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"While Justice Sleeps," | Reviewed by Pat Sainz

“While Justice Sleeps,” by Stacey Abrams has it all: murder; political maneuvers, international conspiracies, biotech intrigue; espionage; and family drama. In the middle of it all is Avery Keene, a brilliant young law clerk working for ill, elderly Supreme Court Justice, Howard Wynn.

Justice Wynn is in a coma. The president of the United States assumes that Wynn’s likely-imminent death will allow him to appoint a new, more cooperative Supreme Court Justice during a congressional recess.

Wynn has thwarted the president’s plan to block the merger of a national biotech company and an international genetics firm, even though the pairing may ensure a cure for an inherited progressive brain disease from which the judge suffers. President Stokes has his own nefarious reasons for opposing the merger.

Keene has, to everyone’s astonishment, been made Justice Wynn’s guardian. Her instinct is to reject the power she has over his life. Keene, with her knowledge of chess, which she shares with the justice, and her photographic memory, uncovers clues left in Wynn’s paperwork that alert her to danger, not only to her life, but to millions in the world.

Keene learns that the threat to humanity has ties to the highest levels in the U. S. government. The genetics firm has developed a virus that targets specific groups of people who share a genetic history. Testing has been done on prisoners and other “bad people” according to the scientists involved. At the same time, they are close to finding cures for several diseases that can be alleviated through similar genetic targeting.

Keene’s burgeoning knowledge of the genetic firm’s experiments and findings puts her in mortal danger. Justice Wynn’s son becomes a target, as does Keene’s drug-addicted mother. Keene might have to choose whether to save the lives of those she loves, or save the lives of millions of other people.

“While Justice Sleeps” shares the fast paced action and intrigue of novels by Dan Brown (“The Da Vinci Code” and more) and legal thrillers by John Grisham (“A Time to Kill”and more). Fans of those authors will enjoy this book with its emphasis on contemporary issues facing us today.

About the Author: Stacey Abrams is a voting rights activist and former Georgia politician. She has written other novels under the name of Selena Montgomery. She is the author of two nonfiction works including “Our Time Is Now,” and “Leading From the Outside.”

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