Breach of Promise
by Perri O'Shaughnessy
Book Review by Amy Coffin
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Lindy Markov is the victim of her husband's mid-life crisis. Mike Markov has dumped his wife for a younger woman, who just happens to be an employee of the company founded jointly by the Markovs.

Stunned, Lindy hires local Tahoe attorney Nina Reilly to obtain her share of the assets. Unfortunately, this isn't a cut-and-dry case. The Markovs lived as husband and wife for years, but never got around to making it a legal union. To make matters worse, the company, house and accounts are all in Mike's name. In the eyes of the law, Lindy has nothing.

Nina feels she can fight for her client. It was Lindy's meager savings that started the Markov's company. Her ideas and dedication are responsible for its 200+ million-dollar value.

Nina is a small-time attorney with a big heart. Can she convince a jury that her client is entitled to half of the assets without a wedding ring?

Mike Markov has hired Jeffrey Reisner, the biggest gun in Lake Tahoe. The sleazy lawyer has the means and the funds to prevail in this apparent open-and-shut case. It's bad enough that Mike Markov is a big jerk, but it bugs Nina that she has to deal with her egotistical nemesis Reisner as well.

If Lindy is victorious, her attorney's pay out will be huge. Nina sees potential dollar signs. It clouds her judgment and makes her take big risks. She mortgages everything she owns in order to hire a big-name trial attorney and a jury consultant for her team. Depending on the jury, Nina will be rich or she'll be broke.

Breach of Promise follows the preparation and trial of Markov vs. Markov. Nina has come a long way since she was dumped by her husband and laid off from a big San Francisco law firm, as detailed in Motion to Suppress. Instead of giving up, the gutsy attorney moved to Lake Tahoe and set up shop on her own.

This is the fourth novel in the Nina Reilly series. It's her biggest case yet. Breach of Promise is a legal thriller. The pace moves slower than a whodunnit-type of story, but the moves are more calculated. O'Shaughnessy has a law background and the expertise pays off in this story.

It's easy to dislike Mike Markov, but Lindy isn't exactly a heroine. Her lies and bad choices make it difficult to side with the plaintiff for justice. Still, Nina is quite likable and readers can't help but root for her over Reisner in this David and Goliath case.

The verdict is announced, but the story is not over. O'Shaugnessy has another trick up her sleeve in a side plot that exposes a shocking event in the Lake Tahoe halls of justice.

It's possible that readers may not like the end of the story. The events are wrapped up, but not as neatly or happily as some may prefer. I give nothing away by saying Nina is deeply affected by recent events, but is able to bounce back enough to resume her practice in the next installment: Acts of Malice.

Nina Reilly is the creation of two sisters, who write together under the pen name Perri O'Shaughnessy. The combined effort works well. Nina is a respectable character. It is easy to like her. The series installments are quite entertaining, with many regular characters including Sandy the office assistant, Bob the young son, and Paul the on-again/off-again love interest.

Breach of Promise is a good legal thriller. It's a story of suspense, passion and a lot of guts. O'Shaugnessy's legal fiction is just as good as Grisham's. The only thing missing is the ego. (Oops! Did I say that?) Check out this fourth installment in the Nina Reilly series. You won't be disappointed.
Read all the books in the Nina Reilly legal series:

1. Motion to Suppress

2. Invasion of Privacy

3. Obstruction of Justice

4. Breach of Promise

5. Acts of Malice

6. Move to Strike

7. Writ of Execution

8. Unfit to Practice

9. Presumption of Death

10. Unlucky in Law
The sisters O'Shaughnessy have a great web site that includes photos from Nina's Lake Tahoe life