Corrupted (Rosato & DiNunzio #3/ Rosato & Associates #14) by Lisa Scottoline (St. Martin's Press hardcover, 27 October 2015).
Bennie Rosato doesn't take murder cases anymore, but when Jason Lefkavick calls her from jail, asking her to represent him, she doesn't hesitate to say agree, hoping she can make amends for failing him when he was just a kid.
Flashback to mid-December 2002:
Rosato & Associates, still a tiny firm of only four attorneys plus support staff, is in the midst of their staff holiday party when Bennie receives a call from Matthew Lefkavick. His 12-year-old son Jason has been taken to jail for fighting at school. Bennie is astonished and outraged, but she's inexperienced with juvenile law and explains that to Mr. Lefkavick. He tells her that he's read in the paper that she "takes on cases for the little guy", that he's the little guy and he needs her help.
He finally convinces Bennie to drive up to Mountaintop, a small town two hours north of Philadelphia, to talk to him, and she agrees to take the case, not realizing how it would affect her emotionally.
Although I'm often frustrated by books that contain flashbacks, this one did not affect me that way.
It's wonderful to see the firm in its early days, when both the attorneys and the staff were still getting to know each other. Meeting Bennie in 2002 helps us to understand the Bennie of today much more clearly.
This is a satisfying read for fans of Bennie and her colleagues; those new to the series shouldn't have problems, but will (hopefully) want to read it from the beginning.
FTC Full disclosure: Many thanks to the publisher for the Advance Reading Copy of the book.