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Think Twice Paperback – Bargain Price, February 1, 2011
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From Publishers Weekly
Bestseller Scottoline's 13th novel centered on the all-female Philadelphia law firm headed by Bennie Rosato (after Lady Killer) offers contrived situations and paper-thin characters on top of a premise that strains credibility. After Bennie's evil identical twin sister, Alice Connelly, drugs her and leaves her to die, buried in a remote farm field, Alice takes advantage of her physical resemblance to Bennie to assume her identity at the law firm as well as gain access to her wealth and, eventually, her ex-boyfriend. Many will wonder why the ruthless Alice didn't kill Bennie outright, leaving open the possibility that her victim will escape and attempt to foil her scheme. With authors like Lisa Unger proving that intelligent plotting and page-turning aren't incompatible, this tired effort is unlikely to win Scottoline new converts. 500,000 first printing; author tour. (Mar.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Preloaded Digital Audio Player edition.
It was bound to happen: after legal eagle Bennie Rosato saved her sinister twin sister, Alice, from a murder rap in Mistaken Identity (1999) and discovered Alice impersonating her in Dead Ringer (2003), Alice decides to up the stakes. She invites Bennie over for dinner, drugs her, and buries her alive, intent on taking over her twin’s life for a few days and stealing her fortune. As Bennie struggles to break out of the casket, Alice, pretending to be Bennie, gets a restraining order against her “dangerous” twin and sets into motion the transfer of Bennie’s money to a bank in the Bahamas. In order to throw Mary DiNunzio, a sharp lawyer at Bennie’s firm, off the track, Alice promotes her to partner. A few curveballs get thrown Alice’s way, including the reappearance of Grady Wells, Bennie’s ex-boyfriend, who has come to regret their breakup. Bennie manages to fight her way out of the coffin but finds that reclaiming her life is no easy matter. A subplot involving Mary’s search for a house and her fears about her father’s infidelity detracts from the novel’s energy, but overall, Scottoline’s latest is a pulse-pounding thriller, certain to please fans of her Rosato & Associates series. --Kristine Huntley --This text refers to the Preloaded Digital Audio Player edition.
Top customer reviews
Do you have a favorite author? More than one? There are only two authors that I "just can't wait for" when it comes to their next books. One is John Grisham; the other is Lisa Scottoline. I haven't read every Grisham novel, but I've read all 16 of Scottoline's (I haven't read it yet, but I have Why My Third Husband Will Be a Dog, a collection of her essays). If I had to pick a favorite between the two, I couldn't. Although they both write about lawyers, and there are some similarities in how they tackle their subjects, they are different enough to make a choice impossible. On a personal level, Scottoline has the edge because her books speak to me in a way that those written by a southern gentleman from Mississippi never can, despite my connection to Mississippi.
My copy of Think Twice arrived quickly, but unfortunately I had some review commitments I needed to fulfill before I could read it. A few days later, I sat in a waiting room for a few hours while husband Chip suffered through a routine medical procedure. I prepared myself with a diet Snapple and Think Twice. One of those cursed with a short attention span, I brought along my Nintendo DS and some games; when I needed to stop reading, I'd have something else to do. I needn't have bothered; Think Twice is so engaging, the time waiting flew by.
I drove Chip home, and he was still groggy from anesthesia. Oh, happy day! He went to sleep and I got to continue Think Twice, which is so captivating even I couldn't put it down until the end. Ironically, I had been apprehensive about it because it brought back attorney Bennie Rosato's evil twin sister, Alice Connelly. I was thinking, "How much mileage can you get from the old evil twin device?" Well, the answer is plenty!
Among Bennie's employees is Mary DiNunzio, another Italian-American from South Philadelphia. Mary's family has provided quite a bit of material in previous novels, and they are dependable sources of humor and pathos. Her parents are very old country, and I can identify with many of the situations she experiences, having grown up in an Italian-American family (ditto Lisa Scottoline, which is why she so faithfully depicts the family and neighborhood dynamics in her books) not far from South Philly.
Early in Think Twice, Bennie finds herself drugged and buried alive at the hands of her sister who intends on impersonating Bennie and taking over her life (or, more specifically, her bank accounts). Alice needs an escape from her own life because she has totally screwed up.
Another early development is the arrival of a visitor to the DiNunzio home; Fiorella is a strega whose "powers" are allegedly stronger than Mary's mother's (if you've ever been the recipient of the evil eye, you understand). Fiorella is also a very well preserved septuagenarian who is looking for her next husband (she's had a few). Every Italian family has a Fiorella--a sometimes-distant cousin who is nothing if not unique. No matter how eccentric or odd, these women are revered because who else can remove overlooks, "horns," or malocchio once they've been placed? God forbid they should die, because a powerful strega is a hard commodity to replace.
Additionally complicating Bennie's situation are Mary and boyfriend Anthony's search for a home they can share, the return of Bennie's ex, Grady, and the question of a partnership for Mary. Scottoline flawlessly interweaves all these stories into a relentlessly gripping novel that grapples with notions of good and evil relevant to the reader as well as to the characters. Incorporating a solid sense of place, she brings Philadelphia and environs to life, right down to local colloquialisms ("I know, right?").
I admit there are elements in Think Twice that are maybe a little too far-fetched (if you're not of Italian extraction), and the ending may be a little too pat (though emotionally satisfying), yet I still feel that it's a great read and highly recommend it. Having thoroughly immersed myself in Think Twice, I again find myself anticipating Lisa Scottoline's next work.
Bottom Line: Would I buy Think Twice? I did, and I'm glad!
Personally I liked the story, which I would classify as a page turner. It's made for commuters, separated into 128 short chapters. There is lots of action, both for Bennie and the supporting characters. You will meet another member of the extended DiNunzio family, Fiorella Bucatina who claims to have powers as a witch. Scottoline has abilities like Evanovich when it comes to creating characters and causing collateral damage. One has to wonder if some to the characters will reappear in later novels.
The plot is far-fetched. That doesn't matter in books that can pull you in and involve you in the story. But in this book, the author does nothing to help you identify with either of the twins. None of the characters have depth and a few just make you cringe they are so stiff and predictable. Also, parts of the story feel force-fit to the plot -- the "witch", Mary's boyfriend, Q (who is supposed to be the whole basis of the plot).
Bottom line, this could have been a very good book if the plot was better constructed, the characters more real and the side stories more interesting. But they weren't, so don't waste your time.