For Nina Reilly, the mountain town of Lake Tahoe is home. It's where she forged a successful career as a tough, resourceful attorney – and raised her teenage son, Bob, alone. Back from a stint in Monterey, where her love life took a tumble, Nina has returned to her Tahoe law office with her old friends Sandy Whitefeather and Sandy 's son, Wish. It isn't long before she has a new client whose wife was shot and killed during a casino-district robbery two years before. The police have no suspects, and the robbery victims, three students, lied about their identities and are hiding outside California and the reach of the court.
Two of the witnesses have fled to a village not far from the home of Bob's father, Kurt Scott, in Germany. As Nina tries to unravel the mystery of one violent Tahoe night, a harrowing journey begins – one that takes her from the dark underworld of Tahoe's casinos to the halls of a prestigious East Coast university to Europe and an emotional reunion with Kurt. As old feelings are rekindled, Nina's case turns violent. Everyone has something to hide – the brilliant but unstable mathematics student who has made an astonishing discovery, the owner of a motel where the shooting took place, and the shooter, who has turned the whole case into a gigantic lie.
The New York Times bestselling author of the acclaimed Nina Reilly series returns with a bold and gripping new work, a masterful stand-alone that will delight devoted fans – and garner legions of new ones. This haunting and original tale of love, obsession, and the secrets that we keep – especially from ourselves – begins with a sudden, inexplicable vanishing.
For ambitious, troubled architect Ray Jackson, the questions start one sultry California summer night when his wife, Leigh, disappears. No phone call, no ransom note, no body to reveal whether she has left of her own accord and is alive, or is dead. Although it's clear they had a passionate, close relationship, Ray Jackson is not looking for his wife. Why?
Enter Kathleen, old friend of Leigh's, who shows up demanding answers. Ray wants answers, too, but his questions seem strange and shady to Kat.
Suspected by his wife's best friend and the police, Ray launches a desperate, alarming search of his own. Using a collection of keys he has hoarded since he was a boy – keys to homes he once lived in – Ray invades each house, one by one.
Will he unlock secrets from his past that will help him make sense of a life that appears to be disintegrating? Or will he expose chilling secrets that may have scarred him past redemption?
Kat can't figure him out. Still, hoping to find answers to her own gnawing, emotional questions, she throws in her lot with him, at times terrified he killed her friend, and at other times convinced he's an innocent man.
Past and present collide as the deceits and subterfuges are exposed, and Ray Jackson is confronted with the most agonizing decision of his life – to face his own violence-laden past, acting to prevent another murder – or not. His choice will leave nothing and no one the same.
After a tumultuous year, attorney Nina Reilly heads home to put her life in order and move in with her long-time, part-time love, Paul van Wagoner. Carmel Valley, however, is not quite the sleepy town Nina remembers. In a place where the locals clash with the rich newcomers, conflicts have always been an inevitable part of life, but lately, the hostilities have turned ugly: someone has been setting seemingly random forest fires. Just as Nina is re-establishing her family ties and beginning her new life with Paul, she is called upon again. The last fire proved fatal, and Wish, the son of her faithful ex-assistant, Sandy Whitefeather, stands accused of murder. Nina is certain that the fires are not random at all. Against her better judgement, she must work with Paul in order to gain the locals' trust in a race against timeto find the truth before the real killer's motives become all too shockingly apparent.
A collection of stories
The New York Times bestselling author of the acclaimed Nina Reilly thrillers brings her prodigious storytelling gifts to this first-ever collection of short crime fiction. From desperate housewives to hard-boiled PIs to an appearance by Nina Reilly herself, these chilling short mysteries-many appearing in print for the very first time-set the mood and ratchet up the suspense as only Perri O'Shaughnessy can.
Here are tales of love and betrayal, rage and revenge-nineteen sizzling stories that run the gamut from classic whodunits to winding thrillers to an unusual cozy that casts Gertrude Stein as an unlikely Miss Marple. And here Perri O'Shaughnessy has created some of her most sinister and compelling characters yet: a college student who devises an ingenious method for getting her sexy teacher's attention… a haunted ex-homicide cop who takes a long walk into his blood-shadowed past in a twisting tale of brutal murder and escalating violence… a model wife who surprises both herself and a bothersome furnace man when she is confronted with an unacceptable ultimatum… a lemon tree that plays a pivotal role in the tale of a woman who at long last asserts her independence…
From a blood-soaked scheme that's born at a slot machine in Vegas to the violence that ensues when the fat lady stops singing, Sinister Shorts shows us life at its most menacing, murderous, and unbearably suspenseful. And it proves once again the unique and captivating genius of Perri O'Shaughnessy.
It's the moment every lawyer fears most… One careless moment that threatens careers, reputations, lives…For Nina Reilly, it will change everything – igniting a case where her own clients are witnesses against her – and where the defendant is Nina herself. One September night in Lake Tahoe when her unlocked truck is stolen, her life changes forever. Gone are her most sensitive case files, complete with the sometimes brutally candid notes she took while interviewing her clients. It's every attorney's nightmare. And now the worst has happened: the secrets are being revealed, one by one, in ways that will cause the greatest harm. As reputations are ruined and people begin to die…a chilling pattern of rage and revenge comes into focus. Someone is bent on destroying the lives of Nina's clients and, in the process, Nina Reilly.
Nina Reilly takes on the most dangerous and difficult case of her career in New York Times bestselling author Perri O'Shaughnessy's latest thriller. An ingenious blend of forensic science, history, and gripping suspense, Unlucky in Law pits the tough but compassionate attorney against the most unbeatable adversary of all: the law.
Nina has just received a last-minute call from her old boss and mentor in Monterey County, California, where she is enjoying the breathtaking scenery and spending time with her boyfriend, P.I. Paul van Wagoner. Klaus Pohlmann is in desperate straits and begs Nina to take over a seemingly unwinnable case: A luckless two-time felon named Stefan Wyatt has robbed a grave and made off with the long-buried bones of a Russian émigré. When he is caught and arrested, further devastating evidence found in the grave suggests that Stefan is guilty of a far more deadly crime.
A young woman, a classmate of Stefan's, has been killed, and he is accused of her murder. Now, as a result of California's Third Strike law, Wyatt is looking at twenty-five years to life whether he's convicted of grand theft or murder. Either way, he's in big trouble.
With her client's blood DNA found in the dead woman's apartment, Nina faces an uphill battle. Suspecting that her hapless client has been set up, Nina brings in a brilliant forensic pathologist who comes up with a startling theory about the case that could rewrite a crucial page of European history. As the evidence mounts against Nina's client, Paul launches his own investigation into the shadowy past of the two-decades-old skeleton. But long-held secrets nearly get him killed and reveal a more insidious evil at work – and an extraordinary story dating back to tsarist Russia and the Romanov court. As Wyatt edges closer to the unluckiest verdict of his young life, Nina makes an astounding discovery that just might save her client – or expose a killer who could bury them all.
Brilliantly imagined and compulsively readable, Unlucky in Law is a beguiling mix of wrenching drama and gripping action. And it is Perri O'Shaughnessy's most accomplished novel to date.