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Rough Justice (Rosato & Associates Series #3)

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Overview

Criminal lawyer Marta Richter is hours away from winning an acquittal for her client, millionaire businessman Elliot Steere, on trial for the murder of a homeless man who had tried to carjack him. But as the jury begins deliberations, Marta discovers the chilling truth about her client's innocence. Taking justice into her own hands, she furiously sets out to prove the truth, with the help of two young associates. In an excruciating game of beat-the-clock with both the jury and the worst blizzard to hit ...

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Rough Justice (Rosato & Associates Series #3)

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Overview

Criminal lawyer Marta Richter is hours away from winning an acquittal for her client, millionaire businessman Elliot Steere, on trial for the murder of a homeless man who had tried to carjack him. But as the jury begins deliberations, Marta discovers the chilling truth about her client's innocence. Taking justice into her own hands, she furiously sets out to prove the truth, with the help of two young associates. In an excruciating game of beat-the-clock with both the jury and the worst blizzard to hit Philadelphia in decades, Marta will learn that the search for justice isn't only rough—it can also be deadly.

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Editorial Reviews

People Magazine
The female John Grisham.
Philadelphia Inquirer
An entertaining, giddily paced legal thriller that readers will enjoy. . .a very clever novel.
US Magazine
A whip-smart protagonist. . .A nasty villain. . .A breathless pace.
Detroit Free Press
Fascinating. . . Thrilling. . . Nail-Biting.
Maureen Corrigan
An entertaining, giddily paced legal thriller that readers will enjoy. . . Not since Ben Franklin launched his kite has Philadelphia been the site of such electrifying suspense.
People Magazine
The female John Grisham.
Philadelphia Inquirer
An entertaining, giddily paced legal thriller that readers will enjoy. . .a very clever novel.
US Magazine
A whip-smart protagonist. . .A nasty villain. . .A breathless pace.
Kirkus Reviews
Scottoline clinches her title as the distaff Grisham with this gorgeously plotted novel based on a trial lawyer's worst nightmare.

Minutes after her brilliantly successful homicide defense of Philadelphia slumlord Elliot Steere goes to the jury, Marta Richter hears from her client's own lips that he's guilty. He didn't shoot knife-wielding Heb Darnton in self-defense during a carjacking; instead, he killed him in cold blood, and everything he's told Marta—and Marta's persuaded the jury—is a lie. How can Marta get evidence against her own client before the jury comes in with the surefire acquittal? For one thing, she has to dig up a motive for wealthy, powerful Steere to kill a homeless nonentity, and to find the damning evidence against Steere before his mysterious girlfriend can destroy it. She has to dodge bullets from Steere's errand boy, Bobby Bogosian, during the worst blizzard in the city's history. She has to neutralize the jury, most of whom want to vote not guilty, and the judge, who's counting on the acquittal to leapfrog him into the state Supreme Court. And since she's a hired gun from outside the city, she has to do all this without awakening the suspicions of her local affiliates, Rosato & Associates ("Girls R' Us"), whose managing partner, Benedetta Rosato (Legal Tender, 1996), is so dedicated to the principle of client loyalty that she'll turn away arguments about Steere's guilt by asking, "What happens to the legal system if each lawyer makes his own judgments about a client's morality?" It's a good question, and if Scottoline doesn't exactly address it with the moral seriousness of Scott Turow, she provides nonstop thrills for Richter and Rosato & Associates as they race the clock, their client's goons, and each other to torpedo their own case.

A hook as sturdy and a story as fleet as Grisham—except that Scottoline's a lot funnier than Grisham. Expect this to be her breakout book.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061096105
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 2/28/1999
  • Series: Rosato & Associates Series , #3
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 480
  • Sales rank: 93,083
  • Product dimensions: 4.18 (w) x 6.75 (h) x 0.96 (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

Chapter One


It started with a slip of the tongue. At first, Marta Richter thought she'd misunderstood him. She felt exhausted after the two-month murder trial and couldn't always hear her client through the thick bulletproof window. "You mean you struggled in his grasp," Marta corrected.

Elliot Steere didn't reply, but brushed ash from his chair on the defendant's side of the window. In his charcoal Brioni suit and a white shirt with a cutaway collar, Steere looked incongruous but not uncomfortable in the jailhouse setting. The businessman's cool was the stuff of tabloid legend. The tabs reported that on the night Steere had been arrested for murder, he'd demanded only one phone call. To his stockbroker. "That's what I said," Steere answered after a moment. "I struggled in his grasp."

"No, you said he struggled in your grasp. It was self-defense, not murder. You were struggling, not him."

A faint smile flickered across Steere's strong mouth. He had a finely boned nose, flat brown eyes, and suspiciously few crow's feet for a real estate developer. In magazine photos Steere looked attractive, but the fluorescent lights of the interview room hollowed his cheeks and dulled his sandy hair. "What's the point? The trial's over, the jury's out. It doesn't matter anymore who was struggling with who. Whom."

"What's that supposed to mean?" Marta asked. She didn't want him to play word games, she wanted him to praise her brilliant defense. It was the case of her career, and Steere's acquittal was in the bag. "Of course it matters."

"Why? What if it wasn't self-defense? What if I murdered him like the D.A. said? So what?"

Marta blinked, irritated. "Butthat's not the way it happened. He was trying to hijack your car. He attacked you with a knife. He threatened to kill you. You shot him in self-defense."

"In the back of the head?"

"There was a struggle. You had your gun and you fired." Without realizing it, Marta was repeating the words of her closing argument. The jury had adjourned to deliberate only minutes earlier. "You panicked, in fear of your life."

"You really bought that?" Steere crossed one long leg over the other and a triangle of tailored pant flopped over with a fine, pressed crease. "'In fear of my life?' I stole that line from a cop show, the one where everybody smokes. You know the show?"

Marta's mouth went dry. She didn't watch TV even when she was on, another television lawyer with wide-set blue eyes and chin-length hair highlighted blond. A hardness around her eyes and a softness under her chin told the viewers she wasn't thirty anymore. Still Marta looked good on the tube and knew how to handle herself; explain the defense in a sound bite and bicker with the prosecutor. Wrap it up with wit. Smile for the beauty shot. "What is this, a joke? What's TV have to do with anything?"

"Everything. My story, my defense, was fiction. Rich white guy carjacked by poor black guy. White guy has registered Glock for protection. Black guy has X-Acto knife. Not a good match." Steere eased back into his chair. "The jury bought it because it was what they expected, what they see on TV."

Marta's lips parted in disbelief. The news struck like an assault, stunning and violent. Her mind reeled. Her face felt hot. She braced her manicured fingers against the cold aluminum ledge and fought for her bearings. "What are you saying?"
"I'm guilty as sin, dear." Steere's gaze was point-blank and his voice tinny as it passed through a thin metal grate under the bulletproof window. The cinder-block walls of the interview room, lacquered calcium white, seemed suddenly to be closing in on Marta.

"But he slashed your cheek with the knife," she said, uncomprehending.

"He was dead at the time. I held his hand, with the knife in it."

"They found fibers from your tux on his hands and clothes."

"There was a struggle. He put up a fight. Mostly begging, boohooing like a little girl."

Marta's stomach turned over. "Tell me the whole story. The truth."

"What's to tell? A bum came at me when I stopped at the red light. He was waving a knife, drunk, screaming I should give up the car. Like I would. A new SL600 convertible. Wet dream of a car." Steere shook his head in momentary admiration. "So I grabbed my gun, got out of the car, and shot him in the head. I called the cops from the cell phone."

Marta crossed her arms across her chest. You could call it a hug but that wasn't how she thought of it. She'd heard confessions like this from other clients, and though Steere didn't look like them, he sounded like them. They all had the urge to brag, to prove how smart they were and what they could get away with. Marta had known Steere was tough-minded; she hadn't guessed he was inhuman. "You're a murderer," she said.

"No, I'm a problem-solver. I saw some garbage and took it out. The man was a derelict, worthless. He didn't work, he didn't produce. He didn't own anything. Fuck, he didn't even live anywhere. This time he picked the wrong guy. End of story."

"Just like that?"

"Come on, Marta. The man was useless. He didn't even know how to handle the fucking knife." Steere chuckled. "You did it better during the demonstration, when you held it under your chin. Did you see the jury? The front row almost fainted." Rough Justice. Copyright © by Lisa Scottoline. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold.

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Table of Contents

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 40 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(16)

4 Star

(12)

3 Star

(7)

2 Star

(1)

1 Star

(4)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 40 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2008

    Good Writer - Good Story - Bad Language

    I found the book quite enjoyable. I like her style of writing and the way she writes a story. She has an interesting way of expressing herself. I ignored the bad language, which, of course, doesn't add anything to the story.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 19, 2012

    highly recomend anything lisa writes she is an excellent storyteller

    this series with all the girls is and excellent one. The girls in the offise are are funny and could be you or me. Holds you right to the end of the book

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 1, 2012

    Recommended

    Typical of the series - very interesting and keeps you guessing.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 10, 2007

    WHY ALL THE USE OF THE 'F' WORD?

    The story was really hard to swallow, along with the constant use of bad language, when there was no reason for it. Sorry this was a real turn off.Will not waste my money on anymore of this authors trash.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 22, 2004

    Good

    I really enjoyed this book and could not put it down. I've read three of Scottoline's books and this is the only one I would describe as good.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 7, 2014

    Elizabeth

    "Sounds good." She kissed him roughly.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2014

    Kevin

    Hey. *he walked in with nothing on*

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 7, 2014

    Kevin

    Ok then lets fu.ck really good and really hard right now

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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

    Posted March 14, 2014

    not as good as authors other books

    Story didnt give me a character to care about. And the box in the sand was ridiculous

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 26, 2014

    Highly Recommended

    This whole series is very good. I've really enjoyed the series. I have two more books to read. Keep the series going. Lisa Scottoline has a very special gift, which I hope she continues writing forever. I've read some of her other books and enjoyed them as well.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 29, 2013

    Better than other Lisa novels I've read

    I gave this an A and all of the others by Lisa were given a B. Too much to remember but thank goodness I keep a spreadsheet of what I've read and what grade I assigned.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 21, 2013

    Highly recommended

    Another GREAT book by Miss Scottoline.

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  • Posted February 11, 2013

    A very good yarn

    This was my first purchase on my Nook as it was among the samples, and it did not disappoint! I've read her books before and what pleases me most is she draws you in to her character's plights and concludes in a wholly satisfying way.

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  • Posted November 11, 2009

    Thrilling Read

    I really enjoyed this book along with all of the other books by this author.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2005

    Edge Of Your Seat Thriller

    'Rough Justice' is like a winding road in that it'll keep you guessing until the very end. This book is the definition of cover to cover suspence.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2004

    Keeps You on The Edge of Your Seat

    This is one of Scottoline's best. Though Bennie Rosato is not the main character in this thriller, the reader quickly bonds with Marta. Lots of Philadelphia scenes make this an enjoyable read for the author's Philly fans.

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

    Posted July 29, 2003

    Enjoyable Reading

    This is only the second Lisa Scottolini book that I read and I found it enjoyable. I like the characters at the law firm, Rosati and Associates. The plot was fun and interesting, although not very realistic. I found it to be a page turner and I am looking forward to reading more Lisa Scottolini.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 13, 2000

    A Competent, Nontechnical Thriller

    The book is fun and reads fast, and it supplies a few surprises. Overall, though, the 'legal' aspects of this legal thriller aren't too deep or gracefully executed. Some realistic cat-and-mouse maneuvering makes up for this shortfall, but don't expect anything more than a diverting read to keep one occupied while traveling.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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