Supreme Court Justice Howard Winn has a degenerative brain disease that is killing him. With his remaining lucid moments, he has unearthed a dark secret about an important case currently being heard by the Supreme Court. He knows he doesn’t have long to live and he hopes his complex plan to pass the secret to a trusted person will work.
The case involves the merger of an American biotech company with a genetics company from India. The Court is believed to be heading toward a 4-4 voting deadlock with Justice Winn the swing vote. The current term of the Supreme Court ends soon and the two companies involved in the international merger need it to be approved now to avoid financial ruin. Those hoping the merger will fail are putting their money on Justice Winn’s incapacity or death before he can make that swing vote.
With Justice Winn’s health rapidly failing, he requires a home healthcare nurse. He suspects she is an informant monitoring the status of his mental and physical decline presumably for the autocratic President of the United States. One evening she finds the unconscious Justice gasping for breath, in a moment of sympathy, she disregards her orders to immediately report changes in his health to her minders and then let nature takes it course without medical intervention. She calls for an ambulance before she reports that Justice Winn is near death. With the Justice still alive but hospitalized in a permanent coma, Nurse Lewis turned over the apple cart that will lead to mayhem in the underworld of politics and international relations.
The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court informs Justice Winn’s law clerks of his dire prognosis. One of his young law clerks, Avery Keene, is struggling to balance financially draining issues with her alcoholic mother against the demands of her blooming high stress legal career. When she learns of Justice Winn’s health decline, she also learns he has chosen her to become his legal guardian responsible for his final health decisions and with his power of attorney resolving all of his other personal matters. If she thought she had enough on her plate, she ain’t seen nothing yet.
Stacey Abrams, the erudite political wizard, pushes Avery Keene into impossible and deadly situations that has the reader overwhelmed with governmental acronyms and master level chess moves. The good guys and the bad guys create such chaos in this highly complex plot it will make your head spin trying to keep up. Great reading. Political junkies will love it!