WIDOWS-IN-LAW by Michele W. Miller


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In Miller’s (The Thirteenth Step: Zombie Recovery, 2013) thriller, a deceased lawyer’s illicit acts put his widow and his ex-wife in danger.

When New York City attorney Brian Silverman dies in Miami, he leaves behind a wife, Jessica, and a 16-year-old daughter, Emily, from his first marriage. His ex-wife, Lauren Davis—a family-court lawyer to whom Brian was unfaithful—is mainly worried about how his death will affect Emily. His demise appears accidental (a fire from smoking in bed), but his recent actions are much more mysterious. Jessica finds evidence of lucrative property sales that she knew nothing about, and Emily suspects that Brian was having yet another affair. One of Brian’s associates tracks Jessica down and tells her that her ex had stashed $12 million away—money that he apparently owed to Jorge Arena, a criminal under FBI investigation. Arena believes that Jessica and Lauren know where his cash is. Although the two women aren’t friends, they team up and, along with Emily, dig deeper into Brian’s secret life. However, even if they find the money, Arena makes it abundantly clear that he has no qualms about committing murder. Miller populates her novel with truly dynamic female characters. Lauren, for example, is shown to have a thorny past; she had drug-addicted parents and mingled with shady people in her younger days, including a hit man. Likewise, the assertive Jessica turns out to be far more than the mere trophy wife that Lauren initially suspected her to be, and Emily, despite occasional brattiness, also shows great resourcefulness, particularly with computers. The suspense increases as villains target the heroic trio, and Lauren gets a chance to display her lawyering skills when Jessica and Emily’s investigations gets them in legal trouble. Intermittent flashbacks, centered on Brian, prove superfluous, as readers already know what he’s done—and witnessing his questionable behavior firsthand adds nothing new to the story.

A tense novel with three remarkable main characters.

Pub Date: Feb. 26th, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-5385-5691-7
Page count: 336pp
Publisher: Blackstone Publishing
Program: Kirkus Indie
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