Her Deadly Game @robertdugoni @thomasandmercer @JanBelisle @absltmom

Jan’s Review

Keera Duggan, a Seattle prosecutor, returns to her family law practice after a failed relationship with a colleague. Her father, a celebrated defense attorney, is also a raging alcoholic with all the fallout that entails, both personally and professionally.

Keera is retained by Vince LaRussa, an investment adviser accused of murdering his disabled wealthy wife. The prosecutor? Miller Ambrose, Keera’s former SO, who is determined to win and take down Keera in the process.

As a former chess prodigy, Keera takes solace in online chess as a way to relax and decompress at the end of a long day. Just who is her anonymous online opponent, The Dark Night? The answer will surprise you! I don’t play chess and the moves went over my head, but I appreciated that the skills and logic needed to be a top chess player are the same skills needed to be a top defense attorney.

I love courtroom dramas and this is among the best. The ending became just a tad bit convoluted and the specifics of the murder were a bit OTT.

But,I loved the character of Keera and her dysfunctional but loving family. Overall, the positives outweigh my reservations about the ending, and I was able to overlook a few sticking points.

The case ends with a conundrum which leaves Keera with a dilemma, and left me furiously turning the pages. I couldn’t see how the author could end this satisfactorily, but he pulled it off. I was left with wanting more from these characters which is a sure sign of a successful read for me. I want more stories featuring the Duggans!

This was a buddy read with Marialyce. This was only my second book by this author, but not my last.

• I received a digital copy of this book via NetGalley. All opinions are my own.

Marialyce’s Review

What is a deadly game? Is it a game played to one’s demise or can it be just a game of cat and mouse that will have one of the participants put away for life?

A handicapped woman is murdered in her wheelchair leaving a number of suspects behind plus a gun, some fibers, water, and a shattered glass. What heinous person could have shot this wealthy woman in the back of the head? Of course, it has to be the husband, one Vincent LaRussa, an investment counselor, who himself has amassed a fortunate. However, LaRussa seems to have an air tight alibi and with two others visiting his wife beforehand, including her best friend who is also her doctor, and the lawyer her wealthy family had retained for a prenup agreement before the marriage things don’t seem to add up.

As the eyes of guilt seem to focus on Vince, he hires Keera Dugan as his defense attorney, whose father, also a well-known lawyer, has both a fine reputation in law as well as that of being an alcoholic. Everyone is hell bent on seeing Vince brought to trial and the prosecuting attorney, a former boyfriend/paramour of Keera’s is on the mission to make her and her client guilty. Interspersed with the courtroom drama, is the online game between Keera and The Dark Knight over a chess game. It mimics the moves so well of the happenings in court as pawns are moved about on the board of life and death. One is certainly aware of the expertise of the author, Robert Dugoni, a former lawyer himself, who so adeptly handled all the courtroom drama and what went on behind the scenes.

The characters, particularly Keera were strong showing a wonderful and sometimes frightening image of courage, determination, and the sly tricks some will play to get back at any adversary. (I do mean you Miller Ambrose, a rat in lawyer’s clothing)

My only qualm is how the deadly deed was done as well as some medical issues, but the rest was so good. I tossed those qualms aside.(and yet I couldn’t stop thinking about them! )

I have read a fair number of Dugoni’s books and have enjoyed them all. He is an accomplished author who never fails to entertain and amaze his readers with a comprehensive story that doesn’t require the reader to make quantum leaps.

Thanks are extended to Robert Dugoni, Thomas and Mercer, and NetGalley for this outstanding book that was ever so hard to put aside as my life’s duties called. Also thanks to my ever-wonderful reading twin, Jan, who always has great questions and ideas about a story. We had quite a discussion about this book!
Grab yourself a copy of this book due out March 28th, 2023 for you won’t be disappointed.


4 thoughts on “Her Deadly Game @robertdugoni @thomasandmercer @JanBelisle @absltmom

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