Cover image for Moment of truth
Title:
Moment of truth
Author:
Scottoline, Lisa.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : HarperCollins, 2000.
Physical Description:
358 pages ; 25 cm
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780060196097
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

A winner of the Edgar Award and the bestselling author of six acclaimed novels, Lisa Scottoline has unabashedly earned the distinction "queen of the legal thriller." Critics have celebrated her storytelling talents, noting that she skillfully depicts "personal quirks that give her characters dimension." Publishers Weekly has raved that "Scottoline's legal background lends verisimilitude" to her stories, and Kirkus Reviews has praised her ability to devise terrific plots, proclaiming that she "comes up with the best hooks in the legal trade." Now this gifted author has summoned her array of talents to pen Moment of Truth, her most exciting and unpredictable novel yet--a riveting story of a man who frames himself for murder.

Attorney Jack Newlin comes home one evening to find his wife, Honor, dead on the floor of their elegant dining room. Convinced that he knows who killed her--and determined to hide the truth--Jack decides to make it look as though he did it. Staging the crime scene so that the evidence incriminates him, he then calls the police. And to hammer the final nail in his own coffin, he hires the most inexperienced lawyer he can find, a reluctant rookie by the name of Mary DiNunzio, employed at the hot Philadelphia firm of Rosato & Associates.

Unfortunately for Jack, hiring Mary may turn out to be his only mistake.

Though inexperienced, Mary doubts Jack's confession and begins to investigate the crime. She finds that instead of having a guilty client who is falsely proclaiming his innocence, she has an innocent client who is falsely proclaiming his guilt. Her ethics and instincts tell her she can't defend a man who wants only one thing--to convict himself. Or can she? Smarter, gutsier, and more determined than she has any right to be, Mary decides to stick with the case. With help from the most unexpected sources, she sets out to prove what really happened--because as any lawyer knows, a case is never as simple as it seems.

And nothing is ever certain until the final moment of truth.


Author Notes

Lisa Scottoline was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania on July 1, 1955. She received a B.A. in English with a concentration in the contemporary American novel from the University of Pennsylvania in 1976 and graduated cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1981. Before becoming an author, she worked as a trial lawyer.

Her first novel, Everywhere That Mary Went, was published in 1994. Her other books include Come Home, Keep Quiet, Every Fifteen Minutes, and Most Wanted. She also writes the Rosato and Associates series and the Rosato and Dinunzio Novel series.

Lisa's title, Daddy's Girl, is a April 2016 New York Times bestseller.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Publisher's Weekly Review

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 penaltyÄJack 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.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

In this latest thriller from "the female John Grisham," as People has dubbed her, an innocent man frames himself for the murder of his wife, confounding defense attorney Mary DiNunzio. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


School Library Journal Review

YA-Lawyer Jack Newlin faces his most difficult assignment when he has to convince the police to accept his confession to a crime he didn't commit. Coming home to find his wife stabbed to death, Jack assumes the killer is their 16-year-old daughter, a super model who had recently announced her pregnancy. To insure his conviction, he hires novice lawyer Mary Di Nunzio to defend him. Not only does Mary develop a crush on him but she also is determined to prove him innocent. She makes many wrong assumptions, follows many wrong leads, and is nearly killed herself, but her faith in Jack is not shaken despite the fact that he wants her off the case when he realizes that she may discover the real truth. A book with action, suspense, romance, and humor.-Katherine Fitch, Rachel Carson Middle School, Fairfax, VA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Excerpts

Excerpts

Moment of Truth Chapter One Jack Newlin had no choice but to frame himself for murder. Once he had set his course, his only fear was that he wouldn't get away with it. That he wasn't a good enough liar, even for a lawyer. The detectives led Jack in handcuffs into a small, windowless room at the Roundhouse, Philadelphia's police administration building. Bolted to the floor at the center of the room was a straight-backed steel chair, which reminded Jack of the electric chair. He looked away. The walls of the room were a dingy gray and marred by scuff marks as high as wainscoting. A typewriter table topped with a black Smith-Corona stood against the side wall, and in front of the table sat two old wooden chairs. One of the chairs groaned when the heavyset detective, who had introduced himself as Stan Kovich, seated himself and planted his feet wide. "Siddown, Mr. Newlin," Detective Kovich said, gesturing to a wooden chair across from him. "Thank you." Jack took a seat, noting that the detective had bypassed the steel chair, evidently reserved for murderers who weren't wealthy. Special treatment never suited Jack. A bookkeeper's son, he had worked his way through school to become an estates lawyer who earned seven figures, but even his large partnership draw remained a pittancein comparison to his wife's family money. He had always wished the Buxton money away, but now he was glad of it. Money was always a credible motive for murder. "You want a soda? A Coke or somethin'?" Kovich asked. The detective wore a short-sleeved white shirt, light for wintertime, and his bullish neck spread his collar open. His shoulders hunched, powerful but gone to fat, and khaki-colored Sansabelts strained to cover his thighs. A bumpy, working-class nose dominated his face and he had cheekbones so fleshy they pressed against the rims of his glasses, large gold-rimmed aviators. Their bifocal windows magnified his eyes, which were earth brown and addressed Jack without apparent judgment. "No, thanks. Nothing to drink." Jack made deliberate eye contact with Detective Kovich, who was closer and seemed friendlier than the other detective. Propped against the wall on a thin Italian loafer, he was black and hadn't said anything except to introduce himself. Hovering over six feet tall, rangy and slim, the detective had a face as narrow as his body, a small, thin mouth, and a nose a shade too long in proportion to high cheekbones. Dark, almost-onyx eyes sat high on his face, like judges atop a dais. Let's start by you telling me something about yourself, Mr. Newlin." Kovich smiled, showing teeth stained by coffee. "By the way, just for the record, this interview is being videotaped." He waved vaguely behind the smudgy mirror on the wall, but Jack didn't look, steeling himself to be convincing in his false confession. "Well, I'm forty-three. I'm a partner at Tribe & Wright, heading the estates and trusts department. I attended the University of Pennsylvania Law School, Yale, and Girard before that." Kovich nodded. "Wow impressive." "Thank you," Jack said. He was proudest of Girard, a boarding high school established by the trust of Stephen Girard for fatherless boys. Girard was a Philadelphia institution. He never could have made it to Yale or any other university otherwise. "Where you from?" "North Philly. Torresdale." "Your people still up there?" "No. My father died a long time ago and my mother passed away last year, from lung cancer." "I know how that goes. I lost my mother two years ago. It's no picnic." "I'm sorry," Jack said. No picnic. It was such a rich understatement, his mouth felt bitter. His mother, gone. His father, so long ago. Now honor. He cleared his throat. "Maybe we should move on." "Sure, sure." Kovich nodded quickly. "So, you're a lawyer at the Tribe law firm. Pretty big outfit, right? I read somethin' about them in the paper, how much they bring in a year. They're printin' money?" "Don't believe everything you read. Reporters have to sell newspapers. " "Tell me about it." Kovich laughed, a harsh guttural noise that burst from his throat. He turned to the other detective, still standing against the wall. "Right, Mick?" he asked. The detective, who had introduced himself as Reginald Brinkley, not Mick, only nodded in response, and the pursing of his lips told Jack he didn't welcome the attention. Brinkley, also middle-aged, wore a well tailored brown sport coat with a maroon silk tie, still tight despite the late hour and affixed to his white shirt with a gold-toned tie bar. His gazechilled the room and the uptilt to his chin was distinctly resentful. Jack didn't know what he had done to provoke the detective and only hoped it worked against him. "So, Mr. Newlin," Kovich was saying, "hey, can I call you Jack?" "Of course." "You got any other family, Jack? Kids?" "One." "Oh yeah?" Kovich's tone brightened. "What flavor?" "A girl. A daughter." "How old?" "Sixteen." "I got a sixteen-year-old!" Kovich grinned, showing his bad teeth. "It's" a trip, ain't it? Teenagers. You got just the one?" "Yes." "Me, I got a thirteen-year-old, too. Also a girl. Houseful of blow dryers. My wife says when they're not in the bathroom, they're in the chat rooms. Yours like that, on the computer?" Jack cleared his throat again. "I don't mean to be impolite, but is there a reason for this small talk?" He didn't want to go there and it seemed like something a murderer would say. "Well, uh, next-of-kin notification is our job. Standard procedure, Jack." He tensed up. He should have thought of that. The police would be the ones to tell Paige. "My daughter lives on her own. I'd hate for her to hear this kind of news from the police. Can't I tell her myself?" Moment of Truth . Copyright © by Lisa Scottoline. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Excerpted from Moment of Truth by Lisa Scottoline All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.