Book Review: While Justice Sleeps

Woo-hoo, I’ve now read two books in 2022, which ties the total number of books I read in 2018-2021, 😂😂😂. One more, and I’ll have met my goal to read three books in 2022. I may even up my goal to six books. 2022 is wild.

Anyways, I’d wanted to read Stacey Abrams’ While Justice Sleeps since it came out in May 2021 and was grateful when a friend gave it to me as a Secret Santa gift. The novel follows Supreme Court Clerk Avery Keene as she is suddenly thrust into the spotlight after her boss and mentor, SCOTUS Justice Howard Wynn, falls into a coma and appoints her as his legal guardian and power of attorney. Justice Wynn had secrets and he wants Avery to piece them together to unravel one big bad secret he discovered. So, Avery sets forth to uncover the mystery while also dealing with her drug-addicted mother and the DC media circus.

While Justice Sleeps is really good. I am SO glad I read it. It’s not a perfect story but you can absolutely correlate a lot of what Abrams writes about to things that are happening in present-day America. I really liked Avery; one of my pet peeves while reading a book is when the main character is so perfect that they’re unbelievable. Avery is flawed and although she has a few qualities that feel like a duex ex machina, it’s not difficult to overlook them because she’s likable. The supporting characters, while generally being your classic secondary role archetypes, serve their purpose in a non-too-annoying way, contributing to moving the story along on the cues you’d expect.

The mystery itself is a bit complicated, but, scarily, believable. It almost makes you wonder how close someone in government writing a fiction novel is actually mirroring reality vs. entertainment reality vs. actual f*cking reality. The big reveal wasn’t exactly what I was expecting it to be but the “truth” that Avery discovers is just as awful as promised. I was a bit confused about the outcome for two of the characters, but decided, in the end, it didn’t matter to me that much, haha.

One other thing to note: Abrams is also a well-establish romance novelist and although she set up the male protagonist (both of them, really) as super hot, we only get one kissing scene and it’s like a sentence-long. I didn’t know what to expect but…maybe I was hoping for a little bit more? Both romances that the book alludes to are also convenient but dammit, I was there for them!

If you’re a fan of that genre, I absolutely recommend reading While Justice Sleeps. If you’ve already read it, let me know what you thought!

Next up: Agatha Christie’s Death on the Nile. I’m hoping to finish it while the movie is still in theaters but haven’t gotten very far into it yet so we’ll see how it goes.

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