While Justice Sleeps

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Pub Date 27 May 2021 | Archive Date 1 Apr 2022


The debut thriller from Georgia democrat Stacey Abrams

How far will she go to uncover the truth?

‘A compelling and suspenseful mystery’ Mark Billingham

‘Glossy, gritty, breathlessly suspenseful, effortlessly authentic, and altogether wonderful.  Why am I not surprised?’ Lee Child

An explosive secret
When legendary Washington judge Justice Wynn falls into a coma and puts his law clerk, Avery, in control, Avery’s world is turned upside down. Because Justice Wynn had a secret. One that nobody wants to come out…

A life in the balance
As Wynn lies in hospital, Avery begins to unravel a sequence of clues, and realizes the puzzle will lead her directly into danger.

A showdown that will change everything
But how high a price can you put on the truth? And is Avery brave enough to expose the White House itself?

A gripping political thriller from the activist, leader, and speaker Stacey Abrams.

The debut thriller from Georgia democrat Stacey Abrams

How far will she go to uncover the truth?

‘A compelling and suspenseful mystery’ Mark...

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ISBN 9780008468521
PRICE £2.99 (GBP)

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Average rating from 53 members

Featured Reviews

I’ve followed Stacey Abrams career for a while now and find her very eloquent and thought provoking so I was hugely excited to see what her first fiction novel would bring!
I absolutely loved it and raced my way through wanting to know what was next. The road we follow Avery and Justice Wynn on is twisty and never straightforward but it will have you gripped.

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Avery is a clerk to a Supreme Court justice. When he suddenly falls into a coma, Avery is left in charge of his Power of Attorney and gets drawn into a web of puzzles and secrets that only she can figure out.

This novel was so thrilling. Full of twists and turns, While Justice Sleeps kept me hooked the whole way through. I was constantly saying 'one more chapter' as I couldn't put it down. I fund myself constantly trying to figure out the puzzles and guess the ending before Avery. Stacey Abrams has written a gripping novel that I have already recommended to all my friends!

Thanks NetGalley for the advanced copy.

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Stacey Abrams, lawyer and Georgia Democratic political rockstar when it comes to voting rights, showcases her ability to write a complex, taut and riveting legal thriller, featuring the extraordinary Avery Keene, a protagonist in the vein of Grisham's Darby Shaw in The Pelican Brief, memorably played by Julia Roberts in the movie. Avery is the law clerk, with an eidetic memory, to the brilliant if cantankerous, Justice Howard Wynn, so often the critical swing vote in the Supreme Court. Her life becomes a deadly and challenging nightmare when Wynn slides into a coma, apparently he is a sufferer of Boursin's Syndrome, and shockingly he has appointed her his legal guardian with power of attorney. This is an act that enrages the President, Brandon Stokes, and Celeste, Wynn's wife who wants to switch off his life support.

The suspicions of Homeland Security's Major Will Vance and the FBI are aroused, whilst the intense media scrutiny is behind the public shredding her reputation, discrediting her professionalism, and questioning her integrity, nothing and no-one is off limits, including Avery's drug addict mother, Rita. Aided by Jared, Wynn's estranged son, Noah Fox, Wynn's lawyer, and Dr Ling Yun, her best friend, roommate, and medic, Avery tries to solve the cryptic clues left behind for her by Wynn under the format of a strategic chess match. This leads her to Avtar, a Indian biotech company, and its proposed acquisiton of the American GenWorks that is being virulently opposed by the President, amoral, unethical and deadly genetic experimentation, and political corruption at the highest levels. Furthermore, Avery faces powerfully ruthless political players intent on removing Wynn from the Supreme Court, who are willing to do whatever it takes to achieve this, including murder, and threatening the lives of anyone close to Avery.

Abrams utilises her political and legal background to great effect in this fast paced, compulsive and suspenseful thriller that had me turning the pages as fast as I could to find out how it all ends. I must admit, prior to reading this, I was apprehensive as to whether Abrams would be able to deliver a well written and exciting thriller, I need not have worried in the slightest, this is the work of a able writer. It seems there is no end to the talents of the author, and I loved her capacity to come up with several well plotted, and complex storylines in this enthralling read. This is one I am sure many crime, mystery and thriller readers will love. Many thanks to HarperCollins for an ARC.

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This is my first book by this author and I adored it. It reminds me of a John Grisham novel and I was hooked from the start. Will for sure read other work by this author.

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While Justice Sleeps is utterly compelling and brilliantly plotted, with legal and political intrigue to keep the reader up all night. You will not want to put this one down!
Avery works as a law clerk for Supreme Court Justice Howard Wynn. When he ends up in a coma, she finds herself unexpectedly in charge of his affairs. But why? He has entrusted her with a puzzle, one that she alone is capable of solving. The story is brilliantly conceived, with mysteries and secrets she must uncover before it’s too late. It didn’t let up for a second. I loved Avery. She was smart, resourceful and loyal. But she also knew how to get the most out of people, how to encourage their talents. The world of Washington politics was fascinating and all the more so because it felt as if the author knew exactly what she was writing about. It felt real. This book would make an amazing film.

I was given this ARC for review.

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While Justice Sleeps is a cracking on the edge of your seat thriller. Avery a law clerk with an eidetic memory is suddenly thrust into the limelight when Judge Justice Wynn falls into a coma and has named Avery as his legal guardian with power of attorney.
Many are conspiring against this outspoken Judge including his ex wife and the President of the USA. Political corruption, unethical genetic research and murder all come into play in this rollercoaster of a story. Averys life is on the line and what she discovers is horrifying but she’s determined to do her best for the judge even though he’s always more or less ignored her as is his cranky way with everyone.
Not wanting to give away any spoilers all you need to know is that this is a suspenseful, fast paced exciting read. Stacey Abrams is a new author to me, one I will be following closely in the future.
My thanks to net galley and publisher for the opportunity to review this book honestly.

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What a great title, once you've read While Justice Sleeps you'll realise why. I must declare a bias, I just love courtroom or law based stories, indeed I like thrillers too, so marry them together and I'm hooked. This book is like a primer for the American judicial system and it has certainly opened my eyes to the power of the Supreme Court and of the political appointment of its Justices. However, the novel explores the possibility of weaponised geneatics. Whilst battlefield biological weapons made viable by directed radio beams are known about, the precept of a weapon targeting a religious following rather than a unique genotype is stretching it. Nevertheless it was very entertaining. Refreshingly, the author didn't pander to sexual diversity box ticking, which now seems endemic, especially in the UK. In While Justice Sleeps, master tactician Justice Wynn, although in a coma, orchestrates an intellectual cat and mouse game for his clerk Avery, having left a number of clues for her to discover. Naturally there are powerful forces wanting to stop her but an eidetic memory and an understanding of chess keeps her ahead of the game.

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I loved this!
It is well written and well researched - although I checked and can see that Ms Abrams has been a part of the US political scene for years so I guess she is very well informed!!
It took me a while to get into it as the characters were introduced but I thoroughly enjoyed it and although the potential relationship is suggested at the end I am glad that there is no tidying up chapter, leaving the reader to draw their own conclusions.
It is a complex story addressing political issues, loyalty the US law and scary scientific possibilities.
I am so sorry that I have finished it!!

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A supreme court justice with a limited lifespan slips into a coma as a critical case awaits a judgement. He holds the swing vote that could topple the president and expose mass murder. One of his clerks, Avery Keene, is then unexpectedly to her, the judge's estranged wife and his son, given power of attorney over whether he lives of dies. Determined to look after her boss, Avery is dragged into a conspiracy that threatens her career, her life and her mother's. The judge has left a series of cryptic clues which Avery has to piece together in just a few days otherwise she will be stripped of her power, and the judge's life support will be switched of. Brilliantly plotted political thriller.

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This is an awesomely researched and detailed book showing a remarkable knowledge of the internal workings of the US Supreme Court and the presidency. At first it seems as if it is just about the serious medical condition of Justice Wynn who, presumably because he is estranged from his second wife and his son, Jared, nominates his legal clerk, Avery, as his guardian. That in itself seems odd but not as strange as the events which follow. The president himself is engaged in supporting research which is classed as genocide. That makes the story seems straightforward but it is anything but that. It is intricately interwoven, well written and surprisingly believable! The title has a double meaning. One justice is sleeping certainly but a broader definition of justice is not as alert as it should be either. This book keeps you reading but it needs to be read with as little interruption as possible to keep up with the shifting story. I recommend it.

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While Justice Sleeps is a gripping, complexly plotted novel set within the halls of the U.S. Supreme Court and was penned by Stacey Abrams, former member of the Georgia House of Representatives and fervent voting activist; this is her new legal thriller. Avery Keene, a brilliant young law clerk for the legendary Justice Howard Wynn, is doing her best to hold her life together--excelling in an arduous job with the court while also dealing with a troubled family. When the shocking news breaks that Justice Wynn--the cantankerous swing vote on many current high-profile cases coming before the Supreme Court in Washington--has slipped into a coma, Avery's life turns upside down. She is immediately notified that Justice Wynn has left instructions for her to serve as his legal guardian and she will have power of attorney over all of his affairs; naturally, this both antagonises and upsets Wynn’s wife and son. 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 court--a contentious proposed merger between an American biotech company known as American GenWorks and an Indian genetics firm, Avtar, 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, who is apparently suffering from Boursin’s Syndrome and whose life and survival Avery controls, she begins to unravel a carefully constructed, chesslike sequence of clues left behind by the wily Wynn. She comes to see that Wynn had a much more personal stake in the controversial case and realises his complex puzzle will lead her directly into harm's way in order to find the truth. This is a riveting and completely enthralling legal thriller with taut plotting and corrupt politicians and lawyers at the centre of it all. Abrams is a lawyer who studied at Yale hence this is full of gritty realism and authentic depictions of the courts. It moves at a rapid-fire pace, gets the heart-thumping and twisty surprises are in abundance as Abrams cleverly and devilishly pulls you this way then that. Palpable suspense, fluid prose and exhilarating excitement are enough to keep you feverishly turning the pages. A high-octane thriller jammed with legal intrigue, While Justice Sleeps is multilayered and occasionally convoluted, ending in a terrific set-piece legal showdown between Keene and those ranged against her. A cunningly crafted, sophisticated novel, layered with myriad twists and a vibrant cast of characters, and drawing on her astute inside knowledge of the court and political landscape, 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. Highly recommended.

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Stacey Abrams really rocks! She is multi talented and has proved that she can certainly write a wonderful legal/medical thriller.

What I loved was the authenticity of the American political system as portrayed in this thrilling and beautifully researched and written book which takes the reader on a rollercoaster ride which is never less than satisfying and fulfilling.

Excellent and a surefire best seller. Highly recommended.

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This is an astonishing debut. It’s so well written, you’d imagine she’s honed her novel writing skills with numerous previous books. Not so.

It’s an action packed political thriller in which Stacey Abrams clearly uses her professional legal experience and political background as the foundation. The central figure, Avery, is given full power to carry out legal duties when his boss, a Supreme Court judge becomes comatose. She’s suddenly thrown into a world of riddles, mystery, deceit and lies and with risk to her life, is drawn into a race against time. There’s corruption at the heart of US Government involving the President and a possible act of genocide. It’s incredibly complex in both plotting and characters, but it’s so well written that the reader is drawn into the murky world that Avery is trying to unravel.

I’m part way through another political thriller written by Clinton and Paterson. Stacey Abrams book is better; the writing is better, the plotting is astonishing and her characters have real depth. This is surely going to be the first of many books by her and I’ll follow her with interest.

My thanks to the publisher for a review copy via Netgalley.

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While Justice Sleeps is the first novel by prominent American politician Stacey Abrams,who has held several important positions and has even been tipped by Joe Biden as a future President despite her lack of national political experience. To be more accurate it's the first work of fiction published under her own name,she's already an established and successful author writing as Selena Montgomery as well as 2 best-selling non-fiction books under her real name.

The book is a cross between a John Grisham novel with more than a touch of Tom Clancy thrown in for good measure.
Avery Keene is a legal clerk for curmudgeonly Supreme Court Justice Howard Wynne.. As an important vote approaches Wynn falls into a coma and to everyone's surprise,not least her own,Avery finds he has appointed her Guardian of his affairs and given her power of Attorney. Avery finds herself thrust into the spotlight and discovers that Wynn has left her clues to a dark secret that powerful and shadowy individuals are determined will never be brought to light. As Avery fights the forces of darkness and finds herself unwillingly promoted from lowly clerk to Headline news she also has to deal with her mother,who leads a chaotic lifestyle of drink,drugs and brief encounters while complicating her daughter's life on a regular basis.

This is a fairly complex political thriller and Avery and the small crew of associates she collects as the tale progresses are all good characters. The book takes a while to get going but once in full flow there's hardly a dull moment with the theme being scarily plausible in the madhouse that American politics has become. It is easy to see which party Ms Abrams represents but there are a few digs at "the other side" rather than any rampant politicking.

As I read While Justice Sleeps I was thinking what a great movie it would make,then I discovered that it's already being made into a TV series.
The ending leaves the option open for a sequel,or even a series,I really hope so as it's a great read.

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Oh, this was incredible. It got going very quickly and I was drawn in immediately. It was thrilling, so many twists and turns and I loved the puzzles. I can see this being adapted into a TV drama, it is perfect for that.
A fantastic book and thank you to Net Galley and Harper Collins for the advanced copy.

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