"Jack Newlin had no choice but to frame himself for murder."
From that riveting first line, Edgar Award-winning writer, Lisa Scottoline -- the woman some refer to as "the female John Grisham" -- ratchets up the suspense with every page in her newest thriller. Moment of Truth puts a new twist on the old tale of a lawyer hired to defend an accused murderer. Because this time, the accused isn't playing by the rules; he doesn't want to get off. And the lawyer defending him has more at stake than just her career and her client's life.
The luck of the draw and a late-night phone call give attorney Mary DiNunzio, who works in the all-woman law firm run by Bennie Rosato, a profile murder case to defend. Jack Newlin, a lawyer and the husband of wealthy socialite, Honor Newlin, comes home to find his wife brutally stabbed to death on the dining room floor. Convinced he knows who did it, Jack takes immediate steps to stage the crime scene and implicate himself. He then calls 911 and, later, confesses to the police. Then he hires DiNunzio because he figures her to be the most inexperienced lawyer he can get. But while Mary may not have much experience, she does have an instinct for the truth and a whole lot of energy that may turn her into Jack's worst nightmare.
For Mary, the case is both puzzling and frustrating. Instead of having a client who's guilty and professing his innocence, she has a client who's innocent and insisting he's guilty. Though Mary is pretty certain her client is lying, her intense attraction to him leaves her wondering if her judgment is sound. And complicating the picture is Jack's beautiful 16-year-old daughter, Paige, an emancipated minor who has been living on her own for a year while she pursues a modeling career. Paige and her mother have a long history of heated animosity and when Mary uncovers a certain secret, she begins to think Paige may be the real killer.
As Mary digs deeper into the case, she becomes more convinced that Jack is framing himself to protect his daughter. In trying to prove it, Mary runs into several obstacles, not the least of which is the Assistant D.A., Dwight Davis, who sees this case as a shoe-in for the death penalty and a stepping stone for his own career. But then Mary gets some help from a most unlikely source and the case takes a frightening turn. By the time Mary learns the truth, it may be too late to save either Jack or herself.
Scottoline has built a reputation for penning hard-hitting, fast-paced stories and this one, her seventh legal thriller, is no exception. From the hook of that first line through to the explosive conclusion, Scottoline reels her readers in, playing them on the line like a true master. Tapping into her own experiences as a trial lawyer with a prestigious Philadelphia law firm, Scottoline adds just the right amount of realism and drama to her tales. She clearly knows how to make the most of the ethical dilemmas and subtle intricacies that are part and parcel of practicing law. Combine that with a cast of well-drawn and complex characters and it's easy to see why Scottoline has a reputation for being one of the most entertaining reads around.