From the New York Times bestselling author comes the much-anticipated fifth book in the Rosato & DiNunzio thriller series, Lisa Scottoline's Exposed.
A BATTLE FOR JUSTICE PITS PARTNER AGAINST PARTNER...
Mary DiNunzio wants to represent her old friend Simon Pensiera, a sales rep who was wrongly fired by his company, but her partner Bennie Rosato represents the parent company. When she confronts Mary, explaining this is a conflict of interest, an epic battle of wills and legal strategy between the two ensuesripping the law firm apart, forcing everyone to take sides and turning friend against friend.
SOMETIMES LOYALTY CAN BE LETHAL.
About the Author
Date of Birth:July 1, 1955
Place of Birth:Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Education:B.A., University of Pennsylvania, 1976; J.D., University of Pennsylvania Law School, 1981
Read an Excerpt
Mary DiNunzio stepped off the elevator, worried. Her father and his friends looked over from the reception area, their lined faces stricken. They'd called her to say they needed a lawyer but until now, she hadn't been overly concerned. Their last lawsuit was against the Frank Sinatra Social Society of South Philly on behalf of the Dean Martin Fan Club of South Philly. Luckily Mary had been able to settle the matter without involving Tony Bennett.
"Hi, Pop." Mary crossed the lobby, which was otherwise empty. Marshall, their receptionist, wasn't at her desk, though she must've already gotten in. The aroma of fresh coffee filled the air, since Marshall knew that Mary's father and his fellow octogenarians ran on caffeine and Coumadin.
"HIYA, HONEY!" her father shouted, despite his hearing aids. Everyone was used to Mariano "Matty" DiNunzio talking loudly, which came off as enthusiastic rather than angry. On the table next to him sat a white box of pastries, as the DiNunzios didn't go anywhere empty-handed, even to a law firm. The box hadn't been opened, so whatever was bothering him was something even saturated fats couldn't cure.
"Hey, Mare!" "Hi, Mary!" "Buongiorno, Maria!" said his friends The Three Tonys, like a Greek — or more accurately Roman — chorus. They got up to greet her, rising slowly on replacement knees, like hammers on a piano with sticky keys. Her father had grown up with The Tonys; Tony "From-Down-The-Block" LoMonaco, "Pigeon" Tony Lucia, and Tony "Two Feet" Pensiera, which got shortened to "Feet," so even his nickname had a nickname. It went without saying that naming traditions in South Philly were sui generis, which was Latin for completely insane. The Tonys went everywhere with her father and sometimes helped her on her cases, which was like having a secret weapon or a traveling nightmare.
"Good morning, Pop." Mary reached her father and gave him a big hug. He smelled the way he always did, of hard soap from a morning shave and the mothballs that clung to his clothes. He and The Tonys were dressed in basically the same outfit — a white short-sleeved shirt, baggy Bermuda shorts, and black-socks-with-sandals — like a barbershop quartet gone horribly wrong.
"THANKS FOR SEEIN' US, HONEY." Her father hugged her back, and Mary loved the solidity of his chubby belly. She would move mountains for him, but it still wouldn't be enough to thank him for being such a wonderful father. Both of her parents loved her to the marrow, though her mother could be as protective as a mother bear, if not a mother Tyrannosaurus rex.
"No problem." Mary released him, but he looked away, which was unlike him. "You okay, Pop?"
"SURE, SURE." Her father waved her off with an arthritic hand, but Mary was concerned. His eyes were a milky brown behind his bifocals, but troubled.
"What is it?"
"YOU'LL SEE. YOUR MOTHER SAYS HI."
Just then Feet raised his slack arms, pulled Mary close to his chest, and hugged her so hard that he jostled his Mr. Potatohead glasses. He, too, seemed agitated, if affectionate. "Mare, thank you for making the time for us."
"Of course, I'm happy to see you."
"I appreciate it. You're such a good kid." Feet righted his thick trifocals, repaired with Scotch tape at one corner. His round eyes were hooded, his nose was bulbous, and he was completely bald, with worry lines that began at his eyebrows and looked more worried than usual.
"Mary!" Tony-From-Down-The-Block reached for her with typical vigor, the youngest of the group, at eighty-three. He worked out, doing a chair-exercise class at the senior center, and was dating again, as evidenced by his hair's suspicious shade of reddish-brown, like oxblood shoe polish. He gave her a hug, and Mary breathed in his Paco Rabanne and BenGay, a surprisingly fragrant combination.
"Good to see you." Mary let him go and moved on to hug Pigeon Tony, an Italian immigrant with a stringy neck, who not only raised homing pigeons but looked like one. Pigeon Tony was barely five feet tall and bird-thin, with a smooth bald head and round brown-black eyes divided by a nose shaped like a beak. In other words, adorable.
"Come stai, Maria?" Pigeon Tony released her with a sad smile, and Mary tried to remember her Italian.
"Va bene, grazie. E tu?"
"Cosi, cosi," Pigeon Tony answered, though he'd never before said anything but bene. You didn't have to speak Italian to know there was a problem, and Mary turned to address the foursome.
"So what's going on, guys? How can I help you?" "IT'S NOT ABOUT US," her father answered gravely.
Feet nodded, downcast. "It's about Simon."
"Oh no, what's up?" Mary loved Feet's son Simon, who was her unofficial cousin, since The Tonys were her unofficial uncles.
"He's not so good."
"What's the matter? Is it Rachel?" Mary felt a pang of fear. Simon's wife, Ellen, died four years ago of an aneurysm, and Simon had become a single father of an infant, Rachel. When Rachel turned three, she was diagnosed with leukemia but was in remission.
"Simon will explain it. Oh, here he comes now!" Feet turned to the elevator just as the doors opened and Simon stepped out, looking around to orient himself.
"Hey, honey!" Mary called to him, hiding her dismay. He looked tired, with premature gray threaded through his dark curly hair, and though he had his father's stocky build, he'd lost weight. His navy sport jacket hung on him and his jeans were too big. She hadn't seen him in a while, since he was busy with Rachel, though they'd kept in touch by email.
"Hi, Mary!" Simon strode toward her, and Mary reached him with a hug, since she could only imagine what he'd been going through, not only with the baby, but losing Ellen. Mary herself had been widowed young, after the murder of her first husband, Mike. Even though she was happily remarried, Mike was a part of her and always would be, which suited her and her new husband, Anthony, just fine.
"It's so good to see you, honey." Mary released him, and Simon brightened.
"This office is so nice, with your name on the sign."
"Believe me, I'm as surprised as you are." Mary could see Simon was happy for her and felt a new rush of affection for him. "How's the baby?"
"I'll fill you in later." Simon's smile stiffened. "I just moved her to CHOP."
Mary wondered why Rachel had been moved, but it wasn't the time to ask. CHOP was the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, one of the best in the country. Mary's heart went out to him. "I'm praying for her, and so is my mother. She's got the novenas on overdrive."
"I know, and she sends me Mass cards, God bless her." Simon's smile returned. "I tell our rabbi, I'll take all the help I can get."
"Exactly. She prayed for me to make partner."
"Ha! Anyway, thanks for seeing me on such short notice. Are you sure you have the time?"
"Totally. My first appointment isn't until ten thirty." Mary motioned him out of the reception area. "Let's go to the conference room."
"Okay." Simon fell into step beside her, followed by her father, The Tonys, and the pastry box, which gave Mary pause. Simon was a potential client, and she wouldn't ordinarily have a client consultation with an audience, blood-related or not.
"Simon, did you want to talk alone?" she asked him, stopping in the hallway. "What we say is confidential, and it's your call whether your dad or anybody else comes in with us. They can wait in —"
Feet interrupted, "No, I wanna be there, Mare. I know what he's gonna tell you, we all do."
Tony-From-Down-The-Block snorted. "Of course we'll be there. Feet's his father, and I taught him how to ride a bike."
"I CHANGED HIS DIAPERS!"
Mary looked over, skeptically. "When, Pop?" "THAT ONE TIME, I FORGET." Her father held up the pastry box by its cotton string. "PLUS I GOT BREAKFAST."
Pigeon Tony kept his own counsel, his dark gaze darting from Simon to Mary, and she suspected that he understood more than he let on, regardless of the language.
Simon smiled crookedly. "Mary, you didn't think we were going to shake them, did you? It's okay. They can come with us."
"THIS WAY, I KNOW WHERE IT IS!" Her father lumbered off, down the hallway.
"Of course, we're all going!" Feet said, at his heels. "We're family. We're all family!"
"Andiamo!" said Pigeon Tony.
Mary led them down the hallway and into the conference room, where Thomas Eakins's rowing prints lined the warm white walls and fresh coffee had been set up on the credenza. The far side of the room was glass, showing an impressive view of the Philadelphia skyline thick with humidity. July was a bad-hair month in Philly, and Mary was already damp under her linen dress.
She closed the conference-room door, glancing at Simon, who perched unhappily on the edge of his chair. He'd always been one of the smartest and nicest kids in the neighborhood, affable enough to make friends even though he was one of the few who didn't go to parochial school. He'd gone to Central High, and the Pensieras were Italian Jews, but the religious distinction made no difference as far as the neighborhood was concerned. The common denominator was homemade tomato sauce.
"Simon, would you like coffee?" Mary set down her purse and messenger bag while her father and The Tonys surged to the credenza.
"No, thanks. Let's get started." Simon sat down catty-corner to the head of the table.
"Agree." Mary took the seat, slid her laptop from her bag, and powered it up while her father and The Tonys yakked away, pouring coffee and digging into the pastry box.
"MARE, YOU TWO START WITHOUT US. DON'T WAIT ON US."
Mary pulled her laptop from her bag, fired it up, and opened a file, turning to Simon. "So, tell me what's going on."
"Okay." Simon paused, collecting his thoughts. "Well, you remember, I'm in sales at OpenSpace, and we make office cubicles. We have different designs and price points, though we also customize. We did $9 million in sales last fiscal year and we have forty-five employees, including manufacturing and administrative, in Horsham."
"How long have you worked for them, again?"
"Twelve years, almost since I graduated Temple, and —" Simon flushed, licking lips that had gone suddenly dry. "Well, I just got fired."
"Oh, no," Mary said, surprised. Simon was smart and hardworking, a success from the get-go. "When did this happen?" "Two days ago, Tuesday. July 11."
"Why?" Mary caught Feet's stricken expression, and her father and the others had gone quiet.
"They said it was my performance. But I don't think that's the real reason."
"What do you think?" Mary's mind was already flipping through the possible illegal reasons, which weren't many. Pennsylvania was a right-to-work state, which meant that an employee could be fired at will, for any or no reason, as long as it wasn't discriminatory.
"Honestly, my performance is great. I'm one of the top reps. I've gotten great reviews and bonuses for years. Things started to go south after Rachel was diagnosed. The final straw for them was —" Simon hesitated, and Feet came over and placed a hand on his shoulder.
"Son, the baby's going to be fine. We're all praying, and she's got good doctors. Great doctors."
"Thanks, Dad." Simon returned his attention to Mary, her gaze newly agonized. "I didn't let people know, but Rachel relapsed and she has to have a bone marrow transplant. That's why she got moved to CHOP."
"Oh no, I'm sorry to hear that." Mary felt her chest tighten with emotion, but she didn't want to open any floodgates, especially with Feet, her father, and the others. Now she understood why they'd been so upset. Simon was in dire straits, with Rachel so ill and now him out of a job.
"Obviously, I wish the chemo had worked, but I feel great about the BMT Team at CHOP. They specialize in ALL." Simon caught himself. "Sorry about the lingo. BMT stands for Blood and Marrow Transplant Team and ALL is acute lymphoblastic leukemia, which is what she has."
"I can't imagine how hard this is to go through, for all of you."
"We're doing the best we can. My dad's there all the time, so it helps when I have to work." Simon managed a shaky smile. "It's just that as a father, you feel so helpless. I mean, it sounds cliché, but it's true. I know, I live it. You have hope, but no control. None at all. Well, you get it. You know, you see. She has to be okay."
"She will be," Feet said quietly, and Mary's father, Pigeon Tony, and Tony-From-Down-The-Block walked over, their lined faces masks of sorrow and fear. They stood motionless behind him, having forgotten about the coffee and pastries.
"SIMON, WE'LL HELP ANY WAY WE CAN. WON'T WE, MARE?"
"Yes, we will," Mary answered, meaning it. She patted Simon's hand again.
Tony-From-Down-The-Block chimed in, "We're going to get through this together." He gestured at Pigeon Tony. "He's gonna make some baked ziti for you, Simon. He's an excellent cook, like, gourmet. All you gotta do is put it in the microwave."
"Thanks, guys." Simon turned around, then faced Mary. "Anyway, I think that's the reason why they fired me."
Mary blinked. "How so?"
"Well, when Rachel was first diagnosed, my boss, Todd, was really nice about it. I have decent benefits and they covered Rachel. I took out a second mortgage to cover what it doesn't. The meds are astronomical." Simon leaned over, urgent. "But OpenSpace is self-insured up to $250,000, which means that their insurance policy doesn't reimburse them until their employee medical expenses reach that amount. They have to pay out of pocket until then."
"Understood. It's like a deductible." Mary knew the basics of employment benefits.
"Exactly." Simon nodded. "But Rachel's bills alone are so high that the insurance company was going to raise the premiums."
"I see, and are the premiums going up?"
"I don't know, but I'm getting ahead of myself. After Rachel's first round of chemo, my boss, Todd, kept asking me how Rachel was. I thought he was interested, like, being nice. He has a ten-year-old daughter. But then he made comments about the bills when I submitted them. And then when the first bills for chemo came in, for seven grand, he reduced my territory from three states — Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware — to just Delaware."
Mary didn't understand something. "What does it matter that your territory was reduced?"
"A reduction in my territory means I can't make my sales quotas. Not only that, but the territory he gave me was more residential and had less businesses, so there was no way I could ever make quota." Simon flushed. "I tried, but no matter what I did, I was only selling a fraction of the units. For the first time in twelve years, I didn't make quota."
Mary put it together. "So your sales go down and your performance suffers."
"Right." Simon nodded. "Todd was trying to force me out, hoping that I would quit, but I didn't. I love my accounts, my reps, and my job, and I need the job."
"So when Rachel's pediatric oncologist told me she needed the transplant and referred me to CHOP, I told Todd and he asked how much it was going to cost. At the time, I didn't know the costs of the transplant, but the donor search alone cost like $60,000 to $100,000, and I told him that."
"To search for a match? Why does that cost so much? It didn't cost that much when we tried before, did it?" Mary was referring to a previous time, when Rachel had been considered for a bone marrow transplant and they had all registered as donors, by giving cheek swabs to collect DNA. None of them had been matches.
"It's not the costs of donating, it's the costs of finding a donor. The hospital has to contact the Bone Marrow Donor Registry to get a list of potential matches, but they have to test at least six potential donors to get one that's a perfect match. Each test costs six to nine grand. It adds up fast."
"Oh, man." Mary hadn't realized.
"Luckily, CHOP found us a match, changed Rachel's chemo protocol, and got her into remission. You have to be in remission to do the transplant."
"That's sounds like a Catch-22."
"I know, but it isn't. I'll fill you in another time. Anyway, when I told Todd that Rachel needed the transplant, he fired me the next week, supposedly because I didn't make quota — for one month. The first time in twelve years."
"So it was a pretext because they didn't want to pay for Rachel's expenses? And they didn't want their premiums to go up?"
"I think so."
"That's heartless." Mary felt a surge of anger, the kind she always felt when somebody had been wronged. But here, it had happened to someone she knew and loved. Simon. And Rachel.
Excerpted from "Exposed"
Copyright © 2017 Smart Blonde, LLC..
Excerpted by permission of St. Martin's Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Couldn't put it down, a real page turner.
Another winner. I highly recommend it.
My gosh this was such a good book!!!!!
I was really looking forward to the publishing date and purchased the book right away. I couldn't get excited about rhe story line and it just seemed to drag on forever.
Great as usual
Another good book in this series.
Really pulls you in. Very satisfying .
This book had me captivated right to the surprising endings…yes, that’s right…endings….more than one. I am so thankful and grateful Lisa writes such tantalizing mystery books. I am never disappointed and her background research illuminates the story so you know you are in for a good read.
Check out the full review at Kritters Ramblings The fifth book in a series and in this one both Bennie and Mary take starring roles and it takes both of them to solve all that is going on in this book! One of Mary's childhood friends has quite a bit going on in his life and a bit of it needs the help of Mary and her law firm. Again as all the books in this series, the case or in this case cases are self contained in this book, but I would absolutely read these in order because you will miss out on so much when it comes to the characters in the law firm.
Really enjoyed all the twists and turns.
Exciting, intriguing, and satisfying!
EXPOSED by LISA SCOTTOLINE I began listening to the audio version in my car, but then the suspense became too much and I finished by reading the book. Both were excellent, well written and well read, full of suspense, social and personal issues, and so many twists and turns. The ending was perfect . . . and the last line made it even more so. Eagerly awaiting the next!
Exposed is a legal thriller. The plot has twists and turns that pull the reader in, pushes them to turn page after page, and make the reader unable to put the book down. Lisa Scottoline is so talented. There are surprises and there are expectations. Most of all there are friendships and families. While the story is based on being a lawyer and the legal system, the friendships are the best. Even when on opposite sides of the ethic code Mary and Bennie are friends before partners. They work through their challenges and figure out a way to work together. I love that Mary stood up to Bennie to help her family. She knew that she was walking a narrow line but also knew that family had to come first. I am legally challenged. Being a non-lawyer reader I really appreciate how Lisa Scottoline manages to explain all the legalese without it becoming a non-fiction book. She can take the storyline and explain it to the reader without adding too much extra to the dialogues. This series is wonderful. Each book is an entire story with the familiar characters that have become friends of mine. I highly recommend picking up your own copy of Exposed and reading it immediately. Thank you John Karle at St. Martin's Press for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Love those woman
Rachel, Pinsiera, a little girl, is very ill with Leukemia. In "Exposed" by Lisa Scottoline, family and friends deal with all sorts of troubles while doing their best to give all the love possible. These troubles stem from the father, Simon's, job. There is a cover up and those in higher position have a deeper concern for money rather than the stress this father is dealing with while waiting for the right donor for a Bone Marrow and the heavy medical costs. Simon has only one course of action. When he takes that action, all the balls fall to the floor as these White Collar criminals defame his character and fight back. The author shares what it is like to family and friends stick beside you.These Philadelphians are always there to catch you before you fall. Thank goodness, there are also lawyers who still care about the human condition rather than lining their pockets. It is great to read about two friends, Bennie and Mary, who never betray one another. While the novel does become wild with violent behavior there is always a bond of love and the importance of remembering your strengths from the past. Unforgettable are characters like Feet, the Grandfather, and, Declan, Bennie's boy friend. Also, the wonderful hospital, CHOP, is there in the background doing what they must for Rachel. My one misgiving is that I expected to spend more time in the hospital room with Rachel rather than with these madmen who caused Feet to totally break down physically. I suppose it is the way of the world. When money is the high stake, it overshadows the ordinary people on this earth who, it would seem, have suffered enough: The mother and wife has died of an aneurysm. Suffering in their life does not seem to take a breath. Simon could live to see the death of Rachel too. So, I think Lisa Scottoline looked at reality. No where are we promised a "rose garden" in this life. Neither will we always discover the true values of character around every corner. Life is definitely tough and the good do not always win its battles.
Intriguing. I won this book from Goodreads giveaways. I was not asked or compensated for a good review. Wow. Another hit out of the part for Lisa & another wonderful continuation of the series. This time is almost runs a working partnership and friendship. Mary comes from south Philly and that means family. Her father's best friends son, Simon, has a run of really bad luck the last few years. First he wife passes away, then his daughter is diagnosed with cancer and now he loses his job and insurance. So he goes to his friend Mary for help. But is just the start of all the problems, her partner in the law firm says their is conflict of interest since she work on the Corporate account that owns the subsidiary that Mary is filing the suit against. Little did they know that there were a lot of bad dealings going on. Simon's boss a lawsuit back for saying what he did. Then his boss ends up dead, and of course Simon is blamed. Boy what happens after is a lot of page turning intrigue. Thank you for another wonderful book.
Lisa Scottoline does it again! With so many twists, turns, and ah-hahs... what starts out as a very simple case has Mary and Bennie (along with the fabulous Tonys) on quite a ride. An awesome read for an afternoon -- already looking forward to the next book!
Lisa Scottoline has fast become a favourite author of mind. She writes various genres, but her legal thrillers are my favourites. Her latest entry into her Rosato & DiNunzio series has Mary and Bennie at odds about conflict of interest. With Mary wanting to defend Simon, a lifetime friend and someone from the neighbourhood, against the company that fired him due to the cost of his daughter's medical fees, and Bennie telling her she can't because the firm represents the parent company. When Mary finally decides that she must sever her partnership in order to go forward with the suit, the ante goes up. Simon is served with a counter suit in excess of two million dollars for defamation of persons and company. Before Mary can figure out her next step, Simon's boss is murdered and he is arrested. Bennie now moves in to help Mary defend Simon and figure out who the real murderer is. As usual they get themselves in a bit too deep with their investigation and end up in some danger. This was another well written thriller with a plot that takes twists and turns until the culprit is revealed. Of course, there are a lot of suprises along the way right up to the end. That is not all there is to this story. There are the ethical issues the Mary and Bennie need to face both legally and morally. There are also situations dealing with issues of friendship and loyalty and how this fits into business. Bennie makes some surprising discoveries about herself along the way as well. Mary's family (parents) and some of the others from the neighbourhood also make several appearances to lighten up the story just a bit and remind us that Mary is only human. It was nice to see both Bennie and Mary in this story equally, I enjoy both these characters quite a bit and look forward to see where they go in the next book. I recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good story including mysteries and thrillers. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book via Netgalley.
When I pick up a Lisa Scottline book I know exactly what I’m getting: fast paced, well plotted, engaging characters, and original storylines. Even her continuing series manage to be fresh and new with every installment. Exposed, the fifth installment in the Rosato and DiNunio series, is no exception. As I began reading, I wanted to make it a book club read for my work team working on buying new furniture for our office. As the story progressed, I decided that maybe murder wasn’t the exact right thing to share with that group. Scottoline’s plot moves quickly and all of a sudden you have, sadly, reached the end. Fans of the series will enjoy seeing Bennie transition from bad-ass lawyer to part of the family. The ending does not disappoint and will keep you guessing until the end. I voluntarily reviewed an ARC of this novel.
In this latest book from the Rosato and DiNunzio series, Mary DiNunzio is once again embroiled in neighborhood/family business. Mary gets embroiled in what appears to be a relatively straightforward discriminatory firing of a young man from the neighborhood who has a very sick child. As the investigation begins DiNunzio soon realizes the complexities with which she is dealing. The actual case is complicated by the fact that the parent firm she intends to sue is owned by a large corporate conglomerate represented frequently by her partner Bennie Rosato. Before she can begin, internal legal and ethical issues must be resolved. The characters from the South Philadelphia neighborhood are amusing as usual, and the new characters play their roles well. The storyline twists and turns with murder and danger lurking throughout the pages. The story is entertaining with its suspense, intrigue, and drama. A good light read! This ARC copy was received from St. Martin’s Press and Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.