"Interesting legal thriller"
Attorney Nina Reilly moved from Tahoe to Carmel,
California to spend time with her lover private
investigator Paul van Wagoner to see if they can make it.
As Paul offers her diamonds and great sex, her mentor whom
she once clerked for, Klaus Pohlmann, a terrific trial
lawyer, asks for her help in court. However, Klaus is not
what he once was as his mind wanders with his colleagues
at Pohlmann, Cunningham, Turk wondering if the great man
The client, two-time loser Stefan Wyatt, is accused of
murder, grave robbing and grave burying as he is accused
of stealing valuables from one corpse and interring a
fresh body, that of a fellow student. If convicted of any
of the counts, Stefan would become a long time guest of
the State due to California's Third Strike law. Nina
leads the inquiries with Paul's' help that connect back to
Tsarist Russia; she also provides much of the legalese at
the trial as she acts more like first seat than her
UNLUCKY IN LAW is an interesting legal thriller due to
Nina's dilemma to be married or not to be married that is
the question and the deterioration of the keen mind of
Klaus (even her son Bob waits breathlessly). However, the
key courtroom drama seems off kilter and never quite hooks
the jury (reader). Still the investigation is fun to
follow with its ties to Tsarist Russia and Anastasia on
top of whether Nina and Paul move on or move out.
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted June 5, 2004
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.