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Killer Smile    by Lisa Scottoline order for
Killer Smile
by Lisa Scottoline
Order:  USA  Can
HarperCollins, 2004 (2004)
Hardcover, Audio, CD

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* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Wow! The book I've been waiting for, Lisa Scottoline's Killer Smile - it's been well worth the wait. Philadelphia lawyer Mary DiNunzio is kept so busy in this book that it's a wonder she has time to relate the tale. There's fast-paced action on every page the book races by. Sadly, because I did not want it to end. Bennie Rosato, head of the all-woman law firm that employs Mary, is not the protagonist this time. I missed Bennie, but I also like Mary.

Mary is working late when she receives a frightening phone call. Fear sets in on the first few pages and runs with her throughout. She has taken on a pro bono case that involves a segment of our history I had not known existed an internment camp in Montana for Italian-Americans during World War II. The reader travels to Montana with Mary, as well as riding around the streets of Philadelphia with her - which streets the author knows like the back of her hand. If I didn't live near Philadelphia, I think that from reading Scotoline's books, I would have to travel there just to find the places she earmarks. Scottoline's descriptions are precise but not pedantic, and do not disturb the story line. Rather, they enhance it. I could smell the wonderful aroma of a pot of perfect tomato gravy bubbling on the stove in the DiNunzio's kitchen. I could hear the crunch of cinders under Mary's feet as she trudges up a long driveway. I could feel the rainwater invade her running shoes as she battles a thunderstorm. I could sense the love and concern as Mary's friend Judy embraces her after she is hurt.

Back to the action. Mary is punched and thrown in a car trunk. She burgles a law office, attends services for a lawyer friend whom she knows has been murdered, helps to rescue a woman whose throat has been slit oh, read the book and find out for yourself. It's a thrill a minute. Scottoline is a fine writer who only gets better with each book (if that is possible) this is her twelfth, I believe. I have read them all. Because, in real life, she is a lawyer, her books are imbued with legalese, but palatable to the lay person. The sense of humor that pervades her writing is top notch. And her pride at having an Italian heritage is evident - her parents remind me a good bit of my son-in-law's parents who grew up in South Philly.

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