Blockbuster author Lisa Scottoline returns to the all-female law firm of Rosato & Associates with Betrayedand this time, the case is more personal than ever. . .
Maverick lawyer Judy Carrier has always championed the underdog. When Iris, the housekeeper and best friend of Judy’s beloved aunt, is found dead of an apparent heart attack, Judy begins to suspect foul play. The circumstances of the death leave Judy with more questions than answers, and never before has murder struck so close to home. As she begins an investigation, Judy discovers a shocking truth that confounds her expectations and leads her in a completely different direction. Soon she finds herself plunged into a shadowy world of people who are so desperate that they cannot go to the policeand where others are so ruthless that they prey on vulnerability. Now Judy must locate the strength within herself to seek justice for Iris and her aunt. . .even if it comes at a terrible price.
About the Author
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
Read an Excerpt
A Rosato & Associates Novel
By Lisa Scottoline
St. Martin's PressCopyright © 2014 Smart Blonde, LLC
All rights reserved.
Judy Carrier eyed her reflection in the shiny elevator doors, wondering when mirrors stopped being her friend. Her cropped yellow-blonde hair stuck out like demented sunrays, and her pink-and-blue Oilily sweater and jeans clashed with her bright red clogs. Worst of all was her expression, easy to read on a face as flat as an artist's palette, with troubled blue eyes set wide over a small nose and thin lips pressed unhappily together.
Judy tried to shake off her bad mood when the elevator halted and the doors slid open with a ping. ROSATO & DINUNZIO, LLC, read the shiny brass plaque, and she crossed the reception area, empty of clients on a Saturday morning. The office was quiet, but Judy knew she wouldn't be the only one in, because lawyers regarded weekends as a chance to work uninterrupted, which was their version of relaxing.
She heard her cell phone ringing and slid it from her pocket because she'd been playing phone tag with a client, Linda Adler. She checked the screen, but it read "Mom calling," with a faceless blue shadow. Judy had never bothered to put in a profile picture for her mother because the shadow seemed oddly perfect. Judy had grown up a Navy brat, but her family never developed the us-against-the-world closeness of a typical military family. The Carriers moved, skied, and hiked together, but their activities were a sort of parallel play for adults, and now they scattered all over the globe and emailed each other photos of themselves moving, skiing, and hiking. Judy clicked IGNORE and returned the phone to her pocket.
She rounded the corner to the hallway and brightened at the sight of her best friend, Mary DiNunzio, who turned when she spotted Judy and came hustling down the hall toward her, grinning from ear to ear. Mary had recently made partner, becoming Judy's boss, but neither of them knew how that would play out over time. Judy avoided thinking about it, and in any event, Mary made the most adorable boss ever in her tortoiseshell glasses, navy sweater, jeans, and loafers, with her little legs churning and her light brown ponytail bouncing.
"Judy, I was waiting for you! I have great news!" Mary reached her, light brown eyes warm with anticipation.
"Hi, cutie, tell me." Judy entered her office, and Mary followed her excitedly inside.
"Actually, I have great news and even greater news. Which do you want first?"
"The great news. We'll start slow." Judy slid her woven purse from her shoulder, tossed it onto the credenza, and went around to her chair. She sat down behind a desk cluttered with a laptop, case correspondence, a Magic 8 ball, ripped Splenda packets, and an empty can of Diet Coke. Law books, case reporters, notes, and files stuffed her bookshelves. She was going for creative clutter, but lately worried she was entering hoarder territory.
"First, I have breaking wedding news." Mary leaned back against the credenza, flushed with happiness. "You remember I told you about that high-end salon, J'taime?"
"Yes." Judy was going to be maid of honor at Mary's wedding, though she'd never been in a bridal party before. She was studying by watching bride shows on cable, but none of them told her that being maid of honor was like being executor of a vast and complicated estate, without the fee.
"They had a cancellation, so I got an appointment next Friday night! How great is that? Can you come?"
"Of course." Judy had already been to two bridal shops and seen Mary try on a zillion wedding dresses, but they all looked the same to her, like vanilla soft-serve without the cone.
"They have Vera Wang and all the big names."
"Cool!" Judy kept her smile in place, but wondered why she felt so negative, the Debbie Downer of bridesmaids. She wasn't jealous that Mary was getting married, but she wished she had what Mary had, which wasn't the same thing. It was more that Mary was moving forward, already a partner and soon a wife, while Judy got left behind, stuck. Judy didn't know how to get herself to the next level or what she was doing wrong. She'd always been on top, earned the best grades at school and succeeded at work. But now she sensed she was blowing her lead, at life.
"You don't mind going to a third shop, do you? My mother will be there."
"Great!" Judy answered, meaning it, since she was closer to Mary's mother than her own. The DiNunzios were warm and loving South Philly Italians, so they'd practically adopted her, whereupon she'd permanently gained ten pounds.
"The only problem is that I put a deposit on the veil at David's Bridal, and I can't know if it will go with the dresses at J'taime. But if I lose the money, so what?"
"Right, it wasn't that expensive," Judy said, though she'd forgotten how much the veil cost. The answer was, probably, a fortune. She'd learned that everything associated with weddings cost the same—a fortune.
"Okay, now to the even greater news."
"More wedding updates?" Judy braced herself to hear the latest drama with the DJ, the menu, the reception hall, the church, the invitations, or Mary's future mother-in-law, Elvira Rotunno, whom they called El Virus.
"No, this is about work." Mary cleared her throat, brimming with renewed enthusiasm. "Bennie told me to tell you, since she's in trial prep, that she just got a major piece of business and she's assigning it to you! Girl, you'll be a partner in no time!"
"Really?" Judy said, but she felt caught up short. She and Mary never referred to the fact that Judy was still an associate, tacitly saving her face, as if she didn't know her own employment status. "Great, what kind of case is it?"
"It's not one case, it's seventy-five." Mary beamed. "Bennie got them in as referral business from Singer Crenheim in Manhattan. The big league!"
"Why are there so many cases?" Judy didn't get it. "What are they about?"
"That's the only bummer." Mary paused. "They're asbestos cases, defense side, representing a company called Bendaflex."
"Oh no." Judy groaned in dismay. "Nobody likes asbestos cases, even asbestos firms."
"Judy, these cases will generate millions in fees."
"But they'll take two or three years to try." Judy was trying to process the information, which struck her as lawyer hell.
"They won't take that long because you don't have to try the whole case, just the damages phase. The liability was already decided."
"Even worse," Judy said, aghast. Mass tort trials like asbestos were often bifurcated, which meant that the question of liability was separated from the question of damages. Evidently, their new client Bendaflex had lost on liability, so there were a slew of individual damage cases that had to be tried. Literally the cases were damage control. "How did Bennie get these, anyway?"
"The cases were consolidated in the Southern District of New York, then remanded back to the various states for damages trials. She got all of the Pennsylvania cases, and most of them came out of the Navy Yard."
"For real?" Judy didn't think it could get worse. "My father was a lieutenant commander in the Navy, remember? He used to tell me about how there was asbestos all over those ships, in every shipyard in the country. Anything hot was insulated with asbestos, mainly pipes. Grinders would grind the old asbestos off, and pipe fitters blew the new asbestos on." Judy remembered her father's anger, and guilt, when he'd told her the stories, even though nobody knew that asbestos was deadly back then. "These poor guys, they'd be standing in the hull of a ship, sweating their butts off in a snowglobe of asbestos. No masks, no ventilation, no nothing. They're all dead now of mesothelioma. Johns Manville declared bankruptcy, and other companies, like Bendaflex, are fighting not to pay what they owe, decades later. And I'm supposed to help? Is this why I became a lawyer?"
Mary's smile faded. "I hear you, but we're lucky to get that much business in this economy."
"It's not worth it. The cases don't even present a legal question, only how much damages each plaintiff is owed, and since we represent Bendaflex, the answer has to be, as little as possible." Judy flashed-forward, disgusted. "I'll have to argue down the value of a man's life, probably in front of his widow and his children."
"My argument will have to be that the plaintiff, who's dead, wasn't going to earn that much, because, after all, he wasn't good enough to earn a promotion. And as far as pain and suffering, don't pay him for that because he died within a year, so he didn't suffer that long. Too bad he was only forty-three."
Mary frowned, sympathetic. "You don't have to try the cases yourself, just supervise them. With the money that comes in, you can hire whoever you need."
"Still." Judy fought a rising tension in her chest. "You wouldn't want to do it, would you?"
"I couldn't even if I wanted to." Mary shook her head, her tone turning defensive. "The cases came to Bennie, and she assigned them to you. I can't countermand her, as her partner."
Judy felt a twinge that Mary was taking Bennie's side, but she should have known it would happen, someday. Mary and Bennie were the sole partners of this all-woman firm, and nobody in her right mind opposed Bennie Rosato. Bennie was a world-class trial lawyer who'd grown the firm to national prominence and she hadn't reached the top by being a creampuff. On the contrary, the woman owned a coffee mug that read I CAN SMELL FEAR.
Suddenly, there was a commotion outside Judy's office, and they turned their attention to the door. Judy's boyfriend, Frank Lucia, materialized in the threshold, flashing the easy, confident grin that was one of the reasons she'd fallen in love with him. He'd been out of town last night, and she still got a thrill out of seeing him, especially looking so handsome in his puffy black jacket, tie-and-work-shirt combo, and jeans.
"Frank, what a surprise!" Judy said, brightening.
"I had to stay over in Baltimore and I missed my girl, so I thought I'd take her out to breakfast!" Frank burst into the office, threw open his big arms, and bounded around the desk, gathering Judy up and hugging her. "How you doing, babe?"
"Okay." Judy felt a warm rush of love, breathing in his familiar smells of aftershave and mortar dust. Frank was a smart, straight-up Italian hunk who owned a successful specialty masonry company, and they'd lived together for the past few years.
"Let's go eat, I'm starved." Frank raked big fingers through his thick, wavy hair, the same espresso-brown as his large, bright eyes.
Mary beamed. "What a guy! Frank, you have to teach Anthony to surprise me sometimes. He's not exactly spontaneous."
"Ha! Ditch him at the altar, Mare. I'll hook you up with one of my boys!"
Mary grinned. "How's your hand? Did you get the cast off?"
"It's all good, I only have this thing now." Frank showed his left hand, and a black cloth brace peeked from his sleeve. He grabbed Judy's arm. "Babe, let's get out of here."
"Okay." Judy let Frank pull her up, but her gaze fell on her desk clock, which read 10:15, and she remembered something. "Wait, how are you in town this early? Did you drop off the dog at the vet's? You said you would."
"Ruh-roh." Frank's grin turned sheepish. "Don't worry about it."
"What do you mean?" Judy stopped. "She had to get flea-dipped. Did you take her or not?"
"I forgot." Frank shrugged. "Sorry."
"Oh, honestly." Judy felt disappointed, but not completely surprised. She had been trying to figure out whether Frank was marriage material, and she was starting to worry she had an answer. "I just washed the sheets, the comforter, and the towels I put on top of the couch and chairs."
"It's not the end of the world." Frank glanced at Mary, and Judy knew that he hated to fight, especially in front of anyone. "We'll get her dipped tomorrow."
"They're closed on Sunday."
"No worries, we'll do it on Monday."
"That's too late." Judy had explained this to him ten times, but she couldn't seem to make him hear her. "Remember, we have to treat the house and the dog simultaneously? There can't be any delay."
"Okay, we'll treat them both, then. What's the big deal?"
"But you didn't drop her off, so that means that I have to wash everything all over again on Sunday night, if we want to drop her off on Monday."
"Would you rather me go home and try to take the dog in now, instead of taking you to breakfast?"
"Honestly, yes. The dog has to get dipped, and I have to work. I would really appreciate that."
"Okay, fine." Frank rolled his eyes and waved a cranky good-bye. "We'll do it your way. See you later. Bye, Mary."
Judy and Mary held each other's gaze for a moment then Judy shrugged. "What am I supposed to do? That was the right decision, wasn't it? Things have to get done but he wants to play all the time."
"I think he was trying to do a nice thing, but I totally get where you are coming from."
Suddenly Judy's phone started ringing, and she slipped it from her pocket in case it was Linda Adler. But it was her aunt Barb calling, and the phone screen came to life with a candid photo of her adored aunt, her mother's younger sister. "Excuse me, let me get this, it's Aunt Barb."
"Tell her I said hi," Mary said, because everybody loved Aunt Barb. She lived about an hour away, in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, and they'd all been out to her house for beer and barbecue. Last year, Judy's uncle Steve, Barb's husband, had passed, and the whole office had gone to his funeral.
"Aunt Barb, hi, how are you?" Judy answered the call, realizing that she hadn't seen her aunt in a few months, though they talked on the phone all the time.
"Hello, honey," her aunt said, and Judy knew immediately that something was wrong. Her aunt sounded grave, when she was usually so warm and happy.
"What's the matter?"
"Am I catching you at a bad time?"
"No, why? What's the matter, Aunt Barb?"
"Didn't your mom call you?"
"Yes, but I was busy." Judy's mind raced. She regretted ignoring that call from her mother. "What's going on? Is Mom okay?"
"Yes, your mom's fine. In fact, she's here at the house with me."
"What?" Judy asked, surprised. Her parents lived in Santa Barbara, and her mother rarely visited her or Aunt Barb, and never unannounced.
"We'd love it if you could come out today, too, if you're not busy."
Judy's mouth went dry. Something was up. "Sure, okay, but why? What's the matter?"
"We'll talk about it when you come, sweetie."
"Tell me." Judy swallowed hard. "Please."
Aunt Barb hesitated. "Are you sitting down?"CHAPTER 2
An hour later, Judy reached Kennett Square, a small town in semi-rural Chester County, and she pulled onto the gravel driveway in front of her aunt's small brick house, cut the ignition, and checked her reflection in the rearview mirror. Her eyes were still wet from crying, but her skin wasn't as mottled as it had been when she'd first heard the horrifying news.
I have breast cancer, her aunt had said, and Judy hadn't heard anything else. She sniffled, reached for a crumpled Dunkin' Donuts napkin, and wiped her eyes one last time. She pulled her key out of the ignition, got her purse, jumped out of the car, and hurried down the driveway past the garage. The sun was high in a cloudless sky, and the October air unseasonably warm, the lovely weather incongruous given the heartbreaking news. Judy couldn't imagine losing her aunt. Her aunt was too young to die.
She broke into a jog as soon as she saw her aunt, who looked so different from the last time she had seen her, only five months ago. Barbara Elizabeth Moyer was a tall, strong woman and had always been on the huggably beamy side, but no longer. Her fisherman's sweater and jeans drooped on a much thinner frame, and her long, thick silvery hair had vanished, replaced by a red bandanna knotted at her nape, over a newly bald head. She was only in her early fifties, but her face had acquired the gauntness of an older person, emphasizing the prominence of her cheekbones and her large, deep-set blue eyes. She sat alone at her wrought-iron table with a glass top, surrounded by the fading reds, pinks, and yellows of her beloved roses, now past their season.
"Aunt Barb!" Judy called out, tears returning to her eyes. She threw open her arms just as her aunt stood up and gave her a hug.
"Honey, don't worry, everything's going to be all right."
"No it's not!" Judy blurted out, burying her head in her aunt's bony shoulder, knowing that she was saying the exact wrong thing at the exact wrong time.
Excerpted from Betrayed by Lisa Scottoline. Copyright © 2014 Smart Blonde, LLC. Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Lawyer and defender of the underdog, Judy Carrier, finds herself with a plate full of trouble. Her boss wants her to take on defense of a class action suit that she believes is unfair, her beloved aunt is having surgery for breast cancer, her boyfriend is proving to be more self-involved than she can accept, her mother seems to find more and more to criticize about Judy, and her aunt's best friend, Iris Juarez, is found dead from an apparent heart attack. While getting her aunt prepared for surgery, Judy finds $50,000 unaccounted for amongst Iris's things at her aunt's house. Since Iris is basically a kind, caring, hard working immigrant with no family around, Judy suspects that foul play is involved. With her aunt's illness and desperate plea for Judy to find out the truth about her friend, Judy begins investigating only to find herself in grave danger. Amongst the illegals, there are those too scared to talk, and those who depend on that while carrying out their illegal activities. Judy is a great character. She manages to get caught up within her law firm's quest for cases that earn money, her own ethical views, and a secret held by her mother and her aunt. The mystery is fast passed and comes right out of today's headlines. I found myself caught between being bothered by the illegals, and being deeply saddened by the individuals that make up this group of people. Though this book is part of a series, I found that it also worked great as a stand alone book too. Now I want to read more about these lady lawyers.
I love Lisa`s books and especially the Rosato series, she is a great author. I read this in one day, I couldn`t put it down. I think you would love it as much as I did and you should get one for you and one for a Christmas gift.
Hard to put down. Exciting
Lisa Scottoline is a go-to author for me. I love that I never really know what I to expect when I pick up one of her books. This book has so much to it; I am not exactly sure what genre to put it in. There is mystery, relationship problems, family secrets, cancer, and the problems of illegal aliens in the US. There is something for everyone in this story. I loved Judy and Mary’s relationship. Their friendship was the true kind. They had each other’s backs, even when they had things happening in their own lives and knew they could trust each other without a second thought. They have a friendship that every person should want and does need. There is a lot happening throughout the story, but Lisa does an amazing job of tying all they lose ends together. The stories intertwine perfectly, with many of the characters being involved in the different story lines. The illegal aliens are something I am not overly familiar with and enjoyed seeing the US from their side of the road. (I do realize that not ever alien is like the ones in this story.) I definitely recommend Betrayed to anyone looking for a great legal mystery. This is a story that will keep you guessing.
Very quick read in this series about all women lawyers firm ... Can't wait for next in series keep them coming. Recommend for people who like suspense and drama with little laughter and romance.
This book has a very good storyline. Lisa’s books always give you insight into various subjects and she provides thorough background information to enhance the storytelling. This one happened to be about mushrooms (soil, growing, fertilizing, etc.). It wasn’t until I was three quarters of the way into the book that that first shock came. I yelled SAY WHAT? and my mouth dropped open…and then there were more to follow. Great plot twists and wonderful build-up to get to that point and then it branched out going forward. Would not hesitate to recommend this book.
This is the second book in the Rosato and DiNunzio series. I haven't read the first one but I wasn't lost. I do want to go back and read it though. Judy is an attorney and she needs to make a name for herself within the firm. However, she gets sidetracked by a sick aunt and a dead woman who happens to be her aunt's best friend. Iris is found dead in her car the evening after Judy meets her for the first time and her aunt finds it very suspicious. Judy promises to look into what is going on and finds herself in the middle of a very dangerous situation. There is a lot more to this story then a surface mystery. The relationships alone are worth the read.
I did not read this book, I tried to listen to the audio book. I hated it. Perhaps the person reading did no favors for the main character, but I could not stand her. I also felt as if the book was going to be a soap box on illegals, so I quit.
I enjoyed this. Just below five star
Lisa Scotoline is one of my favorite authors. I've read just about all of her novels and have enjoyed everyone, and this is no exception. Her writing flows with every chapter. You always know where you are. However, there are always a few twists and turns to keep your interest. Also love her humor. Recommend.
Love those lady lawyers!
In this, the thirteenth outing for Scottoline’s all-female law firm, Judy Carrier’s personal life is in a state of upheaval, a perfect match to the mess that is her professional life. Judy’s juggling the sex discrimination case she’s been working, seventy-five unwelcome asbestos-liability cases handed to her by her boss, and an unexpected investigation into the mysterious death of her beloved aunt’s undocumented immigrant housekeeper. Replete with unexpected plot twists to ramp up the story, this page-turner won’t disappoint.
Fast moving. Wonderful detail in relationships.
This was unlike any Scottoline book I've read - it was boring...boring, boring.
I actually want to return the book, super predictable
Im a girl and im eleven what do you mean have sex, nook sex?