More trials—of the heart, too—for Lake Tahoe attorney Nina Reilly in the O’Shaughnessy sisters’ seventh legal potboiler (Move to Strike, 2000, etc.).
To begin with, it’s love that furrows Nina’s pretty brow. The question is: How does she really feel about ex-homicide detective Paul van Wagoner? Yes, of course, there are days when she can’t keep her hands off his hunkish torso, but that’s just randiness, isn’t it? Or is it? At any rate, before she can—in a manner of speaking—sink her teeth into the problem, Nina gets the kind of case her teeth were made for. A young woman has hit a slot machine jackpot to the tune of seven million plus, and she wants help collecting the money. What complicates matters is her unwillingness to reveal her real name. The casino authorities regard that as a deal-breaker. No proof of identity, no pay-off, they insist, a position the IRS finds sympathetic. Swearing confidentiality, Nina persuades the woman to tell her story. She’s a widow, it turns out, her husband having recently drowned. A tragic accident, she tells Nina, but the deceased’s rich, powerful, and distraught father refuses to believe it. He blames her, hates her, and has pursued her vengefully, though at the moment his virulence appears to be in remission. Were her real name to get in the papers, however, he’d have all the stimulus he needed to come after her again—her and her baby. Well, she’s right, and it’s the baby who’s pivotal in the intense legal warfare Nina’s soon waging with her usual panache. As for that other trial—randiness vs. true love—a verdict has yet to be rendered.
The O’Shaughnessy sisters (Pamela and Mary writing as Perri) are shameless overplotters, but give them a courtroom they can cut and slash in, and they entertain with the best.