- Gabby Womack
While Justice Sleeps by Stacey Abrams
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
"Avery Keene, a brilliant young law clerk for the legendary Justice Howard Wynn, is doing her best to hold her life together—excelling in an arduous job with the court while also dealing with a troubled family. When the shocking news breaks that Justice Wynn—the cantankerous swing vote on many current high-profile cases—has slipped into a coma, Avery’s life turns upside down. She is immediately notified that Justice Wynn has left instructions for her to serve as his legal guardian and power of attorney. Plunged into an explosive role she never anticipated, Avery finds that Justice Wynn had been secretly researching one of the most controversial cases before the court—a proposed merger between an American biotech company and an Indian genetics firm, which promises to unleash breathtaking results in the medical field. She also discovers that Wynn suspected a dangerously related conspiracy that infiltrates the highest power corridors of Washington.
As political wrangling ensues in Washington to potentially replace the ailing judge whose life and survival Avery controls, she begins to unravel a carefully constructed, chesslike sequence of clues left behind by Wynn. She comes to see that Wynn had a much more personal stake in the controversial case and realizes his complex puzzle will lead her directly into harm’s way in order to find the truth. While Justice Sleeps is a cunningly crafted, sophisticated novel, layered with myriad twists and a vibrant cast of characters. Drawing on her astute inside knowledge of the court and political landscape, Stacey Abrams shows herself to be not only a force for good in politics and voter fairness but also a major new talent in suspense fiction." - Barnes and Noble
Believe the hype! Ms. Abrams delivers a well-paced and researched political thriller with the help of her family and their combined knowledge of law, epidemiology, and literature. She states that this book took twelve years to get published and I believe this is the right time. Abrams successfully guides readers through discussions on the meanings of patriotism, loyalty, sacrifice, and our government.
Avery's path is an unpredictable one. As much as I often like to take guesses at the endings of books like this, I didn't have time to do that. I was try to keep up with the details, as I'm aware that Ms. Abrams is a stickler for details. This character is reminiscent, to me, of the Civil War spy Mary Bowser, who also had photographic memory (also known as eidetic memory). Should there be more political, legal, mysteries starring Ms. Avery Keene I'd be an instant fan.
For a long time, I avoided political mysteries, detective novels, and police procedurals because they gave the impression that the good guys always won, the law enforcement were usually trustworthy, and these genres seemed overwhelmingly white and male. Thus, I did not feel like replacing my historical fiction and romance books with novels like these. Stacey Abrams changed that for me. Not only do I connect with the main character through my identity, but I also feel like the book is not loaded with traditionally masculine thought processes and plots.
I recommend this book to folks who love a good mystery and are ready for a wild ride.