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Unfit to Practice [Mass Market Paperback]

Perri O'Shaughnessy
3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
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Book Description

July 1 2003
It’s the moment every attorney fears most...one careless moment that threatens careers, reputations, lives. For Nina Reilly, it will change everything—and ignite a case where her own clients are witnesses against her...and where the defendant is Nina herself.

As an attorney championing desperate people, Nina Reilly has skirted the edges of legal ethics in pursuit of a just result, but she has never before broken the rule of absolute protection of her clients’ secrets. One September night in Lake Tahoe when her unlocked truck is stolen, her life changes forever. Gone are her most sensitive case files, complete with the sometimes brutally candid notes she took while interviewing her clients.

It’s every attorney’s nightmare. And now the worst has happened: The secrets are being revealed, one by one, in ways that will cause the greatest harm. Nina’s own clients complain to the State Bar of California, and suddenly Nina is fighting for her license and her livelihood in a legal proceeding that may ultimately lead her to disbarment. In desperation, Nina turns to her ex-husband, celebrated San Francisco lawyer Jack McIntyre, to represent her.

And as personal tensions erupt between McIntyre and Nina’s sometime boyfriend, private investigator Paul van Wagoner...as reputations are ruined and people begin to die...a chilling pattern of rage and revenge comes into focus. Someone is bent on destroying the lives of Nina’s clients and, in the process, Nina Reilly.


From the Hardcover edition.

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Product Description

From Amazon

Was there something more criminal than grand theft auto involved in the disappearance of Nina Reilly's truck--and the legal files locked inside it? When confidential information from those files that could endanger Nina's clients and destroy her reputation surfaces, it begins to look as though someone wants to put the feisty Lake Tahoe attorney out of business. There's no shortage of suspects, including a policewoman who blames Nina for short-circuiting her promotion, a client with a guilty secret who's convinced it was Nina's negligence that lost his custody case, and a rival attorney who's seething over all the high-profile clients he's lost because of Nina's growing prominence. With help from her ex-husband, a legal malpractice specialist, and her lover, who's also her investigator, Reilly races the clock to get to the bottom of the smear campaign and save her license to practice in this smart, sexy thriller that makes the most of the author's gifts of clever plotting, characterization, and dramatic tension. Reilly, a single mom whose personal life is as chaotic as her career, is a series heroine who gets more interesting with every new adventure. The conclusion of this one, the author's eighth, finds Reilly pointed in a new direction with plenty of interesting possibilities for the future. --Jane Adams --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Publishers Weekly

Penned by sisters Pamela and Mary O'Shaughnessy, this eighth novel to feature South Lake Tahoe attorney Nina Reilly puts the lawyer in the defendant's chair. Ever since she was a little girl, Nina has believed that rules are what people use to make sense of the world and that law is a way of enforcing the rules to keep the world sane. But when her truck is stolen, along with her three most sensitive case files, her sane world turns topsy-turvy. In the wrong hands, those files could compromise a client's chance at fair visitation rights, affect a second client's insurance claim and put two girls at risk from the murderer whose crime they witnessed. Suddenly, Nina finds herself facing possible disbarment as she's brought up on disciplinary charges before the California State Bar Court. Current boyfriend Paul and ex-husband Jack try to help Nina figure out who stole the files and, more importantly, who is trying to destroy her life. The initial setup of Nina's predicament is taut as a wire, but the story bogs down in court, where much of the testimony, while realistic, is filler: a space-occupying rehash of what the reader already knows. As for the climax, it's so hokey that the dialogue reads like an old Batman episode. Chances are, though, since this is just a first offense, series fans will release this effort on its own recognizance in the hopes that the next case will be a winner.
Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars A Lawyer's Nightmare May 17 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
For the legal thriller addict, Unfit To Practice is an interesting fix. The O'Shaughnessy sisters pen a tale that is entertainingly suspenseful. Nina Reilly, a small town lawyer has her vehicle stolen and with it the files of three of her clients. The sensitive files apparently fall into the wrong hands. The book details the subsequent fallout.
I found Ms. Reilly's ethical dilemmas realistic. This was the first O'Shaughnessy novel I have read, so I am unable to compare it with previous Reilly reads. Although the story is a bit too touchy-feely for my general liking - one reviewer described the book as a "chick-flip" - and certainly not the best legal thriller I have read, I was entertained and plan on reading another Reilly novel.
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Format:Mass Market Paperback
Sisters Pamela and Mary O'Shaughnessy, writing as "Perri", have obviously developed a fan base with seven prior defense attorney Nina Reilly stories. Unfortunately for us, this was our first try by the women, and we seem to have been stuck with one of their poorer efforts. The most exciting thing to happen in the plot was Nina's Bronco being stolen, complete with three confidential client files in the back seat. When all three cases suddenly go sour, and lead to a State Bar hearing against Nina, were we supposed to be surprised? Ex-husband Jack, whom, as a lawyer's lawyer, Nina hires to defend her, and current lover Paul, her regular investigator (she's otherwise a one-lawyer shop, with just Sandy as a secretary), bicker the whole book long in a juvenile attempt to attract Nina's attention and compete with each other: wow! The last third of the book is the disbarment hearing -- and guess who wins. Of course Nina comes up heroine as the Bronco thief is discovered, and then, boom, the authors end this 450 page book with more information in the last 4 pages than the whole rest of the book put together.
We usually enjoy lawyer stories which is what prompted us to try this novel. We were disappointed by the trivial storyline, the complete lack of suspense, and characters who spent most of the time acting like adolescents. Truthfully, we didn't even develop much interest in or sympathy for Nina, who must have avowed her love for the law and her desire to defend the underdog like half a dozen times -- please, we get the drift.
Maybe some of the other O'Shaughnessy books are more fun, but these authors have a long way to go to approach the likes of Turow or Scottoline. Try them instead.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Unfit for reading Nov. 26 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Slow moving story ... boring read. Total waste of time. Half-way through the book, I dread myself to finish it. The character in the story (Nina) has not been developed convincingly. Help, anyone wants to buy my copy?
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3.0 out of 5 stars First half good` Oct. 29 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I have read other books by these authors and liked them. This book started out ok but went downhill. The trial was very, very boring and just the first half of the story over again. The ending was just ridiculous. Sometimes when authors are doing a series the books go downhill - maybe they are on deadline. I will stop and think before I buy another book by them.
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2.0 out of 5 stars It fails as a litigation novel Aug. 18 2003
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
As a practicing attorney I savored the idea of being able to endure a long flight and read a novel written about an area of law that receives scant attention in the popular press: professional responsibility. Unfortunately, I think I picked the wrong book and ended up with a dimestore "chick-flip."
The authors spend so much time trying to make women identify with the needs of the female main character that her rather interesting legal problems sound like a voice-over from a tampon commercial. Since one of the authors is a lawyer, she puts in just enough law to give it some credibility. Unfortunately, either they do not think their readers would be interested in a serious litigation novel or they want to push what appears to be an improbable plot line on the readers, so people who would be genuinely interested in the plot details are left hanging, angry, and thinking the whole story is improbable!
Was this review helpful to you?
2.0 out of 5 stars It fails as a litigation novel Aug. 18 2003
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
As a practicing attorney I savored the idea of being able to endure a long flight and read a novel written about an area of law that receives scant attention in the popular press: professional responsibility. Unfortunately, I think I picked the wrong book and ended up with a dimestore "chick-flip."
The authors spend so much time trying to make women identify with the needs of the female main character that her rather interesting legal problems sound like a voice-over from a tampon commercial. Since one of the authors is a lawyer, she puts in just enough law to give it some credibility. Unfortunately, either they do not think their readers would be interested in a serious litigation novel or they want to push what appears to be an improbable plot line on the readers, so people who would be genuinely interested in the plot details are left hanging, angry, and thinking the whole story is improbable!
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1.0 out of 5 stars Definitely Unft Aug. 7 2003
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
There sure seems to be no shortage of loyal fans of this series, but after my first Nina Reilly read, I am at a loss as to why. 454 pages in paperback might have benefited greatly from being about half that. I don't think writers are paid by the word, but when you read sentences like "Nina went with the evocatively named lemongrass-skewered sea scallops" you can only shake your head.
Or how about the denouement ... where her lover is about to topple over a railing ..., looks at Nina, smiles (SMILES? As you're nearly falling to your death?) and says "love you?" Really bad stuff.
The trial (during which I was rooting mightily for disbarment) scenes are void of tension or interest. Like another reader, I skimmed quite a bit just to get through it - I did shell out [money] after all. It became almost a perverse challenge to finish this. God bless the O'Shaughnessy sisters for getting away with this kind of writing, but they won't [draw] me in again.
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Most recent customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Unfit to Read
This is my first and last Perri O'Shaughnessy novel. What a horrible mistake I made in choosing this novel to read on my vacation. A true waste of my valuable time. Read more
Published on July 27 2003 by E. Baca
4.0 out of 5 stars Move her back to her cabin!
I was a little disappointed with the ending of this book, and I want the secretary back; they can keep Wish. Why change locations? Read more
Published on July 10 2003 by Dr. Mary Y. Mandeville
3.0 out of 5 stars Nina Takes a U-Turn
"Unfit to Practice" is either a bold and brilliant move by the O'Shaughnessy sisters to keep their Nina Reilly series alive, or a rush-to-deadline departure from the... Read more
Published on Feb. 13 2003 by Wendy Kaplan
4.0 out of 5 stars Ambitious plotting....
Perri O'Shaughnessy, the entertaining sister team of writers, serve up an especially interesting plot for their Lake Tahoe lawyer-heroine, Nina Reilly. Read more
Published on Sept. 29 2002 by L. Quido
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Ever
I have read all of the Nina Reilly novels. I think this was the best one yet. It was as though the writers were telling three stories in one book. I loved it. Read more
Published on Sept. 27 2002 by D. Sills
3.0 out of 5 stars A good book, but not an O'Shaughnessy converter.
For the reader who's followed Nina Reilly through her trials (pun intended) and adversities in the previous seven books, this eighth installment is a must read. Read more
Published on Sept. 16 2002 by D. Rizzo
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