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False Fortune (Pinnacle Peak) (Volume 4) Paperback – January 20, 2016
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From Publishers Weekly
In retired trial lawyer Phelan's lively fourth Pinnacle Peak mystery, attorney Hannah Dain, barely recovered from the adventures of 2006's Spurred Ambition, takes on a case that leads her into abandoned mines and deep waters in the Arizona desert. While helping her older sister and fellow attorney, Shelby, gather evidence for a uranium pollution lawsuit brought by the local Indian tribe, Hannah rescues a woman whose car plunges into a lake. Following up on the woman leads to other questions, and a twist of circumstance finds Hannah appointed lead prosecutor for the case. Meanwhile, she's having second thoughts about her ex-boyfriend, Cooper Smith, and her fondness for her recently discovered young half-sister, Anuya, further jeopardizes her shaky relationship with Shelby. Vivid descriptions of the desert provide a dramatic backdrop to the increasingly dangerous investigation as Hannah inches closer to the truth. Phelan has created a swiftly moving tale of corporate corruption and tangled, touching family relationships. (Sept.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Kindle Edition edition.
After a daring rescue of a woman whose car plunges into a lake, business attorney Hannah Dain fills in for her sister in criminal court. All she has to do is tell the judge that the clients' claim has been settled. However, the plaintiffs, members of the Tohono O'odham Indian Community, whose children have suffered birth defects due to contaminated water from government-dumped uranium on their reservation, want their day in court. Hannah, who only practices business law, suddenly finds herself appointed the lead counsel in the case with only a month to prepare for trial, angering her father, her sister, and the tribe's representative. Complicating matters, her teenage half sister unexpectedly shows up on her doorstep. The beautiful but treacherous Arizona desert setting is skillfully portrayed in this fast-paced legal thriller. Hannah is an engaging character who is just coming to terms with secrets from her past and the fallout from a failed romance. The fourth in a series. O'Brien, Sue --This text refers to the Kindle Edition edition.
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While feeling they are being followed on the road that circles the lake, Hannah notices a car plunge into the water. She along with Jerry Dan Kovacs rescues the driver. Soon afterward Hannah is actually named lead counsel on the uranium pollution case. Hannah realizes that someone does not want this case going to court and that unknown adversary will kill to insure that never happens. She wonders if perhaps her new friend Jerry Dan who showed up in the nick of time is the culprit or perhaps her half-sister Anuya who suddenly seems to be a target for no apparent reason. As she digs deeper, her doubts grow wider so that even her former boyfriend Cooper Smith, who has acted strang is a suspect as someone wants her off the case in anyway possible,
The latest Pinnacle Peak Mystery (see HEIR APPARENT, FAMILY CLAIMS and SPURRED AMBITION) combines a twisted family entanglement with a fine environmental legal thriller using the Arizona desert as a terrific backdrop to the action. Hannah holds the plot together as she struggles to connect with Shelby after years of estrangement and with Anya whom she just recently learned was her late mother's other offspring from a different father. Father ties aside, the environmental suit is relevant, complex and as convoluted as is the heroine's family relationships. Twist Phelan provides a strong Pinnacle Peak entry.
Twist Phelan's Hannah is a three dimensional character. But coming into the third book of the series without the benefit of the first two made Hannah a little challenging to grab hold of. Part over-achieving lawyer/athlete, part squashed marshmallow, Hannah is "someone" I've encountered several times in my lifetime. By the end Hannah felt more fleshed out.
The family dynamics, likely explained fully in books one and two, kept my focus and pulled away from the plot. But had I read book one and two - I've no doubt I would have easily slid into Hannah's world.
Phelan creates desert scenery that at times comes alive for readers. Athletes may find much to like in Phelan's stories. Each contains a different sporting focus. False Fortune focused on the kayak which became, at times, symbolic of Hannah's life. I was surprised at the level of spirituality (mostly Hindu)in False Fortune. This fascinates me. I read much Christian fiction and as I see a decrease in focus on religion in much Christian genres, I see more spiritual focus in the mainstream fiction I'm reading.
The mystery in False Fortune delivers though a couple items remained unraveled.
Overall, the solid writing and storytelling skills should satisfy legal, mystery, southwest and sports fans.
Twist Phelan's heroine, Hannah Dain, is unwittingly embarking on a life-changing week. "False Fortune" begins as Hannah joins her sister Shelby to collect information for what appears to be a simple case their family's law firm has taken. Little could the women know the effects of an accident and the subsequent rescue on their case or their lives.
"False Fortune" introduces Hannah to a mystery which starts out with a car accident, a newfound half-sister, a strained relationship with another sister, a new friend who has a secret of his own, and a case between the government and the local Indian reservation which is not all it seems to be! These different pieces of the story all fall into place with a tale about the connection between an accident that may have been an attempted suicide and a case pitting members of the Tohono O'odham tribe against the Department of Defense.
A hunt for treasure and new sister, who quickly integrates herself into Hannah's life, brings new friends, foes and adventure as she navigates the twists and turns within the case she has accidentally been assigned as lead counsel. And as Hannah begins to explore, it becomes clear that what seems to be an open and shut case of toxic waste contamination on the reservation is not necessarily so.
"False Fortune" works - mostly because you like Hannah - how could you not? She is smart, a good person, honest, and emotional. But she is like most heroines - too clearly the heroine. There are no flaws; there is nothing that suggests that she is human. In reading the quick `about the author,' it is clear that the character Hannah is modeled after how the author sees herself. Unfortunately this results in a story that, while it works (all the pieces fall into place and are explained), it doesn't make it anything more than a light read. If that is what you are looking for, then this book is for you. If you want a story that makes you think, or rush to recommend it to your friends, skip this book.
Received book free of charge.