Review by Josie Mae R.
= One & Done
Author Lisa Scottoline writes court room page turners. While a fast paced, enjoyable read this book had a lot of flaws and gaps in character development and pacing. The novel purposefully jumps around in time, successfully connecting the present and the past. The pacing problems occur in the telling of events, sometimes going in to too much detail, other times leaving out important information, leaving it to the reader to connect the dots.
Recurring character Bennie Rosato, lawyer extraordinaire, is convinced to take on a juvenile case in a nearby town during the days of no tolerance. She is fired for developing a relationship, within a weekend, with the victim’s bully’s uncle (say that three times fast) and the kid she was hired to defend needlessly languishes in jail incurring all kinds of mental problems and a future on a wrong path. She forever feels guilty.
Fast forward to the present, Jason, the original victim, is back on trial for killing the childhood bully, and the uncle is back in the picture. Bennie has a chance to redeem herself and prove Jason did not commit murder or to immediately get back with the uncle.
The love interest in this story is overblown, occurring in a weekend, and forever affecting the two of them, and yet, he shuts her out of his life. The main character is purportedly this strong, no nonsense, take no prisoners woman, and she folds to this undeveloped character of a small-town man as if they had developed a history and a relationship. During the weekend they get together, he says, "I love you! " and "I'm all in," and she doesn’t run for the hills, instead saying she feels the same way, but then he wouldn't talk to her or let her in his life the second things got tough and jumped to some really damaging conclusions when the novel returns to the present day. She, of course, has not learned the error of her ways, but has gained some convictions, thank goodness. The main character is supposed to be tough and strong but falls for this ignorant guy who doesn't believe in her or stand up for her...
This isn’t the only flaw the novel had, but it was the one that made the book both unbelievable and unsatisfactory. While the trial and case were interesting, this book left me feeling frustrated!