Review

Show No Fear: A Nina Reilly Novel

by Perri O'Shaughnessy

When a woman’s body turns up off a bridge near Big Sur,
Nina Reilly sets out to solve her first murder case. In this
prequel to Perri O’Shaughnessy’s bestselling series,
readers learn about the events that lead Nina to pursue her
illustrious career as a criminal lawyer and also get a glimpse into
her early life. Despite its flaws, the 12th Nina Reilly thriller is
an interesting read, primarily because of Nina’s appeal as a
tough, smart heroine who has a personal interest in discovering the
identity of the killer.

At the outset of the novel, Nina is a single mother in her late
20s living in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. Working as a paralegal
by day and attending law school at night, Nina already has her
hands full when her ex-lover, Richard Filsen, shows up at her
son’s preschool and demands a paternity test. As the story
progresses, she not only finds herself caught up in a fierce
custody battle but also becomes embroiled in her mother’s
malpractice lawsuit against a corrupt acupuncturist.

To her dismay, Nina soon learns that Richard, a well-known
attorney who is thoroughly unpleasant, is on the other side of that
battle as well. Though she takes comfort in the fact that her
firm’s high-powered lawyer, Remy Sorensen, has agreed to
represent her mother, events soon prove that even Sorensen’s
legal skills aren’t enough to keep her mother safe. To make
matters more complicated, Nina can’t stop herself from
falling for her boss, Jack McIntyre --- who just happens to be in
love with the stunning Remy.

As a divorced mother, I found myself rooting for Nina as she
struggled to balance work, school, motherhood --- and murder. There
were, however, several problems with the plot that would lead me to
believe that some readers might fare better with another book in
the series. After the initial “kicker” scene, SHOW NO
FEAR gets off to a slow start, and fans expecting the usual sort of
legal thriller may be disappointed. At times it veers so far from
its genre that it almost seems like a contemporary romance novel
(not necessarily a bad thing, if that’s what you’re
after). To be fair, the pace does pick up quite a bit during the
book’s second half. From that point on there were enough
unexpected plot twists to keep me reading, and the identity of the
murderer, though it did not come as a complete surprise, was clever
and well concealed. The ending was satisfying, but I must admit its
implausibility bothered me at times.

SHOW NO FEAR will likely be a welcome addition to the Nina
Reilly
series for many fans. Besides providing background
information about Nina, O’Shaughnessy gives us the history of
several characters who appear in later books, including her son
Bob, her troubled brother Matt and skirt-chasing homicide detective
Paul van Wagoner. For readers who want to learn more about
O’Shaughnessy’s intriguing protagonist --- or for those
who simply like to commence at the beginning of a series --- this
might be a good place to start.

Reviewed by Lori Lamothe on January 23, 2011

Show No Fear: A Nina Reilly Novel
by Perri O'Shaughnessy

  • Publication Date: October 20, 2009
  • Genres: Fiction, Thriller
  • Mass Market Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Pocket Star
  • ISBN-10: 141654867X
  • ISBN-13: 9781416548676