Mistaken Identity (Rosato & Associates Series #4)

Mistaken Identity (Rosato & Associates Series #4)

by Lisa Scottoline


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New York Times Bestselling Author

For the first time in trade paperback, a backlist favorite from New York Times bestselling author Lisa Scottoline...

Accused of committing cold-blooded murder, Alice Connolly wants one lawyer to defend her: Bennie Rosato. But the no-nonsense Philadelphia criminal attorney isn’t interested—until she meets the accused killer face to face—and can’t believe what she sees. Alice claims she’s Bennie twin—and the woman does bear an uncanny resemblance to her. But Bennie grew up an only child. She doesn’t have a sister. Or does she?

Agreeing to take the case, Bennie plunges into the mystery of the murder and into the depths of her own past—a twisting search for justice and the truth that will keep the seasoned attorney guessing and leave readers breathless until the verdict is in.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062104571
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 07/23/2019
Series: Rosato & Associates Series , #4
Pages: 565
Sales rank: 112,788
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.50(d)

About the Author

Lisa Scottoline is a New York Times bestselling author and serves as president of the Mystery Writers of America. She has won the Edgar Award, as well as many other writing awards. She also writes a Sunday humor column for the Philadelphia Inquirer, titled "Chick Wit," with her daughter, Francesca Serritella. There are thirty million copies of Lisa's books in print, and she has been published in thirty-two countries. She lives in Pennsylvania with an array of disobedient but adorable pets.


Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Date of Birth:

July 1, 1955

Place of Birth:

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania


B.A., University of Pennsylvania, 1976; J.D., University of Pennsylvania Law School, 1981

Read an Excerpt

Bennie Rosato shuddered when she caught sight of the place. The building stretched three blocks long and stood eight stories tall. It lacked conventional windows; instead, slits of bulletproof glass scored its brick facade. Spiked guard towers anchored its corners and a double row of cyclone fencing topped with razor wire encircled its perimeter, attesting to its maximum security status. Exiled to the industrial outskirts of the city, Philadelphia's Central Corrections housed murderers, sociopaths, and rapists. At least when they weren't on parole.

Bennie pulled into a parking space in the half-empty visitors' lot, climbed out of her Ford Expedition, and walked down the sidewalk in June's humidity, wrestling with her reluctance. She'd stopped practicing criminal law and had promised herself she'd never see the prison again until the telephone call from a woman inmate who was awaiting trial. The woman had been charged with the shooting murder of her boyfriend, a detective with the Philadelphia police, but claimed a group of uniforms had framed her. Bennie specialized in prosecuting police misconduct, so she'd slid a fresh legal pad into her briefcase and had driven up to interview the inmate.

The opportunity to change read a metal plaque over the door, and Bennie managed not to laugh. The prison had been designed with the belief that vocational training would convert heroin dealers to keypunch operators and since nobody had any better ideas, still operated on the assumption. Bennie opened the heavy gray door, an inexplicably large dent buckling its middle, and went inside. She was immediately assaulted by stifling air, thick with sweat, disinfectant, and a cacophony ofrapid-fire Spanish, street English, and languages Bennie didn't recognize. Whenever she entered the prison, Bennie felt as if she were walking into another world, and the sight evoked in her a familiar dismay.

The waiting room, packed with inmates' families, looked more like day care than prison. Infants in arms rattled plastic keys in primary colors, babies crawled from lap to lap, and a toddler practiced his first steps in the aisle, grabbing a plastic sandal for support as he staggered past. Bennie knew the statistics: nationwide, seventy-five percent of women inmates are mothers. The average prison term for a woman lasts a childhood. No matter whether Bennie's clients had been brought here by circumstance or corruption, she could never forget that their children were the ultimate victims, ignored at our peril. She couldn't fix it no matter how hard she'd tried and she couldn't stop trying, so she had finally turned away.

Bennie suppressed the thought and threaded her way to the front desk while the crowd socialized. Two older women, one white and one black, exchanged recipes written on index cards. Hispanic and white teenagers huddled together, a bouquet of backward baseball caps laughing over photos of a trip to Hershey Park. Two Vietnamese boys shared the sports section with a white kid across the aisle. Unless prison procedures had changed, these families would be the Monday group, visiting inmates with last names A through F, and over time they'd become friends. Bennie used to think their friendliness a form of denial until she realized it was profoundly human, like the camaraderie she'd experienced in hospital waiting rooms, in the worst circumstances.

The guards at the front desk, a woman and a man, were on the telephone. Female and male guards worked at the prison because both sexes were incarcerated here, in separate wings. Behind the desk was a panel of smoked glass that looked opaque but concealed the prison's large, modern control center. Security monitors glowed faintly through the glass, their chalky gray screens ever-changing. A profile moved in front of a lighted screen like a storm cloud in front of the moon.
Bennie waited patiently for a guard, which cut against her grain. She questioned authority for a living, but she had learned not to challenge prison guards. They performed daily under conditions at least as threatening as those facing cops, but were acutely aware they earned less and weren't the subject of any cool TV shows. No kid grew up wanting to be a prison guard.

While Bennie waited, a little boy with bells on his shoelaces toddled over and stared up at her. She was used to the reaction even though she wasn't conventionally pretty; Bennie stood six feet tall, strong and sturdy. Her broad shoulders were emphasized by the padding of her yellow linen suit, and wavy hair the color of pale honey spilled loose to her back. Her features were more honest than beautiful, but big blondes caught the eye, approving or no. Bennie smiled at the child to show she wasn't a banana.

"You an attorney?" asked the female guard, hanging up the phone. She was an African-American woman in a jet-black uniform and pinned to her heavy breast had been a badge of gold electroplate. The guard's hair had been combed back into a tiny bun from which stiff hairs sprung like a pinwheel, and her short sleeves were rolled up, macho style.

"Yeah, I'm a lawyer," Bennie answered. "I used to have an ID card but I'll be damned if I can find it."
"I'll look it up. Gimme your driver's license. Fill out the request slip. Sign the OV book for official visitors," the guard said on autopilot, and pushed a yellow clip ID across the counter.

Bennie produced her license, scribbled a request slip, and signed the log book. "I'm here to see Alice Connolly. Unit D, Cell 53."

"What's in the briefcase?"

"Legal papers."

"Put your purse in the lockers. No cell phones, cameras, or recording devices. Take a seat. We'll call you when they bring her down to the interview room."

What People are Saying About This

David Baldacci

For racheting suspense, dynamite characters and a master's touch in the courtroom, it's tough to beat Lisa Scottoline.
— Author of The Simple Truth

Robert Tannenbaum

A legal thriller that seamlessly combines courtroom strategies and family secrets. Scottoline raises the bar!

Reading Group Guide


Many book clubs have written Lisa asking for questions to guide their discussion, so Lisa came up with a bunch for each book. Her goal in writing books is to entertain, so it goes without saying that Lisa wants you to have lots of fun discussing her books, and has reflected that in her questions. She provides the talking points, and you and your group shape the conversation. So go ahead, get together, chat it up with your friends, discuss books, kids, and relationships, but by all means, have fun.


  1. Read the Acknowledgements. How weird is it that Lisa didn't know she had a half-sister? How often does this happen and not make it to Montel? Did it happen to anyone you know? And if something like that happened to you, would you put it in a book for the whole entire world to read about? Where do authors get their ideas and why don't they come up with better ones?

  2. When is a good story an invasion of privacy?

  3. Would you defend your twin on a murder charge? Should Bennie? Do you understand why she does?

  4. Is Grady hot enough for you? Is it weird that he's younger than Bennie?

  5. What is justice? Is it justice if Alice goes free, or not?

  6. This book is told in the third person, unlike Legal Tender which has a single point of view. Like it better or worse? Why did Lisa make this decision? Anything about the story, or was she just in the mood? You know how silly she can be.

  7. This boxing thing is a big part of the book. Do we like it? Why is it here? Does it inform character? How did Lisa do with her boxing lessons? Is it okay to say "sucks at boxing" in a book club?

  8. Do we like Lou?

  9. Why does Lisa put us through a parent's death? Is she just a big meanie?

  10. What did we think of the courtroom scenes? Agree with the verdict?

  11. Where did Alice go? Is she dead or will she come back? Hint: Heh heh.

About the author

Lisa Scottoline is a New York Times bestselling author and former trial lawyer. She has won the Edgar Award, the highest prize in suspense fiction, and the Distinguished Author Award from the Weinberg Library of the University of Scranton. She has served as the Leo Goodwin Senior Professor of Law and Popular Culture at Nova Southeastern Law School, and her novels are used by bar associations for the ethical issues they present. Her books are published in more than twenty languages. She lives with her family in the Philadelphia area.

Customer Reviews

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Mistaken Identity 3.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 59 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Powerful novel from an author who continually raises her own bar, Mistaken Identity is what legal fiction should be all about--compelling story, strong character development, and dialogue which jumps off the pages. This novel has more than enough detail(backed by solid research by the author) to be believable, yet general enough so that you don't have to be a lawyer or judge to like the story. If you've ever had to suspend disbelief in order to be effective, this book is for you. This is no 'formula' book. It plays on so many different levels besides law. It peels away the layers of relationships--father/daughter, sibling/sibling, male/female, and various other triangles--while being very action oriented. Clearly a page-turner of the first degree. Ready for your next one, Ms. Scottoline!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Started the book on an airplane and had to stay up all night to finish it. If you like Grisham and Cornwell, this one is a must-read!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This was a terrible book. Just terrible. Horrible ending. The ending was rushed.
L.M.Spaeth 5 months ago
Mean Twisted Sister/Disappearing Dad Finding out later in life that there is someone out there who looks like you, can imitate you right down to a “T” and have that person just disappear without you getting answers, is a stunning and very baffling moment in life. Finding out you still have a living father and he maneuvered to get you and your sister together, is life changing. Having him pick up and leave without getting answers is downright mind boggling. So many questions unanswered is fodder for another tell all (or tell a wee bit more) book. I enjoyed every minute reading this novel and look forward to getting to know more about Bennie’s family tree…shaky as it is.
Anonymous 10 months ago
CandyH on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
What a thriller! This is full of many twists and is difficult to figure out right up to the end of the book.
Kathy89 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Interesting legal procedural. Criminal lawyer finds out she has a twin on trial for murder who is a life long criminal.
RomeoRomeo More than 1 year ago
Very disappointing. My first Lisa Scottoline book. Flashes of impressive, descriptive prose in the early chapters was followed by an incoherent, meandering plot, and inconsistent character creation. The final chapters seem to be the product of an insistent publisher demanding completion by a date certain. I'm not even sure I want to read another one. Not yet anyway.
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bmamca36 More than 1 year ago
I love by Rosato and Associates books written by Lisa Scottolini. I would recommend to anyone who enjoys legal thrillers are even just a good mystery. The characters are well developed and likable. The story is face paced and never dull. Would have liked to have seen a better ending.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought this would be a good story after reading the overview. After reading a few chapters I am realizing I was wrong and finding it very difficult to continue. I find it is over descriptive as well as redundant. Since I am one not to waste money, even if it is just 3.99, I will continue to the end and hope at some point it get's better.
jacquiejm More than 1 year ago
Very good. Most would like it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
interesting; a good storyline. worth reading.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The complete series of Rosato and associates is worth checking out
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
LJrags More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. I couldnt stop reading it. Would recommend it to every one. All of her books that Ive read, have all been good.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've enjoyed a lot of her books, but this one dropped the F word way too much. I stopped reading it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago