It’s associate Judy Carrier’s turn to feel the heat at Rosato & DiNunzio, Philadelphia’s premier all-female law firm. And girl, does she ever.
Founding partner Bennie Rosato thinks she’s doing Judy a favor by giving her a chance—that is, requiring her—to hammer out settlements for 75 asbestos-liability cases. It’s exactly the sort of work that could establish her as a rainmaker and pave the way for her to become a partner. That’s not quite how Judy sees it. She doesn’t want to argue down the worth of each individual life lost to mesothelioma. More important, she’s already got her hands full with Linda Adler’s sex discrimination suit against PennBank when a bigger bombshell lands: Her beloved Aunt Barb is about to go under the knife for breast cancer. As usual with Scottoline (Accused, 2013, etc.), it gets worse. Hours after meeting the illegal Mexican immigrant Barb Moyer describes as her best friend, Judy gets a call telling her that Rita Lopez—or, as Aunt Barb knew her, Iris Juarez—has been found dead behind the wheel of her car. The East Grove police and the coroner’s office say she died of natural causes. Judy doesn’t think so, especially once Father Keegan, the pastor of Iris’ church, is killed in a convenient hit-and-run accident. How can Judy juggle the demands of the case she’s working, the 75 cases she’d rather not work, the unofficial case Aunt Barb has handed her and the domestic drama all these complications are bound to stir up? By kicking major butt in a typically unconvincing third act, that’s how.
But exemplary first and second acts are enough to make this the most successful melding to date of Rosato & DiNunzio’s cases and Scottoline’s family-centered stand-alones (Keep Quiet, 2014, etc.).