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*****= An all-time favorite
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***Dead Ringer

by Lisa Scottoline

Reviewed August 16, 2003.
HarperCollins Publishers, New York, 2003.  339 pages.
Available at Sembach Library (F SCO).

This book reminded me of a lesson I should have learned years ago:  If you want to get to bed early, don’t try to read a couple of chapters of a thriller before you go to sleep!  When I finished this book at One AM, I knew that morning was going to come much too soon!

I found the plot a little unbelievable, but it didn’t go too far.  Lawyer Benedetta Rosato has a long-lost identical twin.  They were separated at birth and never met until Bennie defended her sister in a murder case two years ago.  She hasn’t seen Alice since.  Now someone has stolen her wallet and is going around town dressing like her and making her look bad.  When she gets arrested for stealing a pair of earrings, she knows it has gone too far.

That’s not the only problem in Bennie’s life, though.  A recent client went bankrupt and didn’t pay his fees, and she’s afraid her law firm will go bankrupt next.  She has three young women associates on her staff and a pregnant secretary, and she doesn’t want them to be out of jobs any more than she wants her business to fold.  All this is before a new client with a lucrative case turns up dead.

The characters in this book make it fun reading.  Bennie and the women on her staff are fun, feisty and very likeable.  All this about long-lost identical twins may have stretched the bounds of believability, but otherwise the plot was suspenseful and fast-moving and hard to put down.  If you’re interested in a legal thriller and a murder mystery with a female touch, Dead Ringer makes an entertaining read.

Review of another book by Lisa Scottoline:
Killer Smile

Copyright © 2003 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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