Fiction. Suspense. Thriller. HTML:From celebrated national leader and bestselling author Stacey Abrams, While Justice Sleeps is a gripping, complexly plotted thriller set within the halls of the U.S. Supreme Court. "Brilliant and mesmerizing. Abrams follows in Dan Brownâ??s footprint with this masterfully plotted thriller that unfolds like the ultimate chess matchâ??bold move to bolder move with lives hanging in the balance."â??Lisa Gardner "Stacey Abrams is a true novelist, and While Justice Sleeps is a first-class legal thriller, favorably compared to many of the best, starting with The Pelican Brief, which it brings to mind. Itâ??s fast-paced and full of surprisesâ??a terrific read."â??Scott Turow Avery Keene, a brilliant young law clerk for the legendary Justice Howard Wynn, is doing her best to hold her life togetherâ??excelling in an arduous job with the court while also dealing with a troubled family. When the shocking news breaks that Justice Wynnâ??the cantankerous swing vote on many current high-profile casesâ??has slipped into a coma, Averyâ??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 courtâ??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 harmâ??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. With an audio-exclusive Original Introduction
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Quotes: " The members of the Senate loved the sound of their own voices, but the House had a different job. They had to actually talk to people."
The plot involves the
This story is way too long, too many plot twists to make sense to be enjoyable.
It went off the rails about half way through when I lost interest in the plot and the characters.
It was surprising good, a splendid read as long as you accept it as the thriller it is. Four stars due to its ultimate implausibility, but if you like stories like the Nicholas Cage movie National Treasure,
Avery Keene is a baby lawyer, serving as clerk to Supreme Court Justice Howard Wynn, a populist whose longstanding feud with conservative President Brandon Stokes has recently boiled over in a public confrontation at a university graduation. So when Justice Wynn falls into a coma just before the Supreme Court will rule on the merger of two U.S. and Indian biotechnology firms â€” a case that the president has a personal stake in â€” tensions are high all over Washington, D.C. And when itâ€™s revealed that Wynn secretly named Avery as his legal guardian before falling ill, shadowy forces are determined to make sure sheâ€™s unable to fulfill the justiceâ€™s final wishes.
As thrillers go, While Justice Sleeps is pretty well paced. I canâ€™t speak to the plausibility of the biotech aspect, but the idea of a coverup becoming worse than the original crime is a familiar one. I also canâ€™t speak to the authenticity of the way that Wynn leaves clues for Avery disguised as chess commentary, but it didnâ€™t seem outlandish. The main weakness for me was the writing. Itâ€™s certainly not unreadable, but the pedestrian and sometimes clunky prose and dialogue were not on a par with the brisk plotting or deft characterization.
I also appreciated the graceful way that Abrams populated her story with a diverse set of characters who inhabited their roles without calling undue attention to the specifics of their identity. Itâ€™s a fine example of the adage â€śShow, donâ€™t tell.â€ť
One of the best scenes in the book is a flashback to a conversation between Justice Wynn and his clerk, which in retrospect is laying the foundations for Avery to be able to follow the clues he will leave her to uncover the scandal surrounding the merger case. Once again, chess is the language through which Wynn communicates:
"Thatâ€™s when the queen became the most powerful piece, but still in service to a king. What do you think of that?â€ť
â€śOf what, sir?â€ť
â€śOf the queen being responsible for saving the king, but that only his life is sacred. Should offend your feminist sensibilities, no?â€ť
Avery grinned. â€śMy feminist sensibilities are not offended. In a game of strategy, the king is a figurehead, unable to save his own life without the aid of others. The queen is powerful and dynamic. She will protect the king, but not because of weakness. Itâ€™s because thatâ€™s what sheâ€™s supposed to do.â€ť She added, â€śIt was in the tenth century that the queen replaced the vizier on the chessboard. Vizier meant leader, and in the next five hundred years, she became the most powerful piece on the board. A nice evolution.â€ť
Political thrillers these days have a tough row to hoe. The outlandish plots that normally capture the imagination of the reading public can seem like small beer in the face of our extreme contemporary politics. Iâ€™m not convinced that Abrams has succeeded in overcoming that reality, but if nothing else, it is certainly a relief to read about a horrifying situation that isnâ€™t true.
The storyline is complex and requires the readerâ€™s attention especially if, like me, you are not conversant in genetic research. Averyâ€™s unique problem-solving abilities seemed a bit of a stretch, requiring some suspension of disbelief. There are also a lot of characters to keep track of, and it takes time for Avery to determine which ones can be trusted. But the fast-paced plotting and rapid twists and turns kept me turning the pages.
I picked up this book primarily because of its author, Georgia politician Stacey Abrams, who has earned a name for herself both as a state legislator and leader in the fight for voting rights. Because of her high profile, this book has gained more attention than previous novels which were published under a pseudonym. This is not entirely unwarranted, and while I think Iâ€™d rather see Abrams devote her time to righting injustices in our political systems, thereâ€™s no doubt she can also write compelling thrillers.
The person with that power of attorney is a young court clerk, who is mystified that she has been given so much power. The comatose justice has left her a series of clues about what he wants her to do, and it is up to her to figure out that the clues lead to an international conspiracy that involves the current president.
This is a fun political thriller, with good plot twists and clever characters. It's one you don't want to think about too hard - it has some tropes such as "it just so happens that the main character's best friends all have the exact set of skills she needs to solve the mystery" and "two main characters thrown into catastrophe together end up falling for each other even though that's really not a good idea." But that's okay - it's a fun book with a satisfying ending.
Unfortunately, I listened to the audiobook, and the narrator is terrible. She sounds like one of those computer voices that reads text without any understanding of what the text actually means. I think I would have liked the book a whole lot more with a different narrator.
We get a glimpse into the workings of the Supreme Court and national government as well. Undoubtedly many liberties are
Avery Keene is surprised to find that she's been named power of attorney for a Supreme Court justice she clerks for after he falls into a coma. It doesn't take long for her to discover that there are forces working against his wishes and that he has left her puzzles to uncover a horrific truth.
This is deep in espionage, law and the Supreme Court's unique status, scientific discovery/abuses, government entities, corruption, kidnappings and killings. Like any good thriller it was a novel that held my attention and is forcing me to be just a bit more afraid!
While Justice Sleeps engages in a relentless pace from the get-go as a Supreme Court justice with a genetic disease falls into