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Moment of Truth (Rosato & Associates Series) Mass Market Paperback – February 6, 2001

159 customer reviews
Book 5 of 11 in the Rosato & DiNunzio Series

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Editorial Reviews Review

Moment of Truth begins with what appears to be an open-and-shut case. Jack Newlin, a wealthy attorney with one of the most influential law firms in Philadelphia, killed his wife in a moment of drunken passion, stabbing her repeatedly when she announced she wanted a divorce. Or at least that is what he is claiming to the police.

The fact is, Jack is framing himself because he fears his wife's murder was his daughter's crime of passion. Sixteen-year-old Paige Newlin is a successful model whose relationship with her manager-mother had been famously rocky. To make sure that he's convicted, Jack hires rookie lawyer Mary DiNunzio to defend him. But Mary doesn't buy Jack's story, and neither does the senior detective on the case. In a fascinating turn on the usual courtroom tale, then, Jack struggles to maintain his false story of guilt while his lawyer and the police struggle to prove him innocent. Meanwhile, Mary wrestles with both her uncertainty as a lawyer and with her attraction for her client.

Lisa Scottoline, often identified as the "female John Grisham," has led the pack of female authors in the legal thriller genre, winning an Edgar for her second novel, Final Appeal. Moment of Truth does have moments that don't, in fact, ring true. Why is Jack Newlin so quick to forgive his daughter when he thinks she's killed her own mother? And if he's so concerned with her welfare, why did he absent himself from her upbringing? But it's nonetheless interesting for its innovative plot conceit and its examination of high-profile murder trials. If one is able to overlook the problems with Newlin's motivation, the story Scottoline weaves is a compelling one, and her heroine, Mary, is an enjoyable, self-doubting twist on the super-lawyer at the center of most legal thrillers. --Patrick O'Kelley --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

A bullet-proof premise distinguishes this expert crime thriller from Scottoline (Mistaken Identity): handsome, successful estates lawyer Jack Newlin frames himself for the murder of his heiress wife in order to shield the real killer, their 16-year-old daughter, Paige. It doesn't matter to Jack that Philadelphia's hyper D.A., Dwight Davis, wants the death penaltyAJack is determined to protect his girl, a legally emancipated model who dabbles in crystal meth despite her recently discovered pregnancy. But not everyone is buying Jack's eager confession. Something about his story bothers veteran detective Reginald Brinkley, who's convinced that the traces of physical evidence at the murder scene point to Paige, and possibly to her preppy boyfriend, Trevor. And Mary DiNunzio, the young lawyer Jack hires for her presumed inexperience, finds herself Jack's "worst enemy" as she, too, begins focusing on the jittery teenager. Scottoline cuts a few corners: it's implausible that Mary, schooled only in "the law according to Steven Bochco," would be running such a big case unsupervised, or that this lapsed Catholic with hardwired guilt would allow herself to represent Paige while fighting for Jack, on whom she's developed an unprofessional crush. But Mary is a most appealing crusader, with a highly developed working-class wit ("she struck Mary instantly as the kind of girl for whom the delicate cycle was invented"). Sharp, funny characters, crafty plot twists, and a flavorful depiction of high- and lower-middle Philadelphia society will keep readers riveted to this tense, often mischievous page-turner. Agent, Molly Friedrich. (Mar.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Series: Rosato & Associates Series (Book 5)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: HarperTorch (February 6, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061030597
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061030598
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.1 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (159 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #105,464 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Lisa Scottoline is the New York Times bestselling author of seventeen novels including her most recent, THINK TWICE, and also writes a weekly column, called Chick Wit, for The Philadelphia Inquirer. Lisa has won many honors and awards, notably the Edgar Award, given for excellence in crime fiction, and the Fun Fearless Female Award from Cosmopolitan Magazine. She also teaches a course she created, called Justice and Fiction at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, and regularly does speaking engagements. There are twenty-five million copies of her books in print, and she is published in over thirty other countries.Lisa graduated magna cum laude in three years from the University of Pennsylvania, with a B.A. degree in English, and her concentration was Contemporary American Fiction, taught by Philip Roth and others. She graduated cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. She remains a lifelong resident of the Philadelphia area, where she lives with her array of disobedient pets.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on February 25, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Philadelphia socialite Honor Newlin manages the modeling career of her teenager. Honor becomes a murder victim in which her husband, successful estates lawyer Jack confesses to the crime. Police Detectives Kovich and Brinkley relish the ease of solving this high profile case. District Attorney Dwight Davis concludes that the killing is premeditated and decides to go for the death penalty.

The only problem with the official scenario is that Jack is innocent of murder. He tampered with the crime scene to turn the evidence towards him instead of his daughter Paige. He thinks Paige killed her mother after suffering years of emotional abuse from the woman. Feeling guilty for not stepping in over the years, Jack feels he deserves to spend life behind bars as a form of penitence. However, Jack had not realized how competent his attorney is and how much she believes she represents an innocent person.

Fans of legal procedurals know how good a Lisa Scottoline novel always is. The exalted author's latest tale MOMENT OF TRUTH stars a cast of characters who touch the heart of the reader. Especially endearing is Jack's lawyer Mary DiNunzio, a naïve, pious, warm-hearted person whose empathy for the pain of other seems genuine. The story line is interesting, as the reader knows the truth from the onset yet somehow the thrilling plot retains a high degree of excitement as one wonders how the tale will play out. Ms. Scottoline provides a special book that deservedly will gain her even greater acclaim.

Harriet Klausner
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 6, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I coudn't put this book down but I didn't want it to end. Just when you think you know where the plot is going you turn out to be wrong. I got caught up in the characters and I look forward to seeing some additions in future books.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Nick G on April 18, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Jack Newlin is a lawyer in a prestigious Philadelphia firm, he has also confessed to murdering his wife...To ensure his conviction he hires inexperienced lawyer Mary DiNunzio. Mary knows her client is lying but WHY??? Mary sets out to prove her client is innocent and bring the the real killer to justice. Lisa Scottoline has written a fast paced legal thriller with enough plot twists and surprise ending to have you finish the book in one sitting. Scottoline has been called "The Female John Grisham", I have to say she is MUCH better!! If you have not read any of her books start with this one and then go back and read her earlier novels.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Erika Borsos VINE VOICE on June 22, 2005
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This seat of your edge murder mystery grabs the reader's interest from the very first sentence ... "Jack Newlin had no choice but to frame himself for murder." The reader is jump started, like a heart in ventricular fribrillation, feeling super charged, wondering why he is willing to accept the charge and the question begs to be answered, whom is he protecting? As he is hand-cuffed and taken for interrogation, his only thoughts are, can he pull this off, worried that his lies may unravel. Suspicions about his "confession" mount as he voluntarily makes a statement without the presence of a lawyer ... which is highly unusual ... since Jack Newlin himself *is* a lawyer, but one whose specialty is contracts and estates. Lisa Scottoline creates believable characters and dialogue in this novel. The personalities jump off the page and nearly come to life. Detective Stan Kovich and Detective Brinkley have been partners in the Philadelphia Police force for many years; they feed off each other during the investigation and their synergy sizzles during key phases and important turning points throughout the book.

Jack Newlin calls a well established (but not the most distinguished) law firm to represent him. He hires a nearly newly minted lawyer, Mary DiNunzio, who jumps at the chance of representing this high profile case. He consoles himself that, as she is inexperienced, she is less likely to discover his lies. However, not long after interviewing him, Mary leaves with the gut feeling something does not sit right with what he said and how he responded. She is certain he is covering up for someone. Eventually Mary learns Jack Newlin's daughter, Paige Newlin is a model, 16 years old, who is "emancipated", living on her own.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By John Williamson TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 22, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
How can a father and lawyer, Jack Newlin, frame himself for his wife's murder? If this sounds improbable, let me say it right now, Lisa Scottoline shows that it can be done in this fast-paced and sometimes humorous novel. Her characters are warm, well rounded and often very funny, and are enough to carry the questionable plot of this book to an interesting conclusion.
Jack's rookie lawyer is Mary DiNunzio, a genuinely warm-hearted individual, who takes his case even when sha doesn't buy his story. Her legal associates, Lou and Judy, add to this interesting mix of characters, along with Brinkley and Kovich, two Philadelphia detectives who want to wrap this case up quickly and easily.
Ms. Scottoline has again created another real winner of a book here. Also, don't miss "Mistaken Identity," her sixth novel.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Patricia A. McLennan on February 26, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Once again Lisa Scottoline has taken us through unexpected twists and turns in her latest legal thriller! Judy DiNunzio, an associate in Bennie Rosato's law firm, is the heroine! Her client, Jack Newlin, has falsely proclaimed his guilt in his own wife's murder. Who is he protecting?
It's a "must" read -- a true Scottoline thriller! You won't be disappointed!
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