Presumption of Death by Perri O'Shaughnessy
(O'Shaughnessy, Perri)

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New York Times bestselling author Perri O’Shaughnessy has garnered impressive acclaim for her tough, passionate thrillers set against the lush Lake Tahoe landscape and the world of one remarkable character: Attorney Nina Reilly. In this spellbinding new novel, O’Shaughnessy delves deeper into the heart and psyche of her popular heroine as Nina journeys back to her hometown to heal old wounds, and instead discovers that old secrets can be the deadliest kind....

Nina Reilly needs a fresh start. In three years, she’s taken on some of Lake Tahoe’s most controversial cases and has turned her struggling one-woman law firm into a thriving practice. Now she’s ready to sort out her complex relationship with her boyfriend, Monterey P.I. Paul van Wagoner. So she’s heading to the Carmel Valley, the place where she began her career and where her estranged father lives. It’s also a place of dramatic contradictions and hidden tensions, of new wealth and old families. And, within days of her arrival, Nina is already feeling the heat, as a case of arson exposes some of the darkest secrets of her hometown.

Two suspicious fires have already raged through the valley this summer, igniting suspicions of arson. When a third blaze ends in a fatality, police zero in on a suspect: Wish, the son of Sandy Whitefeather, Nina’s ex-assistant. The dead man is identified as Wish’s childhood friend, a troubled local auto mechanic who hated the changes wealthy newcomers had brought to the valley. Nina and Paul are certain that there is more to this strange case than meets the eye. As they work together to clear Wish, new, more frightening questions are raised, and another fire is set. And out of the flames a terrifying picture emerges: a community steeped in secrets and rage, a tangled history between two men, and a killer whose motives are dark and wrenching.

With the relentless page-turning suspense that has become her trademark, Perri O’Shaughnessy once again demonstrates her talent to enthrall. A haunting tale of crime and punishment, old grudges and second chances, Presumption of Death is suspense fiction at its finest--instantly compelling and utterly impossible to put down.

From the Hardcover edition.

About Perri O'Shaughnessy

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Perri O’Shaughnessy is the pen name for two sisters, Pamela and Mary O’Shaughnessy, who live in Hawaii and on Lake Tahoe, and California and on Lake Tahoe respectively. Pamela graduated from Harvard Law School and was a trial lawyer for sixteen years. Mary is a former editor and writer for multimedia projects. They are the authors of eight previous Nina Reilly novels: Unfit to Practice, Writ of Execution, Move to Strike, Acts of Malice, Breach of Promise, Obstruction of Justice, Invasion of Privacy, and Motion to Suppress. From the Hardcover edition.
Published July 29, 2003 by Delacorte Press. 400 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction, Business & Economics, Action & Adventure, Crime. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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Looking at her lovingly as she sleeps next to him, gently snoring, Paul sighs a bittersweet sigh of resignation: “He wanted life to be easy for her, but it never would be.” Generous heart, steel-trap brain, elegant looks: great fun to read about.

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Publishers Weekly

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Staying with her lover, investigator Paul van Wagoner, in his Carmel Valley condo while she reexamines her life after the traumatic events of 2002's Unfit to Practice dislodged her from her South Lake Tahoe home and office, Reilly is torn between Paul's obvious sexual appeal and his irksome urgi...

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Entertainment Weekly

Originally posted Aug 01, 2003 Published in issue #721 Aug 01, 2003 Order article reprints

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During that time, she had made a new life for herself and made new friends.

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Their relationship is a second, larger, core of this book and the reader is treated to endless detailed discussion of Nina's roller-coaster emotional ride, their living arrangements, meals and Van Wagoner's dislikes, from Nina 's dog, to his unhappiness with the presence of Nina's teenaged son.

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And, regretfully, the writers make what should be a pivotal scene when Nina attends a party in search of the arsonist come across as the sort of get-together where you'd rather be in the kitchen doing the washing-up.

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