Masterful storytelling ... gripping legal drama ... relentless suspense -- these are the hallmarks of Perri O'Shaughnessy's work. Critics hail her legal thrillers as "terrific ... will keep you turning the pages into the night" (USA Today) and "a real puzzler ... with twists diabolical enough to take to court" (The New York Times Book Review).
Now the New York Times bestselling author of Move to Strike returns with Writ of Execution, an electrifying tale that plunges attorney Nina Reilly into a shadowy world of high-stakes money and cold-blooded murder.
In the mountain resort town of South Lake Tahoe, Nina Reilly is known for taking on the underdog cases, the kind that can make -- or break -- her one-woman law practice. Her latest case begins in the middle of a summer night when she is called away from a very personal visit to her investigator Paul van Wagoner's hotel room to meet with a desperate new client at her office who gives her name as Jessie Potter. The frightened young woman has just hit a huge slot machine jackpot, and the men in suits are waiting to hand her the check just as soon as she tells them her real identity.
With time running out, Nina helps her client devise a brilliant plan to collect the money while keeping her true identity a secret. Unfortunately, powerful interests have lined up to grab the money. The gaming commission thinks the jackpot was rigged. The man sitting on the seat just before the jackpot hit says it's his, and he doesn't mind going outside the law to get it. And the wealthy man stalking Nina's client has retained an unscrupulous local lawyer, Jeff Riesner, to attack the jackpot winnings using a legal maneuver called a Writ of Execution. The odds of Jessie ever collecting are starting to look hopeless.
For Nina, what began as a fight for an underdog in federal court soon escalates into something very different and far more dangerous. Jessie has a secret, and she needs that money for a very good reason. By the time Nina discovers that Jessie is withholding vital information, it might be too late for her client and even for Nina herself.
Because somewhere in the darkening Tahoe night, people are dying. A cold-blooded, obsessed killer will stop at nothing -- including execution-style murder -- to get that jackpot in a case where the Writ of Execution has become more than a legal maneuver; it's a death warrant.
Sweeping from the glittering casinos of Tahoe to the drama of a packed courtroom to the darkness of a woman's secret past, Writ of Execution is spellbinding entertainment -- Perri O'Shaughnessy's most intricate and compelling novel to date.
A wild, just-barely-believable scenario jump-starts this serviceably written, well-paced and engaging courtroom thriller, seventh in a series by the bestselling duo (sisters Pamela and Mary O'Shaughnessy) who write under the pen name Perri. On an ordinary night at a Lake Tahoe casino, a young ex-Marine and Native American widow named Jessie Potter punches a button on a slot machine and winds up hitting the jackpot to the tune of $7 million. Rather than jumping for joy, she flees the casino, dragging computer nerd Kenny Leung, the man at the slot machine next to hers, along with her. Jessie, it is revealed, is being stalked and can't sign for her check, for fear of publicity. Desperate for a solution, she convinces Kenny to marry her so she can sign as Mrs. Leung, and to protect her interests, she hires lawyer Nina Reilly, back once more after her adventures in Move to Strike. The story takes off when Jessie's former father-in-law enters the picture with a wrongful death suit, claiming that Jessie killed his son, and a writ of execution that will seize all of Jessie's assets, including the $7 million. Meanwhile, key witnesses to Jessie's win keep turning up dead, and Nina and her arch rival, Jeff Riesner, face off in court. Although development of the interpersonal relationships is rushed, making them never quite as believable as they should be, and the language and dialogue are rendered predictably, the suspenseful and well-executed courtroom scenes provide ample payoff. In particular, the book's final third captivates with its scenes of wily courtroom negotiation. Readers will relish the myriad plot details and the procedural drama, and enjoy the cast of offbeat characters. Major ad/promo; author tour.