Mistaken Identity (Rosato & Associates Series #4)

( 52 )

Overview

Bennie Rosato thought she had seen it all—until she meets her new client, Alice Connolly, who looks exactly like Bennie and tells her, "Hello, I'm your twin." A shocked Bennie can't deny the uncanny resemblance, but she grew up an only child and assumed she didn't have a sister, much less an identical twin. But Alice seems to know too much for it to be a scam, and Bennie can't walk away. She agrees to defend Alice on a murder charge and plunges into the mystery of the crime—unraveling a twisted skein of lies, ...

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Mistaken Identity (Rosato & Associates Series #4)

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Overview

Bennie Rosato thought she had seen it all—until she meets her new client, Alice Connolly, who looks exactly like Bennie and tells her, "Hello, I'm your twin." A shocked Bennie can't deny the uncanny resemblance, but she grew up an only child and assumed she didn't have a sister, much less an identical twin. But Alice seems to know too much for it to be a scam, and Bennie can't walk away. She agrees to defend Alice on a murder charge and plunges into the mystery of the crime—unraveling a twisted skein of lies, greed, and danger that jeopardizes her livelihood and ultimately even her life. At the same time, she uncovers the truth of her own identity, a secret that will leave her questioning everything she ever knew about her family—and herself.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Called "the female John Grisham" by People magazine, Lisa Scottoline may have her breakout book with Mistaken Identity, a thick, hefty thriller that reads like a runaway freight train: powerful, lightning quick, and loaded with unpredictable twists and turns that'll keep you on the edge of your seat throughout the intense journey.
Philadelphia Inquirer
“A superior piece of writing...a gripping, multi-layered story peopled by compelling characters”
USA Today
“a humdinger”
Time Magazine
"Scottoline is a star."
Booklist
“Well-written, dramatic, and highly suspensful . . . an enjoyable read.”
Los Angeles Times Book Review
“fast and furious”
David Baldacci
“Ratcheting suspense, dynamic characters, and a master’s touch”
Time magazine
“Scottoline is a star.”
Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel
“Sharply plotted, Mistaken never misses a step in suspense, character development, and dialogue.”
Booklist
“Well-written, dramatic, and highly suspensful . . . an enjoyable read.”
Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel
“Sharply plotted, Mistaken never misses a step in suspense, character development, and dialogue.”
Philadelphia Inquirer
“A superior piece of writing...a gripping, multi-layered story peopled by compelling characters”
USA Today
“a humdinger”
Time magazine
“Scottoline is a star.”
Los Angeles Times Book Review
“fast and furious”
Booklist
"Well-written, dramatic, and highly suspensful . . . an enjoyable read."
Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinel
"Sharply plotted, Mistaken never misses a step in suspense, character development, and dialogue."
Philadelphia Inquirer
"A superior piece of writing...a gripping, multi-layered story peopled by compelling characters"
Los Angeles Times Book Review
"fast and furious"
USA Today
"a humdinger"
David Baldacci
"Ratcheting suspense, dynamic characters, and a master’s touch"
People Magazine
The female John Grisham.
Judith Flavell
...[A] lot like taking a ride on the fastest roller coaster in the amusement park: exhilarating, nonstop action with plenty of twists and turns....As always, Ms. Scottoline's stories include lots of riveting action. This author knows the streets and the people that make up Philadelphia, and she effortlessly brings them to life in Mistaken Identity....I was with [the characters] every gut-wrenching step of the way.
The Mystery Reader.com
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Double jeopardy is more than just a legal term in this taut and smart courtroom drama by Edgar Award winner Scottoline. Bennie Rosato, the irrepressible head of an all-female Philadelphia law firm, moves to center stage after playing a supporting role in the author's previous novel, Rough Justice. Bennie's client is tough, manipulative Alice Connolly, charged with murdering her police detective boyfriend, who may or may not have been a drug dealer. Complicating matters is Alice's claim to be Bennie's identical twin sister and to have been visited by their long-lost father. Despite her wrenching emotional reaction to this revelation and her mother's deteriorating health, Bennie puts her personal and professional life on the line, immersing herself in the case. She enlists the aid of her associates, Mary DiNunzio and Judy Carrier, as well as Lou Jacobs, a cantankerous retired cop she hires as an investigator. They discover that a web of corruption may have enveloped the prosecuting attorney and judge who are now trying Alice's case. Scottoline effectively alternates her settings between prison, law office, courtroom and the streets. Readers familiar with her previous work will enjoy the continuing evolution of the characters' relationships. Judy is still the bolder of the two associates, her experiences highlighted this time by an amusing venture into the seamy world of pro boxing. But Mary, until now a timid and reluctant lawyer ("Maybe I could get a job eating"), emerges from her shell. Scottoline falters occasionally by resorting to ethnic stereotypes, particularly in her dialogue, but generally succeeds in creating a brisk, multilayered thriller that plunges Rosato & Associates into a maelstrom of legal, ethical and familial conundrums, culminating in an intricate, dramatic and intense courtroom finale. Agent, Molly Friedrich. FYI: Mistaken Identity is one of the six books excerpted in Diet Coke's marketing campaign.
Library Journal
In Mistaken Identity, Scottoline provides us with one of her trademark legal thrillers. Typically, it includes the exploration of personal and family relationships as lawyer Bennie Rosato defends a client who claims to be her own twin sister. While defending her client on a capital murder charge, Rosato must deal with a police conspiracy and explore long-buried family secrets. It is a very entertaining mix. The book also gives the listener a taste of the Philadelphia scene and the criminal court system. Though the plot is somewhat improbable, the author draws us in and makes it believable. Kate Harper does an adequate job portraying the various complex and well-drawn characters, but her repeated mispronunciation of several words (including a major Philadelphia landmark) is irritating. This production is recommended for popular collections where legal thrillers are in demand.--Christine Valentine, Davenport Coll. Lib., Kalamazoo, MI Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.\
— Michael A. Genovese, Loyola Marymount Univ., Los Angeles
Cleveland Plain Dealer
Compelling...will keep you turning the pages.
Sun Sentinel (Ft. Lauderdale)
Sharply plotted...never misses a step.
Kirkus Reviews
Continuing her run of coming up with the best hooks in the legal intrigue trade (Rough Justice, 1997, etc.), Scottoline tosses Philadelphia lawyer Bennie Rosato her most challenging client-an accused cop-killer who claims she's Bennie's identical twin. And maybe she is. Bennie's ailing mother is too far gone to confirm or deny Alice Connolly's incredible tale of separation soon after birth; the supporting evidence is inconclusive; and while Bennie is waiting for the DNA results, there's the little matter of taking over, on a week's notice, Connolly's botched defense on the capital charge of killing her live-in lover, Officer Anthony Della Porta. Bennie, whose firm specializes in prosecuting naughty cops, couldn't expect much help from Della Porta's associates even if they weren't, as Connolly insists, crooks and drug dealers, cogs in a conspiracy dedicated to putting her away for good. Meantime, her fellow inmates can't wait for her to be found guilty; they're eager to sentence her to a much quicker death. The situation is so desperate that Bennie toys with the idea of mounting a twin defense, changing her hair and dress in order to double herself with the unlovable defendant. She changes her mind, but Connolly doesn't. Since Bennie won't ape her style, she starts to ape Bennie's: "The defendant had become the lawyer; the twins had traded places." Meantime, Bennie's getting clobbered in court by rulings so slanted that she's got to wonder if Judge Harrison Guthrie isn't part of the conspiracy too. All this while she's trying to face up to the possibility that hard-bitten Connolly really is her long-lost twin sister. Can Scottoline do justice to the whodunit, the courtroom thriller,and the buried family romance in a mere 496 pages? Of course not; the thriller wins in a walk. But even the most skeptical fans will be impressed at how tightly Scottoline knots them all together in her biggest book yet. (Author tour) .
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062104571
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/29/2012
  • Series: Rosato & Associates Series , #4
  • Pages: 565
  • Sales rank: 209,867
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 1.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Lisa Scottoline

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.

Biography

Most authors admit that they need to work in silence in order to get into the creative process. For them, writing is serious work that requires the utmost peace and concentration. Of course, most authors are not writing the kind of whiz-bang, sharp, wild, and witty works that Lisa Scottoline is producing. Scottoline's unusual working methods and desire for all things pop culture have helped her to create some of the most unapologetically entertaining and compulsively page-turning novels in contemporary popular fiction.

Scottoline's initial impetus to become a novelist was not quite as joyful as her novels might suggest. She had recently given up her position as a litigator at a Philadelphia law firm to raise her newborn daughter at the same time as she was breaking up with her husband. While the birth of her daughter was an undoubtedly happy moment for Scottoline, she was also thrust into relative isolation in the wake of her separation and the end of her job. To keep herself busy (when not tending to her daughter, that is), she decided to write a novel, the provocative story of an ambitious young lawyer whose hectic life becomes even more manic when she learns she is being stalked. Three years after beginning the novel, Scottoline sold Everywhere That Mary Went to HarperCollins a mere week after taking a part-time job as a clerk for an appellate judge—her first job since beginning the book. While her transition from lawyer to novelist may seem abrupt to some, Scottoline asserts that it was law school that gave her the necessary tools to spin a compelling yarn. In a 2005 interview with Barnes & Noble.com, Scottoline asserted that the job of a lawyer is surprisingly similar to that of a good writer: "Take the facts that matter, throw out the ones that don't, order them in such a way in which a point of view is created so that by the time someone is finished listening to your argument or reading your book they see things completely in that point of view."

Scottoline's sure-handed way with an intriguing narrative has led to a string of bestselling thrillers and a popular series revolving around the women of Rosato & Associates, an all-female law firm in Philadelphia—the author's own beloved hometown. Jam-packed with humor, mystery, eroticism, and smarts, her novels are published worldwide and have been translated into twenty-five different languages.

Good To Know

Lisa Scottoline is definitely no TV snob. She feels no shame when revealing her love of everything from Court TV to Oprah to The Apprentice to I Love Lucy.

One of the reasons that Scottoline is such a fabulous writer may have something to do with having a particularly fabulous teacher. While studying English at the University of Pennsylvania she was instructed by National Book Award Winner Philip Roth.

Don't try this at home! Scottoline completed her first novel, Everywhere That Mary Went, while she and her newborn daughter lived solely on $35,000 worth of credit from five Visa cards, which she'd completely maxed out by the time she completed the book three years later.

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

Read an Excerpt

Bennie Rosato shuddered when she caught sight of the place. The building stretched three blocks long and stood eight stories tall. It lacked conventional windows; instead, slits of bulletproof glass scored its brick facade. Spiked guard towers anchored its corners and a double row of cyclone fencing topped with razor wire encircled its perimeter, attesting to its maximum security status. Exiled to the industrial outskirts of the city, Philadelphia's Central Corrections housed murderers, sociopaths, and rapists. At least when they weren't on parole.

Bennie pulled into a parking space in the half-empty visitors' lot, climbed out of her Ford Expedition, and walked down the sidewalk in June's humidity, wrestling with her reluctance. She'd stopped practicing criminal law and had promised herself she'd never see the prison again until the telephone call from a woman inmate who was awaiting trial. The woman had been charged with the shooting murder of her boyfriend, a detective with the Philadelphia police, but claimed a group of uniforms had framed her. Bennie specialized in prosecuting police misconduct, so she'd slid a fresh legal pad into her briefcase and had driven up to interview the inmate.

The opportunity to change read a metal plaque over the door, and Bennie managed not to laugh. The prison had been designed with the belief that vocational training would convert heroin dealers to keypunch operators and since nobody had any better ideas, still operated on the assumption. Bennie opened the heavy gray door, an inexplicably large dent buckling its middle, and went inside. She was immediately assaulted by stifling air, thick with sweat, disinfectant, and a cacophony ofrapid-fire Spanish, street English, and languages Bennie didn't recognize. Whenever she entered the prison, Bennie felt as if she were walking into another world, and the sight evoked in her a familiar dismay.

The waiting room, packed with inmates' families, looked more like day care than prison. Infants in arms rattled plastic keys in primary colors, babies crawled from lap to lap, and a toddler practiced his first steps in the aisle, grabbing a plastic sandal for support as he staggered past. Bennie knew the statistics: nationwide, seventy-five percent of women inmates are mothers. The average prison term for a woman lasts a childhood. No matter whether Bennie's clients had been brought here by circumstance or corruption, she could never forget that their children were the ultimate victims, ignored at our peril. She couldn't fix it no matter how hard she'd tried and she couldn't stop trying, so she had finally turned away.

Bennie suppressed the thought and threaded her way to the front desk while the crowd socialized. Two older women, one white and one black, exchanged recipes written on index cards. Hispanic and white teenagers huddled together, a bouquet of backward baseball caps laughing over photos of a trip to Hershey Park. Two Vietnamese boys shared the sports section with a white kid across the aisle. Unless prison procedures had changed, these families would be the Monday group, visiting inmates with last names A through F, and over time they'd become friends. Bennie used to think their friendliness a form of denial until she realized it was profoundly human, like the camaraderie she'd experienced in hospital waiting rooms, in the worst circumstances.

The guards at the front desk, a woman and a man, were on the telephone. Female and male guards worked at the prison because both sexes were incarcerated here, in separate wings. Behind the desk was a panel of smoked glass that looked opaque but concealed the prison's large, modern control center. Security monitors glowed faintly through the glass, their chalky gray screens ever-changing. A profile moved in front of a lighted screen like a storm cloud in front of the moon.
Bennie waited patiently for a guard, which cut against her grain. She questioned authority for a living, but she had learned not to challenge prison guards. They performed daily under conditions at least as threatening as those facing cops, but were acutely aware they earned less and weren't the subject of any cool TV shows. No kid grew up wanting to be a prison guard.

While Bennie waited, a little boy with bells on his shoelaces toddled over and stared up at her. She was used to the reaction even though she wasn't conventionally pretty; Bennie stood six feet tall, strong and sturdy. Her broad shoulders were emphasized by the padding of her yellow linen suit, and wavy hair the color of pale honey spilled loose to her back. Her features were more honest than beautiful, but big blondes caught the eye, approving or no. Bennie smiled at the child to show she wasn't a banana.

"You an attorney?" asked the female guard, hanging up the phone. She was an African-American woman in a jet-black uniform and pinned to her heavy breast had been a badge of gold electroplate. The guard's hair had been combed back into a tiny bun from which stiff hairs sprung like a pinwheel, and her short sleeves were rolled up, macho style.

"Yeah, I'm a lawyer," Bennie answered. "I used to have an ID card but I'll be damned if I can find it."
"I'll look it up. Gimme your driver's license. Fill out the request slip. Sign the OV book for official visitors," the guard said on autopilot, and pushed a yellow clip ID across the counter.

Bennie produced her license, scribbled a request slip, and signed the log book. "I'm here to see Alice Connolly. Unit D, Cell 53."

"What's in the briefcase?"

"Legal papers."

"Put your purse in the lockers. No cell phones, cameras, or recording devices. Take a seat. We'll call you when they bring her down to the interview room."

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Table of Contents

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Reading Group Guide

Introduction

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.

Questions

  1. Read the Acknowledgements. How weird is it that Lisa didn't know she had a half-sister? How often does this happen and not make it to Montel? Did it happen to anyone you know? And if something like that happened to you, would you put it in a book for the whole entire world to read about? Where do authors get their ideas and why don't they come up with better ones?

  2. When is a good story an invasion of privacy?

  3. Would you defend your twin on a murder charge? Should Bennie? Do you understand why she does?

  4. Is Grady hot enough for you? Is it weird that he's younger than Bennie?

  5. What is justice? Is it justice if Alice goes free, or not?

  6. This book is told in the third person, unlike Legal Tender which has a single point of view. Like it better or worse? Why did Lisa make this decision? Anything about the story, or was she just in the mood? You know how silly she can be.

  7. This boxing thing is a big part of the book. Do we like it? Why is it here? Does it inform character? How did Lisa do with her boxing lessons? Is it okay to say "sucks at boxing" in a book club?

  8. Do we like Lou?

  9. Why does Lisa put us through a parent's death? Is she just a big meanie?

  10. What did we think of the courtroom scenes? Agree with the verdict?

  11. Where did Alice go? Is she dead or will she come back? Hint: Heh heh.

About the author

Lisa Scottoline is a New York Times bestselling author and former trial lawyer. She has won the Edgar 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.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 52 )
Rating Distribution

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 53 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2007

    Terrible

    This was a terrible book. Just terrible. Horrible ending. The ending was rushed.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 15, 2010

    Great storyline,if you like Patricia Cornwell you'll love Lisa.

    Love her writing style. Now I am hooked to her books.
    Just finished "Look Again" Awesome.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2000

    Better then Grisham--

    Powerful novel from an author who continually raises her own bar, Mistaken Identity is what legal fiction should be all about--compelling story, strong character development, and dialogue which jumps off the pages. This novel has more than enough detail(backed by solid research by the author) to be believable, yet general enough so that you don't have to be a lawyer or judge to like the story. If you've ever had to suspend disbelief in order to be effective, this book is for you. This is no 'formula' book. It plays on so many different levels besides law. It peels away the layers of relationships--father/daughter, sibling/sibling, male/female, and various other triangles--while being very action oriented. Clearly a page-turner of the first degree. Ready for your next one, Ms. Scottoline!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2000

    Gripping Novel

    Started the book on an airplane and had to stay up all night to finish it. If you like Grisham and Cornwell, this one is a must-read!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 13, 2014

    more from this reviewer

    I love by Rosato and Associates books written by Lisa Scottolini

    I love by Rosato and Associates books written by Lisa Scottolini. I would recommend to anyone who enjoys legal thrillers are even just a good mystery. The characters are well developed and likable. The story is face paced and never dull. Would have liked to have seen a better ending.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2014

    Good story

    Well written. Boxing involvement confused more than added triguei

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 19, 2013

    Story gets lost in too much detail

    I thought this would be a good story after reading the overview. After reading a few chapters I am realizing I was wrong and finding it very difficult to continue. I find it is over descriptive as well as redundant. Since I am one not to waste money, even if it is just 3.99, I will continue to the end and hope at some point it get's better.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted November 15, 2013

    you would enjoy it

    Very good. Most would like it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2013

    not a bad story.

    interesting; a good storyline. worth reading.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 5, 2013

    Very Good

    The complete series of Rosato and associates is worth checking out

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted March 9, 2013

    Couldn't stop reading it. Great Book

    I loved this book. I couldnt stop reading it. Would recommend it to every one. All of her books that Ive read, have all been good.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 21, 2012

    Anonymous

    I've enjoyed a lot of her books, but this one dropped the F word way too much. I stopped reading it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 10, 2010

    great up till the last paragraph.

    throughly enjoyed reading this book. i thought i had it figured out until the end, when i found out i was totally off base. loved it!!!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 12, 2009

    Great but for the end

    I thought this was a great storyline. A successful lawyer not only finding out she has a twin, but she is in jail for murder. I enjoyed reading the book but wish that it would have ended differently. The book kept me involved throughout but then lost me at the end.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 16, 2008

    Great Read....

    Lisa Scottoline never fails to keep my attention and she once again met the challenge in Mistaken Identity. I thought it was a great book that kept me wanting to read more. I thought it was the right amount of pages and the ending although leaves you hanging is not terrible. All is all I think it is a book that should not be missed.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2007

    It started with a bang, and ended with a splat.

    Added subplots were found distracting and counterproductive. The inferences relating to prior conflicts between characters needed further explanation. As it stood, it appeared more like the author was adding filler instead of presenting viable information. The conclusion seemed hasty and unnecessary.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 25, 2004

    DOUBLE TROUBLE

    The inmate looked at Bennie Rosato squarely in the eye and said `¿ Im the twin you did not know you had.¿¿ They were mirror images of each other except that one was in prison for allegedly murdering her lover, and one a big time successful lawyer with a firm of her own. Disregarding the conflicts of interest and the emotional turmoils that arose, Bennie set out to prove Alice Connoly¿s innocence while simultaneously dealing with family secrets and betrayals. With a quick pace marked by short chapters, the author is determined to trap the reader into the plot and scores. Readers must be on their toes to catch up with the numerous characters and the misshapen plots. The dialogue and writing was fast and fun. The author¿s strong legal background was put to good use, and her descriptions were unparalleled ( you can imagine Judge Guthrie¿s tented fingers as he listened to the trial). The aroma of a police conspiracy can be whiffed here and there, egging us to cry out for `¿Justice! Off with their heads!¿¿ The ending was nicely wrapped up as it threw a shocking twist straight at us. Recommended to all those who enjoy a fast paced read with a legal bent to it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2004

    All Right

    All right, too long. A lot of the book could have been cut to grip the reader more, too much minor detail. Otherwise, all right.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2003

    Very interesting book.

    I thought this book was well written and the story is very interesting. Keeps you turning the pages. A little long (close to 600 pages)

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2001

    Star Crossed and Double Crossed in Philadelphia

    This book (part of) originally showed up in a six-pack as a soft drink promotion. I read Chapter One and was hooked. The book is even more fun than life itself. If, like me, you are a trial lawyer and are from Philadelphia, this winner is for you. This lawyer has to prepare a capital case defense in just a few days. All lawyers love this gambit. Full of surprises.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 53 Customer Reviews

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