Bennie Rosato was one of Philly's best lawyers, capable and in charge both in and out of the courtroom. Until the day she came face to face with the only thing that could unnerve her: the past.
Corrupted, Lisa Scottoline's latest book in her Rosato law firm series, gives readers the low-down on Bennie's past, a time when she lost her boundaries between work and private life, resulting in heartbreak, failure, and losses from which she has never recovered.
Bennie's lapse in judgment thirteen years prior resulted in her being thrown off a case, and left her twelve-year-old defendant in Juvenile detention. Now he's back, accused of murdering the man who tormented his childhood. The man whose uncle once was the love of her life.
As children both her defendant and the murder victim were involved in a school fight and taken to jail and shackled. The judge who sentenced them to ninety days in juvenile detention was taking kickbacks for filling the new facility.
The boys are fiction, but the scheme was real. The novel is set in Luzerne County, PA, where two judges wrongly adjudicated thousands of juveniles as delinquent in the Kids-For-Cash scandal. Along with Bennie we learn about the impact juvie has on children's lives, how the experience creates problems that follow them, including PTSD. The lashback against troubled children after Columbine was too extreme, she argues.
Scottoline has moments of humor, like her clients the Stichin' Bitches quilting club, older women fired because of age discrimination. Her side-kick Lou is a retired policeman who knows all the good eats in Philly, calling ahead for Tacconelli's to have dough reserved for a pizza.
I first started reading Scottoline for the Philly setting. The novels are good reads, and I finished this one off in 24 hours. I really needed it after reading several nonfiction scholarly books!
Its clear in this novel Scottoline has an ax to grind. There is a lot of discussion of the law and the trial scene is pivotal. No car chases around the Philadelphia Art Museum in this book. But I think readers will relish learning about Bennie's past and meeting the one man with whom she had hoped to share her life.
I received a free ebook from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.
St. Martin's Press
Publication date October 27, 2015
$27.99 hard cover