Book review: The Truth About the Devlins by Lisa Scottoline

Monday, July 8, 2024 Permalink

The Truth About the Devlins by Lisa Scottoline seemed familiar to me. I’m unsure if I started reading it at some point earlier… I even had the same thought in response to the opening pages – an assumption the narrator was a woman (one I’d had before).

TJ (a guy!) is the black sheep in a family of lawyers, having spent time in prison as a result of alcoholism that started in his teens. He’s on track now, though working in a tokenistic investigator job in the family company. Despite changing his ways he continues to feel inferior to his brother and sister and a disappointment to his parents.

Here however, his older brother John (who he idolised as a child) comes to TJ worried he’s killed a client. He claims it was in self-defence but he needs TJ’s help. All – however – is not as it seems and soon TJ is the suspect in that man’s murder.

Book review: The Truth About the Devlins by Lisa ScottolineThe Truth About the Devlins
by Lisa Scottoline
Published by Bedford Square Publishers, No Exit Press
on 04/07/2024
Source: NetGalley
Genres: Crime Fiction
ISBN: 183501108X
Pages: 310

TJ Devlin is the charming disappointment in the prominent Devlin family, all of whom are lawyers at their highly successful firm—except him. After a stint in prison and rehab for alcoholism, TJ can't get hired anywhere except at the firm, in a make-work job with the title of investigator.

But one night, TJ's world turns upside down after his older brother John confesses that he just murdered one of the clients, an accountant he'd confronted with proof of embezzlement. It seems impossible coming from John, the firstborn son and Most Valuable Devlin.

TJ plunges into the investigation, seizing the chance to prove his worth and save his brother. But in no time, TJ and John find themselves entangled in a lethal web of deception and murder. TJ will fight to save his family, but what he learns might break them first.

There was something occasionally infuriating in this read… how easily TJ’s family believed he had slipped and started drinking again, thanks to one person’s lies and no actual evidence. Obviously readers are meant to connect with TJ. And as we know the truth, I (for one!) was angered on his behalf.

We’re offered two mysteries for the price of one here as there’s the case of the murdered client whose employer is on the precipice of a huge buyout which will make them (and the Devlins) a lot of money. And then there’s a case TJ’s sister Gabby is leading – a pro-bono case suing pharmaceutical companies for using prisoners as guinea pigs for trial drugs decades earlier.

Ultimately this has a satisfactory conclusion and Scottoline even throws in an epilogue for those of us who like happy endings and justice being served.

I’ve read a lot of Scottoline’s legal procedurals and enjoyed them a lot. This is another entertaining and engaging book offering up a good balance of family drama and ‘clue-uncovering’.

The Truth About the Devlins by Lisa Scottoline was published by No Exit Press in early July 2024.

I received an electronic copy of this from the publisher for review purposes.


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