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Devil's corner [text (large print)] / Lisa Scottoline.

By: Scottoline, Lisa.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: Leicester : Charnwood, 2005Edition: Large print edition.Description: 468 pages ; 24 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 1843958376.Subject(s): Drug traffic -- Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia -- Fiction | Large type books | Drug traffic -- Fiction | Murder -- Investigation -- United States -- FictionGenre/Form: Detective and mystery fiction. | Thrillers (Fiction)
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Excerpt provided by Syndetics

Devil's Corner Chapter One Vicki Allegretti always wondered what it would feel like to look into the barrel of a loaded gun, and now she knew. The gun was a black Glock, nine millimeter, and it was aimed at her right eye. Vicki observed the scene out-of-body, as if it were happening to a girl with a better sense of humor. Wonder if black guns make you look thinner, she thought. Holding her point-blank was an African-American teenager with cornrows, who looked as terrified as she was. He looked about fourteen years old, showing just a shadow of a mustache, and his brown eyes were jittery with fear. He kept shifting his weight in his big Iversons, standing tall in baggy jeans and a red satin Sixers jacket. He'd frozen in place when he'd come downstairs and found Vicki standing there, his shocked expression suggesting that he hadn't shot many lawyers. At least not his share. "You don't want to do this, pal," she said, only apparently calmly. The kid's long fingers trembled on the gun's crosshatched grip, and his other hand cradled a bulge underneath his jacket, as if he were hiding something. She had evidently interrupted a burglary by a rookie. Unfortunately, the Glock was an all-star. "I'm an assistant U.S. Attorney." "Wha?" The teenager swallowed hard, his eyes flickering with confusion. "I work for the Justice Department. Killing me is like killing a cop." Okay, it wasn't technically true, but it should have been. "If you shoot me, they'll try you as an adult. They'll go for the death penalty." "Get your hands up!" The teenager's eyes flared, and he wet his lips with a large, dry tongue. "Okay, sure. Relax." Vicki raised her hands slowly, fighting the instinct to run. He'd shoot her in the back if she did; the living room was so small, she'd never make it to the front door. Maybe she could talk her way out of it. "Listen, you don't want to upgrade a burglary charge to murder. The stuff that's under your jacket is yours now. Take it and run." "Shut up!" So Vicki did, holding her hands up, her thoughts racing ahead. None of this was supposed to be happening. She had come to the row house tonight to meet a confidential informant in a minor straw purchase case. The meeting was to be so routine that Bob Morton, an ATF case agent, was finishing his cigarette outside by the car. Could she stall until Morty got here? And where was her CI now? "Jay-Boy!" the kid yelled up the stairwell, panicky. "Jay!" Vicki noted the nickname. She could identify every zit on the kid's face. She wasn't getting out of this alive. She couldn't wait for Morty. She had to do something. "Jay! Where you at?" the teenager shouted, half turning away, and Vicki seized her only chance. She grabbed the barrel of the Glock and twisted it upward. At the same instant, Morty walked through the screen door and the whole world exploded. "Morty, watch out!" Vicki shouted. The Glock fired, jerking convulsively. The barrel seared her palms. The shot split her eardrums. The teenager wrenched the gun back, yanking her off her feet. Simultaneously, another shot rang out. Not from the Glock. Too close to be from Morty's gun. Vicki's throat caught and she looked past the teenager. A man in a goatee and a black coat was shooting at Morty from the stairs. "No!" Vicki screamed, grappling for the Glock. She glimpsed Morty as he fell backward, grimacing with pain. His arms flew open like a marionette's, throwing the gun from his hand. "NO!" Vicki screamed louder, as the shooter on the stairs kept firing. A second gunshot, then a third and fourth burst into Morty's chest, exploding the blue ripstop of his down jacket, jerking his fallen body on impact. Vicki's heart hiccupped with fear and she yanked harder on the gun. The teenager punched her in the stomach, and she doubled over, gasping for breath. She released the Glock and hit back. She connected with his Sixers jacket and held on for dear life. "Let go!" the teenager shouted, punching Vicki again and again. She flailed and after a solid body blow, crumpled to the floor, the wind sucked out of her. As she fell, she heard the faraway scream of a police siren and the kid shouting, scared, "Jay, we gotta go! Jay!" Vicki lay doubled over on her side, her body paralyzed with pain. Tears blurred her vision. She couldn't collect her thoughts. She heard footsteps and panting, then a chamber being ratcheted back. She opened wet eyes into the two bottomless black wells of a sawed-off gun. Hot smoke curled from the barrels, filling her nose with a burning smell. Aiming the weapon was the shooter with the goatee. My God, no. Vicki rolled over in a last effort to save herself. "Don't do it, Jay, she's a cop!" the teenager screamed. Then, "No! Get it! Hurry!" Suddenly they were scrambling to pick things up off the floor. Whatever they'd stolen must have fallen out of the Sixers coat. "Leave it go, Teeg! We gotta go!" The shooter was already sprinting away, his hands full. The teenager bolted after him, jumping over Morty and out the front door, leaving the row house suddenly quiet. Morty. Vicki rolled back over and struggled to her feet, stumbling across the living room to him. "Morty!" she called, anguished, when she reached his side. He was lying on his back, his arms still flung wide, his blue eyes fluttering. "Morty, can you hear me? Morty?" He didn't answer, his gaze barely focused. His neat features had gone slack and a sheen of perspiration coated his forehead and wet his sandy hair . . . Devil's Corner . Copyright © by Lisa Scottoline. Reprinted by permission of HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. All rights reserved. Available now wherever books are sold. Excerpted from Devil's Corner by Lisa Scottoline All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

Starred Review. Edgar Award-winning author Scottoline has returned to introduce a new female legal eagle. As the book opens, new Philadelphia assistant U.S. attorney Vicki Allegretti immediately finds herself face to face with a robbery gone bad; her partner and criminal informant are killed and she narrowly escapes with her own life. What ensues is a roller-coaster week in which she is suspended from work, naïvely investigates the crime on her own, becomes romantically involved with a married coworker, and has several arguments with her parents. The author infuses the text with accessible legalese and much humor. Barbara Rosenblat does a skillful job, making each character distinct and memorable, even though her portrayal of several African Americans is a bit overblown and borders on stereotype. Otherwise, the production is smooth and of good quality; highly recommended. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. All rights reserved.

Publishers Weekly Review

Scottoline's 12th novel was inspired by a real-life jury trial for crack-cocaine trafficking of members of one of the most violent gangs in Philadelphia history (in her acknowledgments, the former trial lawyer admits she watches cases like these "for fun"). Such inspiration lends a tough, uncompromising realism to this stand-alone legal thriller. Scottoline (Killer Smile; Dead Ringer; etc.) sets the book in Philly, of course, and her lead this time is assistant U.S. Attorney Vicki Alegretti, whose petite frame belies her gutsy, unbridled determination on the job. While conducting a routine interview with a confidential informant on a straightforward matter, things go awry, and Vicki's partner-along with the informant-is shot. Resolved to find the killer, Vicki takes on the case (unbeknownst to her boss), and that's when the twists begin. In short chapters with cliffhanger endings, Scottoline spins a tale that finds Vicki joining forces with Reheema, a gorgeous black woman from the drug-ridden West Philly neighborhood of Devil's Corner. Reheema wants to find the person responsible for murdering her crack-addicted mother, and as she and Vicki play detective, they realize the murders may be connected and that they're getting increasingly closer to bringing down a sizable drug ring. Scottoline's ability to mix humor with serious subject matter, combined with her intense research of inner city drug trafficking and a side plot involving Vicki's love life, make for compelling entertainment. Agent, Molly Friedrich. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Booklist Review

Assistant U.S. attorney Vicki Allegretti's meeting with a confidential informant goes terribly wrong when the routine appointment turns into a bloodbath, leaving Vicki's ATF partner, Morty, dead along with the informant and her unborn child. Vicki's bosses tell her to move on to her next case, but Vicki, determined to find the killer, launches her own investigation, in the course of which she takes on an unlikely partner, Reheema, an African American woman whose mother was killed in a drug-related murder that may connect to Vicki's case. Vicki and Reheema--the former a product of privilege and private school and the latter a product of Devil's Corner, an aptly named, drug-riddled Philly neighborhood--make an unlikely but very appealing pair. The interplay between the two women shows Scottoline at her best--chatty but intelligent, biting but respectful. Although we miss the all-female Philadelphia law firm of Rosato & Associates, whose members are the heroines of Scottoline's popular series, this stand-alone thriller (inspired by a real-life case) makes an entertaining and exciting change of pace. --Mary Frances Wilkens Copyright 2005 Booklist

Kirkus Book Review

Scottoline gives the high-spirited, hard-pressed firm of Rosato & Associates a break to introduce an equally gutsy assistant U.S. attorney facing even less plausible challenges. A phone call from confidential informant Shayla Jackson has sent Vicki Allegretti and ATF case agent Bob Morton to a grim Philadelphia neighborhood. Hugely pregnant Shayla is already dead at the appointed address, presumably killed by one Jay-Boy, who shoots Morty three times on his way out while Vicki wrestles his buddy Teeg for his Glock. Vicki manages to dial 911 as Morty's dying, and that's the last moment for a long time that her recklessness isn't the lead story. Next morning, she trumps up an excuse to confront jailed Reheema Bristow, whom Shayla had fingered as the straw buyer of two guns, and nearly strangles the handcuffed prisoner in her rage. Threatened with a lawsuit for her behavior, she drives out to visit Reheema's mother Arissa and turns her attention away from her hostess long enough to let the addled crackhead lift her wallet and totter off into the night. When Arissa is stabbed to death, the cops naturally come looking for the lawyer whose ID was found on the corpse. For reasons best known to him, Vicki's boss doesn't fire her, so she's free to team up with Reheema (!) to prowl the streets in a series of rental cars looking for the killers and finding trouble. On the home front, Vicki's self-styled best friend, her colleague Dan Malloy, is dumped by his perfect wife and falls so quickly into Vicki's bed that you just know things aren't going to go smoothly there either. Even after the shooter is arrested, bad things keep right on happening. Not without Scottoline's customary grit and humor, but sprawling and shapeless, with a particularly unconvincing third act. Bring back Bennie Rosato. Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.