A Florida surgeon stands to lose it all—job, family, reputation—when she’s charged with murdering her husband’s colleague.
With the help of her formidable housekeeper, Marcy Whitman, Dr. Laura Nelson has managed to raise five kids in spite of a grueling surgical schedule. Life is good—until Laura files for divorce after finding her husband, Channel Eight journalist Steve Nelson, half-clad in their family room with co-anchor Kim Connor. Suddenly, Steve feels the need to take the kids to bond with his father in Traverse City, Mich., without Laura’s consent—which he turns out not to need, since Laura’s going to be tied up defending herself against charges that she killed Kim, found shot to death in her apartment. Laura’s legal team is first-rate—seasoned attorney Greg Klingman, dedicated assistants Rob Wilson and Carrie Diamond and veteran p.i. Chuck Dimer—and Kim’s thug boyfriend Frankie Santiago should make a reasonable alternative suspect. Criminal charges and custody battles, with the occasional medical crisis thrown in, compound each other as state lines are crossed and family loyalties tested. A medical crisis, a hit man looking to rub out a key witness and several romantic encounters round out the tale.
Amateur-hour prose and screaming-meemie plotting put Gussin’s latest (Shadow of Death, 2006) on life support from early on.