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While Justice Sleeps


While Justice Sleeps

Regardless of your political views, you have to admire Stacey Abrams’ literary accomplishments. She has written eight romance novels under the pen name “Selena Montgomery” and once told the Washington Post, “Black women can be as adventurous and attractive as any white woman in fiction.” Now Abrams has penned her first thriller, WHILE JUSTICE SLEEPS, and it’s a page-turner.

A major case is before the United States Supreme Court involving the pending merger of two international drug companies. The Court seems divided, and the key vote belongs to Justice Howard Wynn, who is a cross between iconic Justices William Douglas and Anthony Kennedy.

"...a page-turner.... The setting and characters are part of the legal profession, but the real story is simply a good old-fashioned thriller."

As the end of the Court term approaches in June without a decision, Wynn is stricken by a mysterious disease and falls into a coma. To everyone’s surprise, he left documents appointing his law clerk, Avery Keene, as his guardian with all powers over his medical condition as well as his legal affairs. Avery is reluctant to accept this responsibility, but a series of events makes it clear to her that she must do as her boss directed.

With that basic introduction, readers begin a labyrinth-like journey through Washington, D.C. agencies and meet a cast of villains, including government agents whose behavior willingly feeds every conspiracy theory spanning the political spectrum from A to Z.

While the book has its origins in the legal system, most of it takes place not in a courtroom but in international corporate offices and science and medical labs. I found it to be comparable to John Grisham’s novel, THE FIRM. The setting and characters are part of the legal profession, but the real story is simply a good old-fashioned thriller.

Common sense does leave the room in the final chapters, and some readers may find the conclusion to be a bit over the top, especially those with legal experience or who have knowledge of Supreme Court history. Still, this should not deter you from enjoying a truly remarkable novel by a talented writer.

Reviewed by Stuart Shiffman on May 14, 2021

While Justice Sleeps
by Stacey Abrams

  • Publication Date: April 12, 2022
  • Genres: Fiction, Suspense, Thriller
  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Anchor
  • ISBN-10: 0593310934
  • ISBN-13: 9780593310939