The newest member of Philadelphia’s ladies-only law firm of Rosato & Associates (The Vendetta Defense, 2001, etc.) lands a once-in-a-lifetime case: investigating her own murder.
Using Scottoline’s trademark razzle-dazzle tactics, Anne Murphy—who honors “precision . . . in the law, brain surgery, and lipliner”—has just succeeded in getting the judge to exclude a crucial witness against Gil Martin, the dot-com millionaire client she’s defending in a sexual-harassment case, when the legal machinery grinds to a halt for the 4th of July weekend. Flush with success, Anne has nobody to celebrate it with. She’s new to the East Coast, long estranged from her alcoholic actress mother, and wary about seeing men ever since her first date with LA erotomaniac Kevin Satorno turned him into a stalker now doing hard time. Deciding on a whim to leave town for the weekend, she’s happy to accept her artist acquaintance Willa Hansen’s offer to house-sit her cat. Next morning, though, her holiday ends when she reads a headline announcing her own murder. Clearly, Willa’s been shotgunned to death in her place—and it’s no mystery by whom, since a phone call confirms that Kevin has indeed just escaped from prison. Figuring that reporting their little mistake to the authorities would put her back at the top of Kevin’s hit list, Anne resolves to stay underground. But things don’t exactly work out that way. She’s forced to reveal herself first to Rosato & Associates; then to Matt Booker, the plaintiff’s attorney who’s been making puppy-dog eyes at her across the aisle; then to Philadelphia’s finest; and finally, at the height of Independence Day festivities, to Kevin himself.
A glamorpuss lawyer whose behavior defies belief; gay bars and hooker disguises; a little detection, a little courtroom drama, and one noisy finale: it’s all as fleet and breathless as it is synthetic.