Cover Image: Her Deadly Game

Her Deadly Game

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Robert Duggoni has an impressive list of works that hit the spot always and "Her Deadly Game" can be added to the list as well. This is the start of a new series featuring lawyer Keera Duggan.

Keera who previously worked for the Prosecutor's office, is pushed into leaving the job after an abusive relationship with her boss. With no other recourse, she joins her father's firm as a defense attorney. Her home has always been strife with tensions and chaos owing to her dad's alcoholism and she is afraid she might be on the same path too.

When a high profile murder case provides her the perfect opportunity to prove her mettle and make a name for herself, she instantly takes it up. Will she be able to do it? Or is she going to fall on her face?

I loved how Keera has been written, particularly her inner conflicts owing to her personal and professional lives. The other characters have all been written very nicely too; they all have been given a lot of depth and space. The majority of the story happens in the courtroom and Duggoni was still able to make it a captivating story .

I love how the series has been set up and would love to see where these characters are going to be moving forward.

Was this review helpful?

"Her Deadly Game" by Robert Dugoni is a riveting legal thriller that had me hooked from the very first page. As a fan of Dugoni's previous works, I was eagerly anticipating this new series featuring defense attorney Keera Duggan, and I'm pleased to say it did not disappoint.

Keera Duggan is a compelling protagonist with a complex backstory that adds depth to her character. After a tumultuous experience as a prosecutor in Seattle, she finds herself back at her family's failing criminal defense law firm, determined to rebuild their reputation and her own career. When she is retained by Vince LaRussa, an investment adviser accused of murdering his wealthy wife, Keera sees it as her chance to prove herself in the big leagues.

What follows is a gripping and twisty legal battle, as Keera and her team uncover layers of deception and intrigue surrounding the case. Dugoni expertly ratchets up the tension, keeping readers guessing until the very end. The courtroom scenes are meticulously crafted, with sharp dialogue and unexpected revelations that kept me on the edge of my seat.

One of the strengths of "Her Deadly Game" is its intricate plotting and well-developed characters. Vince LaRussa is a compelling and enigmatic figure, and as Keera delves deeper into his past, she discovers shocking truths that challenge her perception of the case. The dynamic between Keera and her family adds an extra layer of complexity to the story, as she grapples with her loyalty to her client, her family's legacy, and her own future.

Overall, "Her Deadly Game" is a masterfully crafted thriller that will keep readers guessing until the very end. With its engaging plot, compelling characters, and twists and turns aplenty, it's a must-read for fans of the genre. I eagerly await the next installment in the Keera Duggan series and highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a gripping legal thriller. Thank you to NetGalley and Thomas & Mercer/Amazon Publishing for providing me with an advanced copy of "Her Deadly Game" in exchange for my honest review.

Was this review helpful?

Her Deadly Game is the first book in the Keera Duggan series by Robert Dugoni. I'm excited to know that there will be more books in this series as I thoroughly enjoyed this legal thriller! Keera Duggan was a prosecutor in Seattle until she made a mistake of falling for a senior lawyer in that firm.. After that mistake and the fallout from it, Keera has switched sides and now works as a defense attorney in her family's law firm. Keera is now working for her father and alongside her 2 sisters.

Vince LaRussa is an investment adviser who comes home from a speaking engagement to find his wife dead in the kitchen. Vince's wife was in a wheelchair and she was shot in the back of the head. Vince had installed cameras outside for his wife's security and 2 people visited the house while Vince was away. He calls 911 and the police come to investigate the crime. There was no breaking and entering found so the killer must've been let in. Vince calls Keera's law firm hoping to get her father, Paddy. He hasn't been arrested as of yet, but he feels like he should get an attorney just in case. Keera is on call and responds by heading to the police station. She meets with Vince, gets the story about what happened, and advises him not to speak to anyone without her present.

As Keera and her team at the law firm investigate the evidence it becomes clear that this is not a cut and dry case. What is Vince hiding? Is he really innocent? Why was his wife looking into his background and work? Why was his wife visited by her family's lawyer the night she was killed? Vince says they had a good marriage, but is that true? This is a fantastic legal thriller that will keep you guessing until the end. There are many twists along the way that will keep you turning the pages late into the night. I rate Her Deadly Game 5 stars with my highest recommendation. I'd like to thank NetGalley and Thomas & Mercer/Amazon Publishing for an advanced copy of Her Deadly Game in exchange for a fair review. #HerDeadlyGame

Was this review helpful?

Thank you to NetGalley for an advanced digital copy of this book.

This was good and I am going to watch for more Keera Duggan stories!!

Keera Duggan was destined to become a lawyer, but she thought she would be a prosecutor, rather than follow in her father's steps as a defense attorney. But a few personal problems in the public prosecutor's office lead her to her father's firm Duggan and Associates, she is eager to sink her teeth into a big trial. Unaware how badly the firm needs to win a big one, too, after the years of erratic behavior caused by the alcoholism of her father, the firm's founder and celebrated attorney Patrick "Patsy" Duggan.

So when a high-profile murder almost literally lands in her lap, Keera is eager to work it. Patsy agrees to sit second chair and the entire firm, mostly made up of her two sisters, jumps in. It doesn't help that the prosecutor is Keera's former boss and lover who is out to get her for leaving his office.

The client is accused of murdering his wife, but has a good alibi for the evening in question, probably not leaving enough time unaccounted for to have been able to accomplish the act. But, maybe? And suddenly, Keera is getting emails from a person using the name "Jack Worthing", who seems to know a LOT about her client, Vince LaRussa and his previous life.

Who is Jack Worthing? Obviously, a character in the play "The Importance of Being Earnest", but is there more to it than that?

The intertwined story of the trial and the chess match Keera is playing via email is very interesting and even if you don't know chess you catch on that the two mirror each other in many ways.

Was this review helpful?

I love Robert Dugoni, and was so excited for a new series from him!

Part legal thriller and part police procedural, this novel has it all. I am not a typical fan of these two genres, but I made an exception for this novel. I am glad I did as it felt like a great start to a new series, and I will definitely be looking out for the next one. The beginning was slow, but picks up about halfway through. The chess references lost me at times as I know nothing about the game. The characters are relatable, as are the family dynamics.

I want to thank Netgalley and Thomas & Mercer for an ARC of this book.

Was this review helpful?

This was requested when I first found out about NetGalley and I had requested so many ARCs that I could not get to all of them before they were archived. I really wanted to get to this one, as it seemed interesting. If I can find this somewhere for a reasonable price, I will try to get it! I am giving this book three stars, as I don't want to give it a good or bad rating, since I did not get to it and we have to leave a star rating.

Was this review helpful?

I love this author’s work, so I grabbed this novel with the speed of the light, all ready for an engrossing human story that is also an excellent mystery. The first one I got, the latter...not so much.
I love the heroine and her family (mostly her brilliant, alcoholic lawyer father) a lot. They are messy and real, with believable (and dysfunctional) dynamics one can believe to. They fight as a wolfpack, together, while they might be hurt together as well.
The mystery of death of a disabled woman possibly murdered by her husband is good - but not brilliant, I’d say. Mr Dugoni had done that angle before, and better, I must say.
But. This is only one mystery in the series, I hope. As I am willing to follow this family a LOT further!

Was this review helpful?

Keera Duggan was an up-and-coming prosecutor until a romantic relationship with a colleague ended badly. Now she is preparing to make a name for herself as a defense attorney against that colleague. Is she ready? She better be as a man's life is at stake.

If you enjoy courtroom dramas then this is definitely a book you will want to read. I had trouble putting it down.

I've read a couple of books in Robert Dugoni's Charles Jenkins series. It is a spy thriller which is my absolute favorite genre when done well. Her Deadly Game is the first book in the Keera Duggan series. I wasn't really sure what I was getting into as legal thrillers can take a few different tactics.

I really liked the characters. Keera is the daughter of a famous (or perhaps infamous is the better term) Seattle defense attorney. He also happens to be an alcoholic which has left family relationships strained. But Patrick Duggan and Associates is a family business and Keera is determined to be just as good as a defense attorney as her father. In addition to Keera, her two sisters work at the firm and her mother often brings food to the late-night trial prep sessions.

The writing was just as good as I expected it to be based on the previous Dugoni books I've read. I'm not a chess player and I feared that the game Keera is playing, and which serves as an analogy to trying a case, would lose me. But enough explanation is given to follow the analogy (if not the game). I appreciated how deftly Dugoni wrote the explanation of chess moves. It could very well have been presented in an abrupt way but it felt natural.

I feel the primary plot was Keera's court appearance while the actual murder is a secondary plot. I did want to know if the accused actually did it, but more so, I wanted to see Keera triumph.

If you are looking for a great book to curl up with for a long evening of reading, then this is definitely a book you will want to get.

My review will be published at Girl Who Reads on Friday, Oct. 13 - https://www.girl-who-reads.com/2023/10/her-deadly-game-by-robert-dugoni-review.html

Was this review helpful?

I’ve read several of Robert Dugoni’s books. I’ve found them to be very enjoyable, so when I see one that looks interesting, I don’t hesitate to get it.
If you like stories that keep your attention, go for it!

Was this review helpful?

Keera Duggan, a former chess prodigy turned criminal defense attorney, gets pulled in to the case of her life when she is retained by Vince LaRussa, a wealthy and well-known man accused of murdering his wife. But as she dives deeper in to the case, Keera begins receiving private messages from an unknown person who clearly knows about her life. Suddenly this murder case hits a little closer to home, and Keera must use her deductive reasoning skills both in and out of the courtroom to save her client, and herself.

I really enjoy Robert Dugoni's books. He is a master at creating suspense, developing characters, and drawing out just enough twists and turns to keep the reader entertained. This book has it all - family drama, police procedural, courtroom drama, and a little humor added into the mix! I really liked these characters and would read another book featuring them. If you are a Robert Dugoni fan, definitely read this one!

Special thank you to Netgalley, and the publisher, Thomas & Mercer, for this ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Was this review helpful?

In the serene Denny-Blaine neighborhood of Seattle, a brutal and tragic event unfolds—a shocking murder that rattles the community to its core. Anne LaRussa, a woman of affluence and privilege, becomes the victim of this heinous crime. What magnifies the horror in the eyes of the public is not just the cold-blooded nature of the act, but the fact that Anne, confined to a wheelchair, is ruthlessly shot in the back of her head—a despicable act of cowardice. The newspapers churn out daily reports, evoking a mix of repulsion and fascination toward a crime involving seemingly untouchable individuals.

As disheartening statistics often reveal, a significant proportion of violent crimes against women are committed by their partners or spouses. In this unfortunate story, suspicion naturally falls upon Vince LaRussa, Anne’s husband and an influential investment advisor and the founder of LWM. Arrested and accused of murder, Vince finds himself at the center of a storm. Keera Duggan, a skilled criminal defense attorney from Patrick Duggan & Associates, takes on the challenging task of representing him. On the opposing side stands Ambrose Miller, Keera’s former colleague and lover, now tasked with proving Vince’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt and seeking a life sentence. Keera is determined to prove her prowess as a professional lawyer and perhaps emulate her father’s illustrious career. Ambrose, seemingly pursuing truth and justice, carries a hidden agenda—to make Keera rue her past choices even more deeply.

The narrative gracefully unfolds through the twists and turns of the trial, but what lends an intriguing layer to the story is its subtle connection to the strategic game of chess. Just as a chess player meticulously studies the board and devises tactics before each move, attorneys like Keera and Ambrose must meticulously plan their strategies in the courtroom.

Keera, driven by the cryptic guidance of an enigmatic figure named Jack Worthing, embarks on a journey to unearth the true nature of Vince LaRussa. What she uncovers is astonishing, to say the least. Even Ambrose Miller, the most steadfast of Vince’s accusers, is unprepared for the dark depths that lie beneath a man so enmeshed in material success. While Vince may not be immediately linked to the brutal murder of his wife, his life is a canvas of shadows, depicting a figure with a dual existence and an unmistakably sinister side. As the suspense builds, readers are led to untangle Vince’s past, understanding the origins of his present self.

As I journeyed through the pages of this novel, a sense of urgency compelled me forward, eager to uncover the verdict of the trial. Yet, the ending I encountered was a departure from my anticipations, completely shattering my assumptions. This is not my first encounter with Dugoni’s work, and I unreservedly affirm his mastery in the realm of legal thrillers. I eagerly await Dugoni’s forthcoming novels, and I stand ready to venture into a new story crafted with skill and artistry.

Was this review helpful?

I enjoyed this read. As it's the first book that I recall reading by this author, it was a great introduction and I look forward to more featuring this character. Since I don't play chess, that part was a bit unnecessary in my opinion and I would like to see more family play. Overall, good read (and I do like a legal mystery).

Was this review helpful?

I absolutely love this author's stories and this one was no exception. I was so invested in the story and the characters from the very beginning. I love court room dramas and seeing crimes played out through the point of view of the defense. The twists just kept coming and everything was wrapped up in such a clever manner. I really enjoyed this book!

Was this review helpful?

Interesting and well written I just personally couldn’t get into the story. Difficult to follow at times and a little slow. I received an advance review copy for free, and I am leaving this review voluntarily.

Was this review helpful?

Keera Duggan left her job as a high-level prosecuter to join her Father's criminal defense law firm. The family firm was acclaimed for many years, but her Dad's performance in recent years was lacking. She wants to bring back the firm's good reputation. So, the opportunity to defend a wealthy investment advisor for a murder charge seems like just the thing. As time goes by, Keera's opinion of her client begins to wane and she questions her initial assessment of the client and circumstances that brought them together. A clever and winding story with breathtaking details. A whodunit that's not easily solved, especially by the reader. So well written. Now I know why readers love Robert Dugoni's book. I recommend it. Published March 28, 2023. I hope you local library has it!

Was this review helpful?

Keera had just ended a bad relationship with Ambrose Miller and at that time she worked in the PA's office. She felt like she did not have a good future with this job. So she asked her father for a job working for him at Patrick Duggan & Associates. She had sworn that she would never work for him. Her father had a drinking problem and needed a lot of help and the whole family always kept an eye on him so she started working for him.

Keera wants to have a better relationship with her Dad. She wants her Dad to have a better reputation. She then ends up getting a big case defending Vince Larusso who is an investment advisor and is accused of murdering his wife who is very wealthy. Larusso is facing life in prison. The prosecutor is Ambrose Miller, Keera's former lover, who wants to destroy her.

Keera also is an excellent chess player and is playing chess with the Dark Knight when she is not in the court room.

I really did enjoy this book. I love legal thrillers. It also is a police procedural. I did not like the chess playing in the book but never liked playing chess. I really loved Keera and her family.
This book gets very shocking and I loved the dramatic ending.

Was this review helpful?

It has been a long time since I last read a legal thriller and besides reading only a few John Grisham books I can't say that I have read that many. 'Her Deadly Game' was a great pick to get back to the genre. It was fast paced, to the point and I enjoyed it thoroughly. I liked how the game of chess was used as a mirror for the trial that Keera Duggan has to win at any cost to redeem her family's legal legacy.

My thanks to NetGalley, the publisher Thomas and Mercer and the author for the e-Arc of the book. While I had the e-Arc, I managed to get hold of the audiobook as well and ended up listening to the book. The narration by Saskia Maarleveld was superb and perfect for the pacing of the book and it helped me finish the book faster.

Was this review helpful?

A courtroom thriller that will keep you guessing. I loved the characters and really hope this is the first in a new series. Mr. Dugoni does not disappoint.
**Thank you to the publisher and Net Galley in exchange of an honest review. **

Was this review helpful?

This was a trial procedural that perfectly scratched an itch. Well researched, entertaining, and without any plot twists that took away from the story.

Was this review helpful?

Great legal mystery…the lead is great and her family is interesting.. the case is interesting, with surprises along the way.. I would read more by this author.

Was this review helpful?