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Summary and book reviews of Moment of Truth by Lisa Scottoline

Moment of Truth

by Lisa Scottoline

Moment of Truth
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     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Feb 2000, 448 pages
    Paperback:
    Jan 2001, 448 pages

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Book Summary

Jack Newlin comes home to find his wife dead. Convinced that he knows who killed her - and determined to hide the truth - Jack decides to make it look as though he did it. Unfortunately for Jack, hiring Mary may turn out to be his only mistake.

A winner of the Edgar Award and the bestselling author of six acclaimed novels, Lisa Scottoline has unabashedly earned the distinction "queen of the legal thriller." Critics have celebrated her storytelling talents, noting that she skillfully depicts "personal quirks that give her characters dimension." Publishers Weekly has raved that "Scottoline's legal background lends verisimilitude" to her stories, and Kirkus Reviews has praised her ability to devise terrific plots, proclaiming that she "comes up with the best hooks in the legal trade." Now this gifted author has summoned her array of talents to pen Moment of Truth, her most exciting and unpredictable novel yet--a riveting story of a man who frames himself for murder.

Attorney Jack Newlin comes home one evening to find his wife, Honor, dead on the floor of their elegant dining room. Convinced that he knows who killed her--and determined to hide the truth--Jack decides to make it look as though he did it. Staging the crime scene so that the evidence incriminates him, he then calls the police. And to hammer the final nail in his own coffin, he hires the most inexperienced lawyer he can find, a reluctant rookie by the name of Mary DiNunzio, employed at the hot Philadelphia firm of Rosato & Associates.

Unfortunately for Jack, hiring Mary may turn out to be his only mistake.

Though inexperienced, Mary doubts Jack's confession and begins to investigate the crime. She finds that instead of having a guilty client who is falsely proclaiming his innocence, she has an innocent client who is falsely proclaiming his guilt. Her ethics and instincts tell her she can't defend a man who wants only one thing--to convict himself. Or can she? Smarter, gutsier, and more determined than she has any right to be, Mary decides to stick with the case. With help from the most unexpected sources, she sets out to prove what really happened--because as any lawyer knows, a case is never as simple as it seems.

And nothing is ever certain until the final moment of truth.

Moment of Truth
Excerpt

Jack Newlin had no choice but to frame himself for murder. Once he had set his course, his only fear was that he wouldn't get away with it. That he wasn't a good enough liar, even for a lawyer.

The detectives led Jack in handcuffs into a small, windowless room at the Roundhouse, Philadelphia's police administration building. Bolted to the floor at the center of the room was a straight-backed steel chair, which reminded Jack of the electric chair. He looked away.

The walls of the room were a dingy gray and marred by scuff marks as high as wainscoting. A typewriter table topped with a black Smith-Corona stood against the side wall, and in front of the table sat two old wooden chairs. One of the chairs groaned when the heavyset detective, who had introduced himself as Stan Kovich, seated himself and planted his feet wide. "Siddown, Mr. Newlin," Detective Kovich said, gesturing to a wooden chair across from him.

"Thank you." Jack took a seat, noting ...

Please be aware that this discussion guide may contain spoilers!
Introduction
Many book clubs have written Lisa asking for questions to guide their discussion, so Lisa came up with a bunch for each book. Her goal in writing books is to entertain, so it goes without saying that Lisa wants you to have lots of fun discussing her books, and has reflected that in her questions. She provides the talking points, and you and your group shape the conversation. So go ahead, get together, chat it up with your friends, discuss books, kids, and relationships, but by all means, have fun.

Questions
  1. Is there a Moment of Truth in this book or is this just another stupid title because Lisa can't do titles?

  2. Is Mary a better lawyer now than in Everywhere?

  3. Do you believe Jack Newlin's confession? Why do the ...
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Reviews

Media Reviews
USA Today

A lovable mix of good guys and smarmy sleazeballs… [a] twisting, turning plot drives the story… Moment of Truth is an edgy tale, full of surprises.

Glamour magazine

You'll dig right into this hip thriller.

New York Post

A carefully crafted tale of immorality, dark secrets and family values gone awry… Scottoline's light touch and wry humor keep the page-turner moving to a chilling end.

The Gazette, OR

A smart and sassy, top-notch thriller. The plot moves at a fast pace, with plenty of twists, yet Scottoline takes the time to make her characters human.

Glamour magazine

You'll dig right into this hip thriller.

New York Post

A carefully crafted tale of immorality, dark secrets and family values gone awry… Scottoline's light touch and wry humor keep the page-turner moving to a chilling end.

USA Today

A lovable mix of good guys and smarmy sleazeballs… [a] twisting, turning plot drives the story… Moment of Truth is an edgy tale, full of surprises.

Publisher's Weekly

A bullet-proof premise distinguishes this expert crime thriller… Sharp, funny characters, crafty plot twists, and a flavorful depiction of high- and lower-middle Philadelphia society will keep readers riveted to this tense, often mischievous page-turner.

Publisher's Weekly

A bullet-proof premise distinguishes this expert crime thriller… Sharp, funny characters, crafty plot twists, and a flavorful depiction of high- and lower-middle Philadelphia society will keep readers riveted to this tense, often mischievous page-turner.

Reader Reviews
Anonymous
Andrew Nally
The book was magnificent and now I also write not for a living but for friends and fun although I'm only 14 I still enjoy a good book

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