book to deserve an "A" in this class.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I've read all of Lisa Scottoline's books and there is one thing you can always count on. Her characters are compelling and draw you in quickly. This book is one of her best. It's suspenseful, funny, and charming. The plot keeps things moving at a rapid pace, which keeps the reader engaged. I couldn't put this one down. Great read!
Anonymous 7 months ago
The behavior of her family and her boyfriend seemed to be on the edge...close to tipping off...of mental disorders. They were adults behaving like 4th graders with a load of sugar on board.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book was great. Couldn't put it down. Love the twists in the plot. One of my favorite books.
jingleJE More than 1 year ago
Excellent, edge-of-your-seat, page-turner!! I read this a few years ago, and I still remember it was so engaging and full of unexpected twists! Lisa is an excellent, entertaining story teller!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This kept me enthralled. I read a ton of books but Lisa isvonecof my favorites. Think it may be best so far!!
KenCady More than 1 year ago
Crime novels are a special fondness of mine, but this one did not show the depth and character found in the really good ones. As the plot developed, it just got less and less plausible. Lesson learned for me, I guess.
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Anonymous 6 months ago
I could not put this book down kept on the edge
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Anonymous 7 months ago
I enjoyed this story and others of her stories.
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Not one of her best books but it was ok.
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