First and foremost, a large thank you to NetGalley, Robert Dugoni, and Thomas & Mercer for providing me with a copy of this publication, which allows me to provide you with an unbiased review.
Robert Dugoni, master storyteller and legal thriller writer extraordinaire, is back with a standalone novel that will have readers on the edge of their seats. Set in his usual Seattle, Dugoni explores a case in which a wheelchair-bound woman is found shot in her home and the husband is the prime suspect. Keera Duggan is ready to work the case, but it will take all her efforts, both to defend the husband and show her family that she can play in the big leagues. A great story that could easily be the opening salvo in a new series. Dugoni at his best and just what fans need to tide them over.
Keera Duggan has a great future as a prosecutor in Seattle, but some personal choices made that path all but impossible. She’s back working in the family law firm, serving as a defense attorney, and trying to keep her alcholic father away from the bottle. Her past as a competitive chess player keeps her memories somewhat positive, though Keera is ready for a new challenge and wants to leave the shadow of her siblings’ disappointing views.
When Keera takes the call of Vince LaRussa, she thinks that she may have found a way to rebuild her career and help the firm rebound to its successful past. LaRussa is an investment advisor who has been accused of murdering his wife, whose wealth is the only positive she has left. Wheelchair-bound after a freak accident, Mrs. LaRussa has been biding her time, but made mention to her closest friend that she may be ready to divorce Vince. This motive, tied with the fact that she was shot in the back of the head, is enough for Seattle PD to begin pulling out all the stops to determine how Vince may have committed the crime. With her former lover serving as the lead prosecutor, Keera is fired up and hopes to make her mark.
While prepping for trial, Vince shows honest sadness for his wife’s murder and hopes that the killer can be found. Keera uses this and a series of cryptic emails to better understand her client and his past. Soon, Keera and her team uncover a complex situation that could better explain the crime scene and those who came to visit the victim in the hours before her death. While Keera follows the path, she learns that there is more to her client and the day of the murder than she first presumed. While it could be a slam dunk to help her win this tense case, it could also open a Pandora’s Box to larger and more troubling things. Dugoni weaves a story of legal loopholes, deception, and a lawyer’s attempt to claim the prize she feels will help her build the family back up once more.
Robert Dugoni is a master at writing stories that will pull the reader into the middle of things and keep them entertained. His stories are always multi-faceted and provide quick development, as the plot thickens and the narrative gains momentum. Dugoni knows what he’s doing and provides a roadmap for the reader to follow. Pulling on past experiences and surely significant research, Dugoni dazzles with each new book he publishes, be it a standalone or one of his highly-acclaimed series novels featuring Tracy Crosswhite. I cannot wait to see where things will go from here and whether Keera Duggan will be back again soon.
Dugoni’s narrative style is one in which the reader is subsumed with ease as things progress around them. A strong foundation helps guide the reader along and adds depth to an already great piece. Strong characters emerge throughout, hinting that Dugoni might want to bring them back for future Seattle adventures, while allowing the reader to decide if they are curious to discover even more. Plot lines develop throughout and build on one another, offering the reader a better insight into the case, Keera’s past, and what could be the real story behind Vince LaRussa. I can only hope that other readers will be as excited as I was when they plunge into this one, sure to keep them flipping pages well into the night.
Kudos, Mr. Dugoni, for proving yet again that you have that magic touch.