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While Justice Sleeps

While Justice Sleeps

A Novel

Book - 2021
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"An inside-Washington thriller about an ambitious law clerk thrown into a life-or-death treasure hunt with major national implications when the Supreme Court justice she works for slips into a sudden coma"-- Provided by publisher
Publisher: New York : Doubleday, 2021
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780385546577
0385546572
Characteristics: 366 pages ; 25 cm

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bettstop
Jul 17, 2021

It took a few chapters and a little note taking for me to get my teeth into this story...but once I did I was hooked! I loved the protagonist Avery. I will certainly look forward to Stacey Abrams next book.

Elizabeth

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midori_hon
Jul 15, 2021

amazing that abrams was able to write this novel while doing more than her part to stand up for truth, justice, and the american way in her real life. trying to keep up with this convoluted plot with chess, bioengineering, legalese, and a corrupt president trying to stack the supreme court was a challenge. i may have to follow up 'while justice sleeps' with a rom-com beach read.

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l_d_taylor
Jul 15, 2021

Enjoyed this book immensely. Abrams is a good writer and while there was more detail than I personally needed, the story was mighty thrilling. If you like political thrillers, this is a good one to read.

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Bebesarah
Jul 07, 2021

Though slick, legal thrillers are not my favorite genre, I have read and enjoyed a few. This one seems poorly done. It is very difficult to get into the plot, which jumps around quite a bit and has thin characterizations. I'm a huge fan of Abrams as a politician, but as a writer, she seems to take a formulaic approach that is hard to read and not enjoyable at all. I will state that I don't like the first Bill Clinton/Patterson thriller either and did not read their second one. Perhaps politicians should stay away from writing thrillers!

r
Russ_A
Jul 05, 2021

Abrams has presented us with another example of a killer of a plot concept ruined by horrible writing. In addition, her poor choice of a reader sunk the book even farther. The reader’s normal narrator voice was fine, but when she was reading dialog she failed miserably. The lead character, a twenty-something Supreme Court law clerk, sounded like a frightened ten-year-old. All the male characters sounded identical, making it hard to distinguish who was talking, and all sounded like B-film thugs.

The great concept is that a U.S. Supreme Court Justice falls into a coma just before a major split-decision vote is to be cast and his clerk, Avery, is given his legal guardianship, i.e. the power over whether he is to live or die. Evil entities want him to die to block the upcoming vote. Avery is faced with difficult decisions and is bullied and threatened by dark and mysterious forces. She is also left with puzzles to solve by the justice who clearly anticipated such a scenario and expected her to succeed. Great plot idea.

But then there’s the horrible writing. Abrams apparently has never met an adverb she doesn’t love to overuse. She turns nouns into verbs or adjectives. “The porch was sturdied by …”, “over the clayed ground.” She must have scoured her thesaurus for every obscure 10- or 12-letter synonym to replace common words in her first draft. Here’s one of her more appalling and hilarious attempts at erudition:

As it was, a permanent case of nausea jitterbugged with nerve-searing apprehension which metastasized into unadulterated panic. Pundits raptured at President Stokes’s capacity to infuse the recitation of a name with an intimacy that’s left the listener with a certainty of her unique place in the world. … That ability translated itself into throngs of voters who failed to heed the clarion calls from a bewildered press dutifully chronicling misdeeds.

I didn’t know whether to laugh or gag. How could an editor let that go by?

Yet another mystifying question is why she chose to portray the federal government as almost completely corrupt and evil. It is books like this that feed the deep state conspiracy theories of the far right groups she so famously opposes in her real life as a political activist. Which side is she on?

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FloraWest
Jun 29, 2021

Let me just preface this by saying how much I respect and love Stacey Abrams and her work.
That said, this is not a very good book, I hate to say. Overwritten, cliche--a few good puzzle moments but overall, I can't recommend it.
I look forward to reading some of her nonfiction!

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Ginamarguerite
Jun 20, 2021

Disappointing. If there were half stars I'd go with 2-1/2. It wasn't a bad start for her first foray into fiction, but I don't see myself reading any more. There's far too many books by authors who I find compelling or true thrill rides that I want to read.

The only character I warmed up to was Ling....and as a medical resident, how did she have so much time to go off investigating with Avery. There were parts of Avery I liked -- her honesty, her determination to do the right thing and her courage to follow through on it. The solutions she comes up with to the various plot twists were well done.

I disliked Rita almost as much as I disliked Vance and the president. I get it we're supposed to dislike the bad guys...but Rita was more than I wanted to read about.

I really looked forward to this one and maybe too much because it was such a let down.

j
johnulee
Jun 17, 2021

Thought the idea was a good one, but the protagonist was not necessarily as well thought out or consistent as she could have been, i.e. being a supreme court clerk is pretty hard core, yet she just goes ahead and picks an apartment front door lock, and then proceeds to fall to her knees in a puddle of blood and puts then puts her hand in it? Really? So a little fanciful, a bit of a stretch for me....
The flow or diction was a bit off for me as well

MGBustillo Jun 09, 2021

A thrilling mystery law suspense story centered around the power of attorney laid at the feet of a law clerk who is not as simple as others assume.

STPL_JessH May 19, 2021

Do not come to me for an objective review where Stacey Abrams is concerned. I LOVE her. I also LOVE this book. I have only read her non-fiction so this is my first foray into an Abrams thriller and I can tell you without doubt, I am here to stay! I really loved the plot, the characters, the politics, and the ethical entanglements. Abrams stretches what is possible just enough to create a fabulous story, but not enough to make readers frustrated that we have to believe in singing donkeys or anything.

I am not quite sure I completely understand the chess references but that's because I don't play. So, I'll leave those bits for another reader to discuss. I can tell you that Adenrele Ojo's narration is fabulous! Yes, of course I listened to the audiobook.

While Justice Sleeps is an intelligent, ethically fraught thriller, and I am very keen to read more!

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