While Justice Sleeps: Book summary and reviews of While Justice Sleeps by Stacey Abrams

While Justice Sleeps

A Novel

by Stacey Abrams

While Justice Sleeps by Stacey Abrams X
While Justice Sleeps by Stacey Abrams
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  • Published May 2021
    384 pages
    Genre: Thrillers

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Book Summary

From celebrated national leader and bestselling author Stacey Abrams, While Justice Sleeps is a gripping, complexly plotted thriller set within the halls of the U.S. Supreme Court.

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—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 power of attorney. 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 proposed merger between an American biotech company and an Indian genetics firm, 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 whose life and survival Avery controls, she begins to unravel a carefully constructed, chesslike sequence of clues left behind by Wynn. She comes to see that Wynn had a much more personal stake in the controversial case and realizes his complex puzzle will lead her directly into harm's way in order to find the truth. While Justice Sleeps is a cunningly crafted, sophisticated novel, layered with myriad twists and a vibrant cast of characters. Drawing on her astute inside knowledge of the court and political landscape, Stacey 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.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"[Abrams] displays her considerable talent for fiction in this gripping legal thriller. Shadowy figures....earth-shattering consequences....[a] deadly knot of deception....fiendishly intricate clues leading to a horrifying secret that implicates powerful and dangerous people. The buzz is loud and wholly deserved for this shrewd and exciting legal thriller by prominent voter-rights activist and best-selling Abrams."—Booklist (starred review)

"Readers searching for dimensional characters whose inner lives inform a consistently credible narrative won't find them in this book; its climactic events, and the behaviors of the principals, require a particularly willful suspension of disbelief. Nor do Abrams's corridors of power exude a sense of real-life verisimilitude — they, too, exist to serve her humming machine. But those desirous of perils and surprises will encounter them in abundance. On that score, Abrams has realized what surely was her chief ambition — not to enlighten, but to entertain."—Richard North Patterson, New York Times

"Brilliant and mesmerizing. Abrams follows in Dan Brown's footprint with this masterfully plotted thriller that unfolds like the ultimate chess match—bold move to bolder move with lives hanging in the balance."—Lisa Gardner

"Stacey Abrams is a true novelist, and While Justice Sleeps is a first-class legal thriller, favorably compared to many of the best, starting with The Pelican Brief, which it brings to mind. It's fast-paced and full of surprises—a terrific read."—Scott Turow

"Stacey Abrams delivers a taut, twisty thriller, drawing the reader into the hallowed halls of the Supreme Court along the strands of a complex web of politics, raw ambition and deadly deception."—Nora Roberts

"While Justice Sleeps is a mesmerizing legal thriller that does the rare thing: It uses the novel to get at the truth. Stacey Abrams is a powerful new voice in fiction."—Michael Connelly 

"Brilliant and mesmerizing. Abrams follows in Dan Brown's footprint with this masterfully plotted thriller that unfolds like the ultimate chess match—bold move to bolder move with lives hanging in the balance."—Lisa Gardner 

"Stacey Abrams is a true novelist, and While Justice Sleeps is a first-class legal thriller, favorably compared to many of the best, starting with The Pelican Brief, which it brings to mindIt's fast-paced and full of surprises—a terrific read."—Scott Turow

"In While Justice Sleeps, Stacey Abrams firmly establishes herself as a powerful new player in the crime thriller space, with her heroine Avery providing a voice to women everywhere. Twisty, clever and full of surprises, this will be one to watch this Spring. Abrams proves she is not only a force for change in politics but a force to be reckoned with in fiction, too."—Karin Slaughter

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

"Abrams' debut is a pip of a thriller - a sweaty-palm sprint through the hidden corridors of government and the shadowy streets of DC.  I fervently hope she will write many more."—Kathy Reichs

"While Justice Sleeps is one of the best political thrillers I've read in years. It checks all the boxes: roller-coaster plot twists and turns, a fascinating look behind the scenes of the Supreme Court and other Washington institutions, nods to the latest trends in tech and medicine, and, most important of all, an utterly compelling main character, Supreme Court clerk Avery Keene. Author Abrams has given us a book that demands to be read in one sitting!"—Jeffery Deaver

"A killer thriller. Loaded with legal intrigue, corrupt politicians, and the history of chess, Abrams proves why the most powerful piece on the board is the Queen. Well played and so much fun."—Brad Meltzer

"While Justice Sleeps is a legal thriller of the highest order. Its crisp prose and high-octane plot call to mind the best of John Grisham, but Avery Keene is a fresh, modern heroine entirely of Abrams' own making. Abrams is now on my 'automatic pre-order' list of authors. An absolutely phenomenal read."—Cristina Alger

"When it comes to the law and the fight to save democracy, Stacey Abrams knows what she's talking about. While Justice Sleeps also proves that she knows how to craft a compelling and suspenseful mystery."—Mark Billingham

This information about While Justice Sleeps was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

Reader Reviews

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Roxie

Thriller
I started While Justice Sleeps on a Friday and completed it (between household responsibilities) on Saturday.I was hooked from the very beginning. The legal terms provided an opportunity to broaden my vocabulary via Google. The twists and turns of the plot did not drag ; it kept my mind actively engaged until the very end. If you enjoy John Grisham's crime riddled novels surrounding the law; you will definitely enjoy Stacey's book, While Justice Sleeps involving the law and politics. Great read!

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Author Information

Stacey Abrams

Stacey Abrams is the two-time New York Times bestselling author of Our Time Is Now and Lead from the Outside, an entrepreneur, and a political leader. A tax attorney by training, she served eleven years in the Georgia House of Representatives, seven as Minority Leader, and became the 2018 Democratic nominee for governor of Georgia, where she won more votes than any other Democrat in the state's history. She has launched multiple organizations devoted to voting rights, training and hiring young people of color, and tackling social issues at the state, national, and international levels. She is the founder of Fair Fight, Fair Count, and the Southern Economic Advancement Project. Abrams is a lifetime member of the Council on Foreign Relations and sits on the advisory board of Climate Power 2020 and the advocacy board of the Women's National Basketball Players Association. She has received degrees from Spelman College, the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas, and Yale Law School.

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