The Truth About the Devlins

From #1 bestselling author Lisa Scottoline comes a pulse-pounding domestic thriller about family and justice, the ties that bind us, and the lies that tear us apart.

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 their 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. T.J. will fight to save his family, but what he learns might break them first.

A wayward son. A wealthy family. A murder that could destroy them all.

Meet The Devlins. Are they a family or a conspiracy?

New York Times Bestseller

USA Today Bestseller

★ Amazon Editors Best Mysteries, Thrillers and Suspense Books of 2024 So Far

★ Amazon Editors Most Anticipated Crime Fiction of Spring 2024

★ Most Anticipated Mystery of 2024 by Goodreads

★ Hall of Fame Selection by LibraryReads

★“Books We’re Looking Forward To” Selection by The Washington Post

★ A Must Read Mystery and Thriller Hitting Stores this Spring – The Real Book Spy

“What do you get when you combine family dysfunction plus deep dark secrets plus legal drama?  A thoroughly engrossing thriller that will keep you riveted till the very end.  Scottoline knocks this one out of the park!”
 —#1 New York Times bestselling author Lisa Gardner

“A ripping blend of legal and family drama.”
 —Publishers Weekly

“The tense mystery plays out as a catalyst for redemption and family healing—Scottoline’s heart-warming specialty. . . . A new family thriller by best-selling Scottoline is automatically a must-have.”

“Don’t miss another top-notch thriller from Lisa Scottoline! Lisa ratchets up the tension as the details surrounding a murder uncover a whole host of uncomfortable truths about the Devlins that threaten to destroy their business and their family.”
—Susan Kehoe, Browseabout Books, Rehoboth, DE

“I read this book in one big gulp! Lisa Scottoline is so good at writing page turners, and this book is no exception. A gripping thriller, at heart it’s a book about family, truth & loyalty.”
 —Trish Brown, One More Page Books, Arlington, VA

“I really enjoyed this book and kept turning the pages. I can recommend this novel to anyone who wants to read a fast paced family drama/thriller with great characters.”
 —Dorie Schultz, Barnes & Noble bookseller

“Family dysfunction, fast-paced action, and surprising twists. Another compelling family drama and thriller by the brilliant novelist, Lisa Scottoline ”
 —Kathy Morrison, Newtown Bookshop, Newtown, PA

Here are some questions to help you guide your discussion. 

1.      TJ is considered the black sheep of the Devlin family. Did you think his status changed over the course of the novel? In which instances do we see TJ “save” his family, and which moments of “saving” is he credited for?

2.      TJ demonstrates great empathy in his role as an investigator. Where do you think this ability stems from?

3.      For the sake of his family, TJ is forced to keep some secrets, putting himself at greater punitive risk than his “perfect” siblings. Why does TJ choose to take this risk? Why do you think John specifically chose to confide in TJ?

4.      Both John and Gabby, for different reasons, ask TJ for his help. To what extent does TJ have a reciprocal relationship with his siblings? How does birth order play a part in the respective familial expectations placed on them?

5.      TJ is so embroiled in the investigations for his siblings that he can barely keep himself afloat. With an eye toward achieving full recovery, did you agree with the choices TJ made during the novel?

6.      When TJ’s mother accuses him of lying, she warns him to stay out of trouble “because [she’s] tired of being afraid for [him].” Did you think this was a fair statement? To what extent is addiction criminalized when it comes to accusations against TJ?

7.      At the end of the day, the Devlinsare both a family and business. How does this duality complicate TJ’s role as an outsider? How does it inform the lengths he goes to to protect his family members? Discuss whether it’s best to keep family and business separate.

8.      Be it by the work of TJ’s father or brother, TJ manages to keep his name out of Rigel’s accident. To what extent are John or Paul’s efforts for TJ self-serving? Do the Devlins really look out for one another?

9.      TJ is haunted by the fact that nobody truly believes he has changed. Why do others struggle to see his growth, and why does this matter to him? Discuss how he recreates his identity through the course of the novel.

10.     Carrie, TJ’s ex, and Nancy, John’s wife, are two of the Devlins’s interpersonal casualties. Discuss their purpose in the novel. How do they compare to Gabby and TJ’s mother?

11.     Author Lisa Scottoline sheds light on the real-life atrocities of medical experimentation on Black prisoners, through the story of Gabby’s case. Discuss how this story thread amplified TJ’s journey throughout the novel.

12.     In honor of the title, discuss what “truths” the Devlins are forced to reckon with about themselves. Do you think they finally faced them?