Nina Reilly's new client ought to be dancing in the streets. She's just won the biggest slot machine jackpot in Lake Tahoe history. But if Jessie Potter claims it, she's putting herself and her little boy in harm's way. Someone's out to get the young woman, and the only one who seems to be on her side is Kenny Leung, an awkward but likable techno-wizard who's about to go bankrupt. Nina comes up with a plan to help Jessie collect her jackpot without revealing her identity to the powerful man who believes she killed his son. But her client's pursuer is already on the sniff. Though he was unable to convince the police to charge her with homicide, he and his sleazy lawyer counter Nina's maneuver by filing a writ of execution that will deprive Jessie of her rightful winnings. And just to thicken the plot, there's someone else threatening Jessie--a very angry man who believes she stole the jackpot that should have been his. He will kill anyone who stands in the way of his claim.
Nina may be a crafty lawyer, but she's not quite as deft in juggling her personal and professional lives. Paul van Wagoner, her investigator, isn't happy with their romantic relationship, and Nina herself, still mourning the death of her husband, is reluctant to commit to more than a casual romance. Perri O'Shaughnessy doesn't devote a lot of ink to her heroine's emotional concerns, but she's good at plotting, excellent on the legal maneuvering, and handles her secondary characters well, particularly Leung, whose computer expertise illuminates the technical aspects of slot machine gaming. This is a series that keeps getting better. O'Shaughnessy fans who've stuck with Nina since her somewhat plodding earlier adventures will be glad they stayed the course. --Jane Adams
From Publishers Weekly
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.
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