Misty Patterson returns home from her casino cocktail waitress job to find her drunk husband ready for a fight. It's no surprise Anthony Patterson wants to get abusive again, but Misty is too tired to put up with his act tonight.
A fight erupts and Misty throws a small statue at Anthony. He's knocked out and Misty is safe for another evening. She leaves him on the couch and goes to bed.
The next morning, Anthony is gone. Misty is afraid he'll come after her. Imagine her surprise when the police want to question Misty about the murder of her husband.
It seems he was found at the bottom of Lake Tahoe with two blows to his skull. The neighbor's stolen boat was drifting nearby.
Misty has no recollection of what happened, but it's clear she's the number one suspect.
Nina Reilly is new to the Lake Tahoe area. Recently separated, she left San Francisco with her young son for the safe haven of her brother's house. On an impulse, with a desire to make it on her own, Nina sets up private shop as an attorney at law.
Misty Patterson is Nina's first big client. Nina is touched by Misty's story and she believes in her innocence. The cocktail waitress has a lot of repressed skeletons in her closet and Nina works to release them.
Misty's court date is coming up and there's not much time to find the truth behind the murder and how it relates to Misty's past. The hunt for answers is detailed in Motion to Suppress.
This is Perri O'Shaughnessy's first novel and the introduction into the Nina Reilly series. Readers see how Nina's marriage to Jack ends, and how the newly-single mom heads to Tahoe to start anew.
We are also introduced to Sandy Whitefeather, Nina's receptionist, and brother Matt Reilly and his family for the first time.
O'Shaughnessy provides many suspects in Anthony's murder, while never ruling out Misty as well. Anthony's ex-wife, her husband, Misty's lover, Misty's therapist and his wife, and employees at the casino where the couple worked all have possible motives. Even Misty's parents cast suspicion on themselves with their strange behavior.
Motion to Suppress is a notable first novel. The story is interesting. O'Shaughnessy took a risk by making small-town Lake Tahoe the setting, but it works out well. There's enough crime to keep Nina busy and form a good story.
Compared to Acts of Malice, there's little development of Nina as a person. The focus is more on the Patterson case and the main character getting established in a new town. Nina doesn't even have time for a love interest aside from a couple of kisses from her old acquaintance, Paul. Matt, the brother, is a passing thought as well. With the introduction of Sandy Whitefeather, I was hoping to understand why she's so aloof. No dice as the author sticks to the events.
Still, Motion to Suppress delivers a fair level of suspense right up to the trial. The court proceedings are quite dramatic, similar to that which you would find on television. Real justice is rarely that exciting.
Legal thriller fans should enjoy Motion to Suppress. The story is easy to follow and relatively light, making this a quick, fun read. A female lawyer as the lead character is a nice change. Nina Reilly is truly likable. Readers of this first novel will no doubt read the rest of the series.