By Lisa Scottoline
(HarperCollins, Hardcover, 9780060187460, 352pp.)
Publication Date: September 1, 1997
List Price: $24.00*
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As Rough Justice opens, criminal lawyer Marta Richter is only hours away from winning an acquittal on a murder charge leveled against her client, millionaire businessman Elliot Steere. But as the jury begins to deliberate, Steere lets it slip that he sold Marta a bogus self-defense claim and that he in fact murdered the homeless man who tried to carjack him. Infuriated, Marta sets out to find evidence that will convict Steere -- before the jury returns with its verdict.
Marta has her hands full; she's playing beat-the-clock with both the jury and the worst blizzard Philadelphians have seen in decades. She drafts help in the form of two able young lawyers -- Mary DiNunzio and Judy Carrier -- from the all-female firm Rosato & Associates. DiNunzio and Carrier wade through snowdrifts and computer records, interview witnesses and scour the crime scene for evidence.
Enter Bennie Rosato, managing partner of Rosato & Associates. When she realizes that Marta is determined to convict her own client -- and ruin the law firm in the process -- Bennie acts to thwart Marta's plans and bring Steere to justice in her own way. But Elliot Steere didn't reach the top of the real estate business without bloody knuckles. He won't let anyone -- especially a couple of lawyers -- stand between him and freedom. Even from his jail cell, the businessman has the cunning and connections to kill again. The lawyers have finally met their match in Elliot Steere. Or have they?
Rough Justice demonstrates again why reviewers and readers praise Scottoline's breakneck pacing, vivid characters and realistic dialogue, and why bar associations have used her books to examine legal and ethical issues in our systems of civil and criminal justice.