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Daddy's Girl    by Lisa Scottoline order for
Daddy's Girl
by Lisa Scottoline
Order:  USA  Can
HarperCollins, 2007 (2007)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

As a former trial lawyer herself, Lisa Scottoline has always written of what she knows, and she does so once more in Daddy's Girl - in an Author's Note at the back, she tells us that, like her heroine Natalie Greco, she has begun teaching a course called Justice and Fiction at Pennsylvania Law School (Nat teaches The History of Justice). But I hope that Lisa Scottoline's own teaching experiences have been tamer than the trials and tribulations she puts Nat through.

Natalie Greco starts out as a true daddy's girl, 'living a life defined by someone else.' She spends most of her spare time at the family McMansion, and her boyfriend of three years is a good buddy of her brothers. Hank does business with them and her father at Greco Construction, and is more comfortable in her family than Nat is. Then, Angus Holt - a colleague at Penn Law who runs a clinic teaching law students to work for the public good - asks her to give a lecture at a local minimum security prison in Chester County. Despite herself, charmed and disarmed by Angus, Nat agrees, thus embarking on a wild, slippery bobsleigh ride with no safe landing in sight.

There's a riot at the prison, Nat's attacked and almost raped by an inmate, and she tries to save a guard who's been knifed. Just before he dies, Ron Saunders pleads with Nat to tell his wife that 'It's ... under the floor', something she considers private and does not disclose to the police when they question her about what happened. When news reports come out on the riot, Nat notices anomalies in what's stated about the C.O.'s death. She meets with the dead officer's wife and passes on the message, but Barb Saunders doesn't understand why those were her husband's last words. Then, after Nat and Angus do some digging, they're deliberately run off the road, Angus ending up in hospital.

There are further killings, Nat becomes a suspect, and ends up on the run from the law. She has to decide whether to remain daddy's girl or to take charge of her disintegrating life herself. Of course, she chooses the latter, resulting in several close shaves, an amazing discovery, and vindication - mitigated by her understanding that 'Justice didn't compensate for the loss of human life ... Justice was the word we used when we couldn't have what we really wanted, which was everything back the way it was. Justice was only a consolation prize.' Daddy's Girl is one of Scottoline's best, a twisty thrill ride full of surprises and based on strong family values - don't miss it!

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