Summary and book reviews of The Vendetta Defense by Lisa Scottoline

The Vendetta Defense

By Lisa Scottoline

The Vendetta Defense
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  • Hardcover: Feb 2001,
    400 pages.
    Paperback: Mar 2002,
    480 pages.

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Book Summary

In The Vendetta Defense, New York Times bestselling author Lisa Scottoline delivers a wonderfully rich, vivid story of past sins, love, and justice.

Lawyer Judy Carrier takes the case of her career when an elderly pigeon racer named Anthony Lucia is arrested for the murder of his lifelong enemy, Angelo Coluzzi. "Pigeon Tony," as he's known to all his South Philly neighbors, confesses he killed Coluzzi because of a vendetta begun more than fifty years ago, a blood feud that has brought great tragedy to Pigeon Tony's life.

Her client's guilt, however, is only the beginning of Judy's problems. The Coluzzi family wants revenge, and they are determined to finish off Pigeon Tony and Judy before the case can go to trial. And if that isn't enough, Judy's got to contend with Tony's magnetic grandson, Frank, a man who makes her think about everything but the law, and her boss, the no-nonsense Bennie Rosato.

In a case steeped in blood and memory, it will take a stroke of brilliance to save Pigeon Tony. But if anyone just might see justice done, it's this gutsy young attorney who'll risk everything to win ... including her life.

Chapter One

The morning Tony Lucia killed Angelo Coluzzi, he was late to feed his pigeons. As long as Tony had kept pigeons, which was for almost all of his seventy-nine years, he had never been late to feed them, and they began complaining the moment he opened the screen door. Deserting their perches, cawing and cooing, they flew agitated around the cages, their wings pounding against the chicken wire, setting into motion the air in the tiny city loft. It didn't help that the morning had dawned clear and that March blew hard outside. The birds itched to fly.

Tony waved his wrinkled hand to settle them, but his heart wasn't in it. They had a right to their bad manners, and he was a tolerant man. It was okay with him if the birds did only one thing, which was to fly home. They were homers, thirty-seven of them, and it wasn't an easy job they had, to travel to a place they'd never been, a distance in some races of three hundred or four hundred miles, then to navigate their return ...

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!
  1. What is up with the pigeons? What kind of new kick is Lisa on? Why does she tells us so damn much about pigeons? Will she ever shut about pigeons? Does this matter to plot or character at all? Hint: Lisa is far smarter than she looks. Or acts.

  2. Should this book start on Chapter Two? Would we like it better? No hints. I really want to know what you think.

  3. Was Pigeon Tony right to do what he did? Would you have? Do you understand? Do you love/ hate the flashbacks?

  4. Why is Judy the star of this book? Is she good/bad/better/worse than other Scottoline heroines? Do you like her? Does it matter if you do?

  5. What about the...
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Reviews

Media Reviews
Kirkus Reviews

Generously plotted and emotionally wide-ranging.

Publishers Weekly

Scottoline's satisfying mix of mischief, sex appeal, action and legal analysis justifies her wide following.

Philadelphia Inquirer

Lisa Scottoline knows the simple yet magical secret at the heart of compelling suspense fiction.

Entertainment Weekly

Scottoline writes with ... genuine snap, producing smartly structured mystery thrillers.

Philadelphia Inquirer

Lisa Scottoline knows the simple yet magical secret at the heart of compelling suspense fiction.

Entertainment Weekly

Scottoline writes with ... genuine snap, producing smartly structured mystery thrillers.

Sun-Sentinel [South Florida]

Scottoline makes us remember why legal thrillers became so popular -- and so entertaining.

Sun-Sentinel [South Florida]

Scottoline makes us remember why legal thrillers became so popular -- and so entertaining.

Reader Reviews
Maria Pugliese

Gripping story. Romantic, too. Describes Philadelphia well as well as Italy under Fascism. The audiobook version is splendidly done with wonderful Italian accents. How can a lawyer save a guilty 80 year old man from a murder conviction? Read and ...   Read More

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