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 hid 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 coffin, he hires the most inexperienced lawyer he can find, a reluctant rookie by the name of Mary Di Nunzio, employed at the hot Philadelphia firm of Rosato and 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. 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 stock 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.
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Moment of Truth begins with what appears to be an open-and-shut case. Jack Newlin, a wealthy attorney with one of the most influential law firms in Philadelphia, killed his wife in a moment of drunken passion, stabbing her repeatedly when she announced she wanted a divorce. Or at least that is what he is claiming to the police.
The fact is, Jack is framing himself because he fears his wife's murder was his daughter's crime of passion. Sixteen-year-old Paige Newlin is a successful model whose relationship with her manager-mother had been famously rocky. To make sure that he's convicted, Jack hires rookie lawyer Mary DiNunzio to defend him. But Mary doesn't buy Jack's story, and neither does the senior detective on the case. In a fascinating turn on the usual courtroom tale, then, Jack struggles to maintain his false story of guilt while his lawyer and the police struggle to prove him innocent. Meanwhile, Mary wrestles with both her uncertainty as a lawyer and with her attraction for her client.
Lisa Scottoline, often identified as the "female John Grisham," has led the pack of female authors in the legal thriller genre, winning an Edgar for her second novel, Final Appeal. Moment of Truth does have moments that don't, in fact, ring true. Why is Jack Newlin so quick to forgive his daughter when he thinks she's killed her own mother? And if he's so concerned with her welfare, why did he absent himself from her upbringing? But it's nonetheless interesting for its innovative plot conceit and its examination of high-profile murder trials. If one is able to overlook the problems with Newlin's motivation, the story Scottoline weaves is a compelling one, and her heroine, Mary, is an enjoyable, self-doubting twist on the super-lawyer at the center of most legal thrillers. --Patrick O'KelleyAbout the Author:
Lisa Scottoline is a New York Times bestselling author and former trial lawyer. She has won the Edgar Award, the highest prize in suspense fiction, and the Distinguished Author Award from the Weinberg Library of the University of Scranton. She has served as the Leo Goodwin Senior Professor of Law and Popular Culture at Nova Southeastern Law School, and her novels are used by bar associations for the ethical issues they present. Her books are published in more than twenty languages. She lives with her family in the Philadelphia area.
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