After reading Rogue Justice, the second Avery Keene thriller by politician Stacey Abrams (While Justice Sleeps), even her staunchest detractors will have to admit: she really knows Washington politics. And national security. And the cyber world. And how to combine these elements into a fleet-footed, spine-chilling narrative.
It's some weeks before the presidential election, and Supreme Court law clerk Avery Keene is on Capitol Hill, testifying. The subject at hand: the impeachment of President Brandon Stokes, whom Keene is accusing of "criminal conspiracies that would make Nixon blush." Later, she receives a call from Major William Vance, Stokes's former right hand, now a fugitive. Respecting Keene's integrity, Vance warns her that he's learned of a planned technological attack on the United States. Some days after her chat with Vance, Keene is approached by Preston Davies, a clerk for a federal judge who has just committed suicide because, according to Davies, "Someone used a fake video to blackmail her into doing terrible things." Davies wants Keene to find out who was blackmailing the judge, but he's killed before she starts digging. Could Davies's murder be connected to the impeachment case?
To be clear, Rogue Justice isn't for political neophytes. Readers will have to log an alphabet soup of government-agency acronyms, and there are enough Beltway-insider characters to fill the Rose Garden. But Abrams is an assured writer and a boffo storyteller who makes diverting use of her knowledge of the American justice system. All politics aside, Rogue Justice is a nonpartisan thrill ride. --Nell Beram, author and freelance writer