cover image While Justice Sleeps

While Justice Sleeps

Stacey Abrams. Doubleday, $28.95 (384p) ISBN 978-0-385-54657-7

Democratic party rising star Abrams (Our Time Is Now: Power, Purpose, and the Fight for a Fair America) is more Brad Meltzer than Scott Turow in her debut legal thriller. Avery Keene, a law clerk to Supreme Court justice Howard Wynn, is stunned to learn that her boss is in a coma, and that he has named Avery his legal guardian. With Wynn the potential swing vote in a number of key cases, his medical condition has major implications, and Avery’s status is contested by the judge’s estranged second wife, who vows to turn off life support if Avery is granted this authority, which includes power of attorney. When Avery seeks out Wynn’s nurse, who left a cryptic message on her voicemail in accord with the jurist’s instructions, she finds the woman murdered. More deaths follow as Abrams pulls back the curtain gradually to reveal evil machinations in the highest corridors of power, and the action builds to an over-the-top denouement at the Supreme Court. Fans of the TV drama Scandal may feel at home, but Abrams’s many political supporters may be disappointed that she didn’t choose to ground her plot in real-life issues. [em]Agent: Linda Loewenthal, Loewenthal Co. (May) [/em]