Book Review: Damaged by Lisa Scottoline

Book Title and Author: Damaged by Lisa Scottoline
Series: Rosato & DiNunzio #4
Publication date and Publisher: August 16th 2016 by St. Martin’s Press
Genre: Mystery, Thriller, Fiction
Pages: 405 pages
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Date Read: 5/26/17
4 Stars
From the New York Times bestselling author comes the much-anticipated fourth book in the Rosato & DiNunzio thriller series.
Damaged finds Mary DiNunzio, partner at the all-female law firm of Rosato & DiNunzio, embroiled in one of her most heartbreaking cases yet. Suing the Philadelphia school district to get help for a middle school boy with emotional issues, Mary ends up becoming the guardian ad litem of her minor client. As she goes up against Nick Machiavelli, her opposing counsel and the dark prince of South Philly lawyers who will use any means necessary to defeat her, she becomes more and more invested in the case—and puts everything, including her engagement to her longtime boyfriend, on the line.


I’ve been a huge Lisa Scottoline fan since her 1st book Everywhere That Mary Went was published in 1994, and Mary DiNunzio is one of my favorite of all her characters. So, I was glad to see that Mary had the leading role in Damaged. As a former lawyer, Scottoline is an expert in the legal thriller genre, and I think she is one of the best writers, if not the best, of the legal thriller genre. Not only that, Scottoline is not afraid to tackle some really sensitive and emotionally charged subject matters, which she handles with great sensitivity and respect exactly like she does in Damaged. Plus, you can always count on Scottoline to bring a bit of humor into her novels!

In this book, Mary is preparing for her marriage to Anthony when she becomes involved in one of her most heartbreaking cases. Patrick, a 10-year-old dyslexic boy who also suffers from anxiety, is being sued for assault by a teacher’s aide when it is Patrick who is the victim and is being terribly abused. Mary immediately advocates for Patrick, who only has his elderly grandfather Edward O’Brien to care for him, and she does all she can to get justice for Patrick. Then a completely unexpected and terrible twist happens in the case, one that could tear Mary and Anthony apart…

Damaged covers some very sensitive issues that are very real in our school system today: bullying, special education needs, and unfortunately, student abuse, which as both a parent and a teacher, I was especially interested in reading and appreciated the fact that Scottoline used her writing platform to bring attention to such important and heartbreaking issues that do occur in the school systems at all education levels. Scottoline’s research was impeccable, and it was fascinating to read about Special Education law, which I really knew little about!

Scottoline does an excellent job as always with the twists and turns in the story, and it was wonderful to revisit old characters, especially Mary’s wonderful family and meet new characters since Scottoline always infuses such depth in each of her characters! The wicked opposing counsel Nick Machiavelli was an excellent foil to Mary and easy to hate!

This was the 4th book in the Rosato & DiNunzio series, and it’s an excellent addition to the series although it can certainly be read as a stand-alone novel. Damaged made an excellent addition to my Scottoline collection, and I highly recommend it!


7 thoughts on “Book Review: Damaged by Lisa Scottoline

    1. I have 1 in 1st grade and 1 a junior, so it really hit me, especially since my oldest has ADD and anxiety, and I’ve had to advocate for him in the past with teacher’s who’ve not exactly been up and up. Being a teacher myself, that always infuriated me since your students welfare should always, always come first, no matter what. This book was a real eye opener for me as well, and I really hope you enjoy it! I’d love to hear what you think after you read it 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, I have two boys, one in university and one in middle school. Both ADD, and the struggle is real. Glad to hear that you look out for your students 🙂 It makes such a difference in their lives!

        I’m looking forward to reading this, I’ll let you know what my thoughts are 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. It is a struggle! I have found, you probably too, that teachers like to think parents and kids want to use ADD as an excuse. Not at all! It’s a genuine that’s far too over diagnosed, but a real issue. And thank you! I think if you’re not in teaching for the students and to mentor them then you need another job…I look forward to hearing how you like the book! Just to be forewarned, the student abuse they discover is sexual 😠


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