Without approval, Judy Carrier, an associate in Bennie Rosato's law firm, takes "Pigeon" Tony Lucia on as a client. The 80-year-old Lucia has been accused of killing the equally elderly Angelo Coluzzi.

When Judy interviews Tony, he freely admits to killing Coluzzi because 50 years earlier, in the old country, Coluzzi arranged for the deaths of Tony's wife and son. Judy knows that no jury or judge will accept this. As Judy builds her case with the help of Tony's very colorful friends, Tony-Two-Feet and Tony-From-Down-The-Block, she also finds herself strongly attracted to Tony'sPigeon Tony, that ishandsome grandson Frankie. However, the love affair, as well as the trial, may come to naught, for Judy has earned the ire of the Coluzzi family.

Quirky characters, a touch of romance, and sly humor make THE VENDETTA DEFENSE a satisfying read. Attorney Scottoline presents an unusual case and fans will definitely enjoy the courtroom manipulations. (Mar., 480 pp., $7.99) Hardcover published May 2001.

Reviewed by: 
Toby Bromberg