Attorneys often work late. They often lose track of time when
immersed in law books and legal briefs. But when Mary DiNunzio gets
a phone call from a man threatening to kill her, she instantly
regrets being alone in the office at 10 o'clock at night. She can
hardly leave quickly enough. Once outside, though, she believes she
is being followed and can't shake the feeling that someone is
watching her every move. It doesn't seem possible that anyone could
be interested in the case she is working on, since it is a
straightforward case of finding and returning property to one
Amadeo Brandolini, a detainee from the camps of WWII. DiNunzio
wants to serve justice by reimbursing his estate for the loss of
some boats. Seems pretty benign.
Bennie, head of the all-female law firm, gives specific orders for
Mary to cease work on Amadeo's file. She has business out of town
and needs some important cases covered in her absence. In the
spirit of pleasing the boss, Mary agrees, with somewhat exaggerated
enthusiasm. She immediately ignores Bennie's orders, landing her in
hot water not only with her boss and some influential clients, but
also the sinister forces trying to keep her from learning an old
and highly damaging secret. With so much at stake, they aren't
about to let an impetuous lawyer meddle in their business.
Lisa Scottoline ratchets up the action when DiNunzio returns from a
discovery trip to Montana. Having picked up some good leads there,
Mary sneaks out to pursue some of them and nearly returns in an
ambulance. In addition to trying to avoid the office tattletale,
Bennie's files and some nasty folks bent on doing her harm, she
tries to dodge an endless parade of well-meaning matchmakers. Too
many of her friends --- okay, nearly all of them --- believe she
needs to get over her dead husband and start dating again. With all
of this going on, Mary's plate is beyond overflowing.
KILLER SMILE beams with gusto and wit. While I wouldn't quite call
it a thriller, it kept me rapt throughout its 350-plus pages.
Chapters passed almost before I knew it. There's a darned good
mystery here and a courageous heroine to carry the day.
Reviewed by Kate Ayers on January 22, 2011