Terry's Reviews > Daddy's Girl

Daddy's Girl by Lisa Scottoline
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Jul 16, 08

bookshelves: female-detectives, thriller, lawyers

"Daddy's Girl" is a fairly entertaining novel characterized by short chapters, a simple writing style, a fast-moving plot filled with lots of suspense, and an unusually strong protagonist who constantly succeeds in escaping dangerous and violent situations. The plot, however, also is full of coincidences and improbabilities that prevented me from being entertained and enthralled by the action.

The “girl” of "Daddy’s Girl" is Nat Greco, an assistant professor of law at the University of Pennsylvania who is coming up for tenure soon. She is the daughter of wealthy builder and the sister of three competitive, sports-loving brothers. She is described as the bookish, intellectual black sheep of the family. One day, she accepts a colleague’s invitation to teach a class at a nearby prison. She soon regrets her decision when a riot breaks out. After an inmate attempts to rape her and she is saved by her colleague, Nat runs to find help and witnesses a C.O. (correctional officer) bleeding to death after being stabbed by an inmate. Nat’s attempts to save him end with him whispering his final message in her ear: “Tell my wife it’s under the floor.” Nat’s attempts to deliver the message to the widow and decipher the cryptic message lead to more and more danger. Ultimately, she is accused of the attempted murder of the dead C.O.’s wife and the murder of a state trooper. She ends up running from the law, on which she is an authority, in order to prove her own innocence.

One of the major discrepancies about the book that bothers me is the title “Daddy’s Girl.” This title indicates that the premise of the plot is that the main character is trying to free herself form her overly protective father. Actually, her father and her family do not appear that much in the story and there really isn’t much interaction among them when they do appear. Nat’s father doesn’t really seem to care much about what she does or doesn’t do. He doesn’t really do much to make sure that his little girl is safe and happy. As a matter of fact, she does not even fit in with her family.

Another plot development that I find rather improbable is the character transformation of Nat. After the attempted murder of the C.O.’s wife and the murder of the state trooper, Nat suddenly decides to cut her long brunette hair short and bleach it blonde. With this physical transformation comes a personality change and Nat’s behavior becomes rather questionable and curious, such as speeding down icy highways, setting a car on fire, dodging bullets and homicidal pick-up truck drivers, and running from the law. She gets caught by the cops several times but always manages to escape.

Finally, there is a twist in the plot at the end of the novel that seems to come out of nowhere. Nat discovers that the fellow law professor who brought her to the prison at the beginning of the story, and who has become her new love interest, is actually the perpetrator behind the prison riot, a failed prison escape, and all the murders. It seems contrived to me.

See also Linda Fairstein
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