Supreme Court clerk Avery Keene is back, trying to get her feet on solid ground after unraveling an international conspiracy in While Justice Sleeps. But as the sparks of Congressional hearings and political skirmishes swirl around her, Avery is approached at a legal conference by Preston Davies, an unassuming young man and fellow law clerk to a federal judge in Idaho. Davies believes his boss, Judge Francesca Whitner, was being blackmailed in the days before she died. Desperate to understand what happened, he gives Avery a file, a burner phone, and a fearful warning that there are highly dangerous people involved.
Another shocking murder leads Avery to a list of names – all federal judges – and, alarmingly, all judges on the FISA Court (the United States Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court), also known as America’s "secret court." It is this body which grants permission to the government to wiretap Americans or spy on corporations suspected of terrorism. As Avery digs deeper, she begins to see a frightening pattern – and she worries that something far more sinister may be unfolding inside the nation’s third branch of government. With lives at stake, Avery must race the clock and an unexpected enemy to find the answer.
Rogue Justice, the second in this series by Stacey Abrams, will be released on May 23, 2023. Doubleday books provided an early galley for review.
This one picks up four months after the end of the last book, and that fallout is being addressed right at the start of this one. The reader is able to easily see how the cast has progressed, giving a realistic feel for the advancement of time.
Of course, there is also a new threat that involves parties seeking power through manipulation of the United States legal branch. Abrams describes the action and danger well and continues to explain organizational and technical terms in a reader-friendly manner that fits the story flow and tone.
She also has a knack for reflecting current political themes into her story without directly referencing them verbatim while adapting them to fit into her fictional world. I like that her Washington DC has a different cast than our own, even if the rules of agencies and the nature of human behavior still matches up. She has continued to add to her world-building that, hopefully, we'll see more of in future installments of this series.