Damaged: a Rosato & DiNunzio Novel  by Lisa Scottoline. New York: St. Martin's Press, 2016. 405 pages. *****+ (Release date August 12th per-order at http://amzn.to/29UUDfE.)

Patrick O'Brien is a ten-year-old with a reading disability who has been punched and abused by a school classroom aide. His Grandfather and Guardian is unaware of the situation at school until that same aide sues him and the Philadelphia School District by claiming that Patrick attacked him with a pair of scissors. Partner in the Rosato & DiNunzio law firm, Mary DiNunzio is planning to be married in two weeks and she doesn't have time to take on new cases, but Patrick and his Grandfather ignite her passion for justice and she agrees to investigate and represent them. The opposing lawyer, Nick Machiavelli, portrays Patrick as a troubled youth with violent tendencies as evidenced in his drawings and the case takes an unexpected turn when Patrick feels cornered and aims a gun at a DHS caseworker and DiNunzio. It is now up to Mary to fight the system and rescue Patrick. Will Mary's partners and fianc√© support her in the quest for answers and justice for Patrick?

I received a copy for review.

Scottoline is known for choosing a hot topic, researching it and presenting the "what if?" Her fast-paced and emotionally charged storytelling sucks me in from the very beginning, pulls me along and then wham! Twists and turns kept me guessing until the very end. The chapters that include her parents and future mother-in-law are hilariously South Philly and add comic relief to complicated issues. It's a roller coaster ride to the very end and then disappointment that it is over. What next for DiNunzio? I guess I'll have to wait impatiently for book 5.

Lisa Scottoline is a New York Times bestselling and Edgar Award-winning author of twenty-seven novels. She has 30 million copies of her books in print in the United States, she has been published in thirty-five countries, and her thrillers have been optioned for television and film. Lisa also writes a weekly column with her daughter, Francesca Serritella, for The Philadelphia Inquirer, and those critically acclaimed stories have been adapted into bestselling memoirs. She lives in the Philadelphia area with an array of disobedient pets. Visit Lisa Scottoline or follow Lisa on Facebook or Twitter @LISASCOTTOLINE

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