RUNNING FROM THE LAW
Rita Morrone won't reveal her age, but she's old enough to have a pretty solid position in her Philadelphia law firm, a great poker circle, a fortyish architect lover, and a gratifyingly innocent client in a high-profile sexual harassment case. A couple of problems, though: The client, Judge Fiske Hamilton, is her live-in Paul's father; Paul seems to have given Rita a sexually transmitted (though not life-threatening) malady; and the harassment case gets dropped under the worst circumstances--when plaintiff Patricia Sullivan, the judge's secretary, gets herself slightly murdered. Guess who the police lock up. Swearing she wants off the case, Rita, whose take-no-prisoners sense of humor and notion of Legal Ethics Lite are like a double blast of fresh air, allows herself to be railroaded into the judge's defense--but between continually locking faithless Paul out of their shared home and grieving over a burst of violence uncomfortably close to home, she barely has the energy for any detective work. No matter: Except for the anticlimactic closing pages, most of her story is solid gold. Scottoline's hardcover debut is a keeper, with a heroine who's almost as funny as she thinks she is--which puts her miles ahead of most other lawyers you know.