Thursday, June 22, 2006

'Dirty Blonde' (Lisa Scottoline)

Anything set in a courtroom and I’m an easy target. Particularly if the protagonist sits atop the dias and offers witty insights into what goes on behind closed courtroom doors.

Lisa Scottoline’s Dirty Blonde heroine, Cate Fante, is such a protagonist. But she’s also a real person, with all of the petty insecurities, fragile relationships, big dilemmas and ugly secrets common to real people.

Cate’s pretty, smart, successful and plagued with a dangerous sexual compulsion. And when both plaintiff and defendant in one of her high-profile trials are found dead, her life is ripped open for public scrutiny.

Fighting to keep it together, Cate is forced to brave the muddy waters of entertainment law, where human crocodiles await her.

Be warned: this is not Great Literature. Dirty Blonde offers minimal challenge and few surprises. What is remarkable, though, is the subtlety with which Scottoline develops her plot and characters, and the pace and personalities that result.

If you’re looking for a good escapist read, this is it.

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