Published by St. Martin's Griffin on September 9, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Thriller
*This book was provided by the Publisher for review. No compensation was provided and all opinions are strictly my own.
New York Times bestselling and Edgar Award-winning author Lisa Scottoline revolutionized crime fiction when she introduced her all-female law firm of Rosato & Associates, thrilling readers with her twisty, fast-paced plots and capturing their hearts with her cast of strong yet totally relatable female characters. Fans have been clamoring for more stories with the characters they've come to know and love, so Bennie Rosato, Mary DiNunzio, Judy Carrier, and Anne Murphy are back with all cylinders firing in Accused. They'll face their most challenging and dangerous case ever. It begins with an astonishing request from a thirteen-year-old prospective client. Allegra Gardner’s sister Fiona was murdered six years ago. It seemed like an open-and-shut case: the accused, Lonnie Stall, was seen fleeing the scene; his blood was on Fiona and her blood was on him; most damningly, Lonnie Stall pleaded guilty. But Allegra believes Lonnie is innocent and has been wrongly imprisoned. Taking on the case seems foolhardy to Mary DiNunzio, because the Gardner family is one of the richest and most powerful in the country and Allegra’s parents do not believe in reopening this case. But the Rosato & Associates firm can never resist an underdog. Was justice really served all those years ago? It will take a team of unstoppable female lawyers, plus one thirteen-year-old genius, to find out. Accused kicks off an annual fall series featuring the new adventures of Rosato & Associates, delivering all the emotion, action, and humor we've come to expect from one of the best writers in the business.
There are so many applaudable characteristics about Accused by Lisa Scottoline that I don’t know where to begin! For starters, there’s strong female characters with successful careers, suspense in the form of a murder case that is being reopened after 6 years, and the most hilarious Italian family that made me laugh the entire time I was reading it (just to name a few). For a newbie to Lisa Scottoline I had no clue what to expect. For such a well-known author, I can’t believe this is the first book of hers that I’ve had the chance to read! Nevertheless, I was not disappointed.
Before I jump into all the details and aspects of the book that I liked as far as the mystery of this murder case was concerned, I want to mention how funny Accused was as well. I can’t say I’ve ever read a crime fiction book before that was not only suspenseful, but hilarious as well. The main character, Mary DiNuzio, comes from a large Italian family that is heavily involved in her life. Whether it was her parents barging in on her meetings trying to shove cannolis into everyone’s mouths, or the 3 Tonys tagging along with Mary while she solved the case, I was in stitches the entire time. As someone who comes from a big Italian family, I know how outgoing Italians can be at times, and I loved every chapter in this book that Lisa included Mary’s family. Although not crucial to the story itself, I felt that this aspect of the book truly added to my enjoyment of Accused overall.
As for the investigation itself, I loved how this mystery played out. Anytime I’m reading a murder mystery I always run theories in my head as I’m reading the book, and more times than not, I’m able to guess who the culprit is. In this case, I was way off! I loved that this book wasn’t predictable, and kept me on the seat of my chair all the way till the end. I think one of the really redeeming qualities of Accused is that not only do you get to read a murder mystery, but you also get to see the legal side of the investigation as well. I learned tons about the legal environment while reading this book, which may sound nerdy and boring, but surprisingly was not! If my business law class for school was half as exciting as this book was, I might actually have enjoyed taking that class last semester! 🙂
The one issue I had with this book was that I found it slightly unrealistic at times. For example, working on a case with a minor. Although this situation was addressed numerous times in the text, and the lawyers made an effort of looking into the situation and finding convenient ways around the law in order to represent Allegra, I still had a hard time believing this would actually pass in today’s court of law. Also, Mary was unprofessional at times, even doing things such as breaking and entering Allegra’s family property, and hugging Allegra whenever she saw her. I had an issue with this because the law firm she works for is well-known and looked highly upon in her community, and I didn’t think Mary lived up to her role as a head partner in the firm as well as she could have.
Despite it being a tad unrealistic, I had to give Accused 4.5 stars! Honestly! Back in the day I used to devour crime fiction and mysteries in general. Then for a while I got out of it, because I felt like I was reading the same thing all the time; similar characters, same plot, etc. Maybe I over-killed the genre, or as Mary’s father would say, “SHE PROLLY READS TOO MUCH,” 🙂 but I decided to stop reading it for the time being. That being said, Accused is one of the first mystery books I’ve picked up in ages and actually enjoyed!! For a reintroduction to an old favorite genre, I could not be happier with having chosen this book to do so. If you get a chance, I highly suggest picking up Accused, or any of the other books in Lisa Scottoline’s Rosato & DiNuzio series. I can’t wait until I get the next one in this series! Any other Scottoline books you think I should know about?
Reviewed by Emily!
My name’s Emily and I’m a 21 year old college student. I’m studying business and eEnglish with the hopes of getting into editing and publishing when I graduate. I live in Wisconsin and when I’m not busy cramming for exams or working, I’m reading books at an alarming rate, or writing. I also enjoy photography and camping with my family. I love reading all types of books, but my favorite is fantasy! I co-blog over at Wholly Books.
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