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As Grace searches for the truth, she unearths a six-figure bank account kept ...
As Grace searches for the truth, she unearths a six-figure bank account kept by the judge with an alias; breaks into another judge's chambers; and follows 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.
At times like this I realize I'm too old to be starting over, working with law clerks. I own pantyhose with more mileage than these kids, and better judgment. For example, two of the clerks, Ben Safer and Artie Weiss, are bickering as we speak; never mind that they're making a scene in an otherwise quiet appellate courtroom, in front of the most expensive members of the Philadelphia bar.
"No arguing in the courtroom," I tell them, in the same tone I use on my six-year-old. Not that it works with her either.
"He started it, Grace," Ben says in a firm stage whisper, standing before the bank of leather chairs against the wall. "He told me he'd save me a seat and he didn't. Now there's no seats left."
“Will you move, geek? You're blocking my sun," Artie says, not bothering to look up from the sports page. He rarely overexerts himself; he's sauntered through life to date, relying on his golden-boy good looks, native intelligence, and uncanny jump shot. He throws one strong leg over the other and turns the page, confident he'll win this argument even if it runs into overtime. Artie, in short, is a winner.
But so is Ben in his own way; he was number two at Chicago Law School, meat grinder of the Midwest. "You told me you'd save me a seat, Weiss," he says, "so you owe me one. Yours. Get up."
"Eat me," Artie says, loud enough to distract the lawyers conferring at the counsel table like a bouquet of bald spots. They'd give him a dirty look if he were anyone else, but because he works for the chief judge they flash capped smiles; you never know which clerk's got your case on his desk.
"Get up. Now,Weiss."
"Separate, you two," I say. "Ben, go sit in the back. Argument's going to start any minute."
"Out of the question. I won't sit in public seating. He said he'd save me a seat, he owes me a seat."
"It's not a contract, Ben," I advise him. For free.
"I understand that. But he should be the one who moves, not me." He straightens the knot on his tie, already at tourniquet tension; between the squeeze on his neck and the one on his sphincter, the kid's twisted shut at both ends like a skinny piece of saltwater taffy. "I have a case being argued."
"So do 1, jizzbag," Artie says, flipping the page.
I like Artie, but the problem with the Artie Weisses of the world is they have no limits. "Artie, did you tell him you'd save him a seat?"
"Why would I do that> Then I'd have to sit next to him." He gives Ben the finger behind the tent of newspaper.
I draw the line. "Artie, put your finger away."
"Ooooh, spank me, Grace. Spank me hard. Pull my wittle pants down and throw me over your gorgeous knees."
"You couldn't handle it, big guy."
"Try me." He leans over with a broad grin.
441 mean it, Artie. You're on notice." He doesn't know I haven't had sex since my marriage ended three years ago. Nobody's in the market for a single mother, even a decent-looking one with improved brown hair,, authentic blue eyes, and a body that's staying the course, at least as we speak.
"Come on, sugar," Artie says, nuzzling my shoulder. "live the dream."
"Cut it out."
"You read the book, now see the movie."
I turn toward Ben to avoid laughing; it's not good to laugh when you're setting limits. "Ben , you know he's not going to move. The judges will be out any minute. Go find a seat in the back."
Ben scans the back row where the courthouse groupies sit; it's a lineup that includes retired men, the truly lunatic, even the homeless. Ben, looking them over, makes no effort to hide his disdain; you'd think he'd been asked to skinnydip in the Ganges. He turns to me, vaguely desperate. "Let me have your seat, Grace. I'll take notes for you."
"No.""But my notes are like transcripts. I used to
sell them at school."
"I can take my own notes, thank you." Ten years as a trial lawyer, I can handle taking notes-, taking notes is mostly what I do now as the assistant to the chief judge. I take notes while real lawyers argue, then I go to the library and draft an opinion that real lawyers cite in their next argument. But I'm not complaining. I took this job because it was part-time and I'm not as good a juggler as Joan Lunden, Paula Zahn, and other circus performers.
"How about you, Sarah?" Ben asks the third law clerk, Sarah Whittemore, sitting on my other side. "You don't have a case this morning. You can sit in the back."
Fat chance. Sarah smooths a strand of cool blond hair away from her face, revealing a nose so diminutive it's a wonder she gets any oxygen at all. "Sorry, I need this seat," she says.
I could have told him that. Sarah wants to represent the downtrodden, not mingle with them.
A paneled door opens near the dais and the
court crier, a compact man with a competent air, begins a last-minute check on the microphones at the dais and podium. Ben glances at the back row with dismay. "I can't sit back there with those people. One of them has a plastic hat on, for God's sake."
Artie looks over the top of his paper. "A plastic hat? Where?"
"There." Ben jerks his thumb toward a bearded man sporting a crinkled cellophane rain bonnet and a black raincoat buttoned to the neck.Final Appeal. Copyright © by Lisa Scottoline. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.
Many book clubs have written Lisa asking for questions to guide their discussion, so Lisa came up with a bunch for each book. Her goal in writing books is to entertain, so it goes without saying that Lisa wants you to have lots of fun discussing her books, and has reflected that in her questions. She provides the talking points, and you and your group shape the conversation. So go ahead, get together, chat it up with your friends, discuss books, kids, and relationships, but by all means, have fun.
About the author
Lisa Scottoline is a New York Times bestselling author and former trial lawyer. She has won theEdgar Award, the highest prize in suspense fiction, and the Distinguished Author Award from the Weinberg Library of the University of Scranton. She has served as the Leo Goodwin Senior Professor of Law and Popular Culture at Nova Southeastern Law School, and her novels are used by bar associations for the ethical issues they present. Her books are published in more than twenty languages. She lives with her family in the Philadelphia area.
Posted February 2, 2012
I'm in the middle of it now and I must say, I've read several books by Lisa Scottoline and I am surprised and disappointed with the language although the story is good, I never have seen the point in using the f... word and it's in this book entirely too much. I want to see how it ends but don't know if I can get past that word much more.
11 out of 18 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 10, 2011
Enjoyable reading. I continue to read this authors work and would always recommend this to anyone who enjoys John Grishom, David Baldacci, Michael Connelly, John Lecroart...
8 out of 8 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted March 19, 2012
I have read a lot of her books, and to me, this one falls in the middle somewhere...not great, but not awful, either. The character development, except for the main character s not that well done, and you can't help wonder what the heck it was all about at the end. Maybe I'm being too picky, but it just left an empty taste in my mouth.
6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 20, 2011
What on earth was she thinking? I'm so glad I bought this nook book for less than $4 or I'd really be miffed. I couldn't even finish it. Was this a creative writing assignment in dialogue? it's all dialogue. Well, maybe it isn't but there was enough of all dialogue in the first chapter to stop me from reading further. Who has time to spend on something that's not appealing. Read it if you must. Since it has such a "high stared" review, someone enjoyed it. So give it a try. It could be just for people other than me. The first book, "Every where that Mary went" was very good. i'll recommend it without hesitation. Enjoy.
5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 24, 2000
Although entertaining, this book is definitely not as good as others by the author. I was disappointed by 'who done it'. 'Mistaken Identity' and 'Everywhere That Mary Went' are the best in my opinion.
5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 22, 2012
This was my first Scottoline book, and I don't believe I'll read another. Utterly forgettable characters, and the reading level appeared to be at the 4th or 5th grade.
2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted July 16, 2012
Posted January 15, 2012
Posted August 6, 2007
I've read about half the books Lisa Scottoline has written and this one is one of my favorites. It's interesting and keeps your attention.
2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 24, 2012
Posted January 26, 2012
A little romance, back story and intrigue. Kept my interest enough for me not to put down. Would definitely recommend to others.
1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted January 21, 2012
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Posted August 23, 2013
Posted May 25, 2013
Posted May 24, 2013
This book had more twists and turns than a roller coaster. Just when I thought that I had it figured out here comes a surprise. However the person who did the crime and the reason seemed very far fetched. Now for book 3Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 24, 2013
Posted May 24, 2013
Posted May 24, 2013
From page one - which draws the reader in and makes one feel part of the plot - to the last page, it is hard to put Lisa's books down. Needless to say, as soon as this book is finished the reader is SO ready for the next one. Brilliant writer - want to see her books as movies!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.