Jessie Black is the star character of Larry A. Winters‘ three book legal thriller series. A five-star three book series and I was hoping to find book number four! The first is Burnout, in which a convicted serial killer merits a new trial because his lawyer went psychotic. Jessie fights nepotism to remain the prosecutor, in part because of her close relationship with a surviving victim of the last attack. Jessie also has a budding relationship with that whacky attorney and a previous fling with a cop, Mark Leary, who is investigating the case. Just when you think the dust has settled and everyone is safe, bedlam and murders ensue- repeatedly. It’s a fascinating book, which led me to the next one in the series.
Informant is even better (can we make it six stars?) as the author adds dimension to both Jessie and Mark’s characters and relationship. Again, the plot is remarkably clever and convoluted. There’s plenty of humor as well, delivered by a cocky informant and con man. However, you could end up feeling paranoid after this one; I think I will avoid courtrooms in the near future. If you have a fear of heights, Informant will leave you with sweaty palms and closed eyes. Winters successfully led me through this thriller without the need to suspend disbelief. At the very end, I thought, “Oh, I should have seen that!” The author also manages to challenge our stereotypes of perps and victims. Nicely done indeed, so I raced to the next book.
Finally, Deadly Evidence is the best of the three. The case hits close to home for us in America, in this age of mass shootings. Jessie and Mark prove once again that they will fight fiercely for justice, no matter the cost. Spoiler alert: They are part of a strong team but after reading the previous books, I wasn’t sure who would survive! Again, Winters leads us through a complicated plot with well-developed characters. I was not close to identifying the villains, which was actually satisfying. The author certainly knows his way around police investigations and the courtroom. This thriller also challenges our stereotyping, which I enjoyed as well.
I might start a petition to get Larry Winters at work on Jessie Black #4.