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Devil's Corner    by Lisa Scottoline order for
Devil's Corner
by Lisa Scottoline
Order:  USA  Can
HarperCollins, 2005 (2005)
Hardcover, Audio, CD, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

I am always a happy camper when I have a copy of a new Lisa Scottoline mystery in my hot little hands. This author never lets me down. Devil's Corner is a stand-alone book (I love Scottoline's legal series), and her attention to detail is as scrupulous as in her other eleven novels. In Assistant U.S. Attorney (AUSA) Vicki Allegretti, Scotoline has created a gutsy new character to prowl the streets of Philadelphia in search of bad guys.

When Vicki attends a meet with a CI (confidential informant), she helplessly watches as her partner is gunned down. She barely escapes death herself. Her terror turns to outrage and she vows to find the people responsible. A journey into the world of drugs ensues, as Vicki becomes more and involved, endangering both her job and her life. Scottoline surrounds Vicki with great characters, who sound and react as though she drew them from real life. Anyone who knows Philadelphia (I was born there) can visualize the city as clearly as though they accompany Vicki while she follows one lead after another. Vicki's burgeoning relationship with a black suspect is interesting to watch, as one culture blends into the other. Speaking of relationships, Vicki's love life takes a distinct turn.

The twists and turns of the tightly written plot mimic the streets and alleys of Philadelphia. The bad guys weren't too much of a surprise to me, since the author left plenty of clues and insinuations. But the slam-bang ending should satisfy every reader. Devil's Corner is a well-rounded book, written with Scottoline's signature sense of humor. The action never stops, and keeps the reader furiously turning pages. Kudos to Ms. Scottoline.

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