Show No Fear (Nina Reilly Series #12)

Show No Fear (Nina Reilly Series #12)

by Perri O'Shaughnessy

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A brand-new Nina Reilly thriller takes readers back to Nina's first murder investigation, to the case that ignites her passionate commitment to fighting for justice. As a single mom working as a paralegal and attending law school at night, Nina has her hands full fighting for custody of her young son Bob and overseeing a medical malpractice lawsuit on behalf of her mother. But when a woman falls to her death off a bridge near Big Sur and witnesses disappear, Nina suspects there is more to the "accident" than the authorities are saying. With the help of homicide cop Paul van Wagoner, she rushes to uncover the truth. Show No Fear illumines what makes the brilliant Nina Reilly tick — and, in this fascinating prequel to an illustrious career, begins a love affair for her fans and readers of complex, gripping thrillers everywhere!

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781416548676
Publisher: Pocket Books
Publication date: 10/20/2009
Series: Nina Reilly Series , #12
Pages: 464
Product dimensions: 4.20(w) x 6.80(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Perri O'Shaughnessy is the pen name for two sisters, Pamela and Mary O'Shaughnessy. Together they have written twelve Nina Reilly legal thrillers, a stand-alone thriller, KEEPER OF THE KEYS, and one short story collection, SINISTER SHORTS. Pamela, a graduate of Harvard Law School, practiced law in Monterey, San Pablo, and South Lake Tahoe, California, for sixteen years. She lives in northern California. Mary worked as a multimedia editor for many years. She lives with her husband and children near San Francisco.

Read an Excerpt



September 20, 1990

The law offices of Pohlmann, McIntyre, Sorensen andFrost surrounded a courtyard in a low, white-painted adobe building in the town of Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. Lush flower bushes, pines, and succulents bedecked the hilly front yard where steps led to the main door. In the bright sun of mid-September the building looked overexposed, bleached like the sand on the beach at the foot of Ocean Avenue. Now, at ten in the morning, streams of Lexuses and Infinitis already cruised this side street, hungry for parking spaces.

Nina Reilly grabbed a pile of mail on the receptionist's desk. She had worked as a paralegal at the law firm for the past year, having snagged this coveted job simply by submitting a résumé. Her mother called it Irish luck, but Nina suspected it had more to do with another Irish character trait. Her father, Harlan, knew Klaus Pohlmann because he hobnobbed with everyone, but he would never confess to having pulled strings with Klaus.

Nearing eighty, Klaus was a legend in the community, the most daring and successful lefty lawyer south of San Francisco. He only hired the best, and that included Jack McIntyre, Nina's latest crush. Jack was over at the Monterey County Superior Court at a settlement conference.

Nina called out to the receptionist, "Back in an hour, Astrid. I promise."

Hurrying down the walk, she caught her sandal on the edge of the stone steps and stopped herself from falling by dropping the mail and raising her arms for balance. She dusted the letters as she picked them up, then tossed them through the car window to the seat, counting to keep track in case one fell between the seat and gearshift.

Could mean the difference between a future and no future at all, getting every one of those envelopes to the post office. If she was going to be sloppy about details, she might as well slit her throat today and skip the stomachaches and nights of worry altogether, because in the legal profession, as in medicine and architecture, a minor oversight could be lethal.

Nina had finished college a few years before with a degree in psychology, studying film, art, and people in the luxurious fashion of a girl-child awaiting her prince. She wished now that she'd had better guidance from the adults in her life, who should have known — what? The future, what real life held for a single mother in her late twenties entering a slow economy? Her psych degree had not even prepared her for service positions in the restaurant business.

But she was making up for that now, between law classes, paralegal work, and Bob, not in that order. Fog murked its way in front of her. She scrutinized the hazy road for patrol cars, then executed a swooping, illegal U-turn, arriving at the post office in downtown Pacific Grove, heart pounding. She shoved the letters into the metered-mail slot.

Relieved to be rid of her latest emergency, she fired up the MG along with the radio. Moving out into the street, she narrowly missed a waiting Acura. She swung onto Pine Avenue, drifting toward the middle line as she rummaged in her bag for the address for Dr. Lindberg. She located his card, swerved to avoid a jaywalking tourist family, and turned left onto Highway 1. The pines loomed on either side as the fog drizzled over the Pebble Beach road. She drove swiftly the few blocks to her mother's cottage, parking in front of the huge Norfolk pine in the front yard.

Honking, she reminded herself about the miserable people she saw every day at work, injured on the job, alone and poor. She conjured these images to steel herself for the sight of her mother carefully locking up, pausing every few steps, looking down as if she weren't sure where the sidewalk was. Her mother had ordered her not to come to the door. She didn't like being reminded of the changes in her health.

In the one minute she had to herself Nina leaned back and closed her eyes. Breathe deep. In. Out.

Let's see, Wills and Estates tonight. Professor Cerruti made it her favorite class, but she also liked what lawyers called the "settled" law of that ancient and noble subject. Unlike environmental law, for instance, which fluxed through revolutions every time a new president came in, with Wills one could learn rules that had stuck for centuries. How nice if she could apply a few firm rules to the tatty loose ends of her own life.

I'll read the cases while I eat dinner, she decided. So much for school. As for work, she had all afternoon to obsess about how much she was falling behind there. Deal with it when she got back to the office.

As for friends, ha ha, they must think she had moved to Tajikistan, for all they ever heard from her; a boyfriend was not an option, she didn't have time, though she had fallen into some casual overnighters a while back that had left her feeling worse than lonely. But she did feel warm whenever McIntyre came into her office. Her mind began bathing in a certain bubble bath — but right now here came her mother, struggling down the concrete walk.

Today, the skin on her mother's face looked tighter than usual. Nina opened the passenger-side door from the inside. Ginny paused to remove her right glove, uncovering a hand scrimshawed in pale blue lines. She leaned in and touched her daughter's hand. "Honey, why not let me take a cab? You're a busy woman."

"God, Mom. You're like ice."

Nina's mother had changed so much. Always a handsome woman with sparkling eyes and a daunting energy, she had gradually seemed to lose all color and character. Her skin stretched as tight as a stocking mask over her cheekbones, even pulling her lips back as if they were shrinking. Her once mobile face now looked somehow both flat and puffy, due to both the illness and the steroids used to treat it. Still she tried to smile.

"You always look so cheerful," Nina said, giving her a brief hug after she had maneuvered into the low-slung car. "How do you do it?"

"The right attitude makes me feel stronger. You know how much you hate it when people condescend to you, 'Oh, poor Nina, raising a boy on her own, working so hard'?"

"Oh, come on. I don't pity you."

"Sure you do. Anyone with half a brain would." Ginny patted her shoulder. "Let's just admire how delightful the leaves are at this time of year, okay?"

Maybe it had been better, those days of not knowing what was wrong, because of the hope they'd had then. Did her mother still hope?

Nina drove quickly to Dr. Lindberg's Monterey office on Cass Street. Would she have time later to run by the school library for that book on reserve? She had a mock trial coming up in a week in her Advanced Civil Procedure class and a paper due for Gas and Oil Law that demanded lengthy research. If she hurried, she could pick up Bob at nursery school, drop him with the babysitter at home, stop by the library, and be back at the office by two. Would Remy notice she had been gone longer than her lunch break allowed?

Gritting her teeth, she thought, Remy would notice.

She parked at a meter and ran around to the side of the car. "Need help, Mom? Those stairs are pretty steep. Let me help you up them at least."

Her mother let her help her out of the car, then shook her off. "I rise to all occasions. That will never change. Please don't fuss so much, Nina."

"If Matt doesn't show up to pick you up, promise me you'll leave a message for me with Astrid. I'll come get you."

"You're a worrywart."

Her mother trusted Nina's brother, Matt. Nina hoped she would call if Matt didn't show up. Again.

A few blocks north of Dr. Lindberg's office, Bob attended a preschool chosen after Nina had looked at a dozen of them and settled on this one as the least of all evils. The playroom walls were covered with outsider art Picasso would have envied, committed by three- and four-year-olds who were never given fill-in-the-blanks coloring books. Children were making collages at each table, and she spotted Bob, dark hair fallen over his round, delicious cheeks, smearing a magazine tearout onto gluey paper à la André Breton or Max Ernst.

Seeing her, he called out, "Mom, look!" Resisting an impulse to check her watch, she pulled up a tiny preschooler plastic chair and sat next to him, nodding at the collage.

"Finish up, honey, we have to go." Thank God he loved the place and was reluctant to leave. "What's this?" she asked, pointing at a tray of wooden puzzle pieces alongside the collage.

"My job." He reached over and with startling dexterity stuck the pieces into their slots to complete a duck puzzle.

"Oh. A duck! Cool!"

"But now watch this." He dumped the pieces onto the table, then stuck them across the middle in a snaggletooth row. "My keyboard," he said with a grin. "Like at home."

"But this one you can't play."

"Huh?" He ran his fingers up and down the wood pieces, humming. He was playing a sea chantey CD at home these days. "'Way haul away, we'll haul away home — '"

"But you ruined your puzzle."

"We can go now."

Taking her son's backpack and his hand, Nina ushered him to the door. Bob currently loved the cheap battery-operated keyboard she had found at a discount store. He didn't want to learn real songs yet, just loved making noise, but sometimes she caught him fingering the same notes over and over with a thoughtful expression on his face. She would have to find a way to pay for piano lessons when he was older. Never squelch potential talent, Ginny always said.

As they pulled the door open, an aide handed Nina a paper bag full of dirty pants. "He had two accidents today," she remarked, carefully noncommittal. Nina took the bag. Bob looked up at her with a worried expression. "Mommy, don't break my heart," he said, watching her face. She smiled and patted his hot cheek, hustling him outside, chastising herself for her impatience.

On the way to the parking lot, she ran into an old friend she hadn't seen for ages.

"Well, look at you," Diana said.

Nina hugged her, remembering how much Diana favored flowery perfumes. "When I told you I was pregnant, you never said a thing about being pregnant yourself."

"I was scared," Diana said. "I'd already had two miscarriages and began to think I'd never have a child. Her name's Cori." They stopped to watch Diana's curly-haired daughter gather up her backpack.

"So you settled down," Nina said.

Her old friend waved a set of flashy rings. "He just wouldn't let me alone. Good thing. He teaches chemistry at the community college."

"You always said you'd never marry."

Diana corralled her daughter and nudged her toward a red minivan. "Yeah, surprise! I turned out normal. How about you?"

"No surprise. I didn't."

Diana tilted her head. "So what if you never go about things the way other people do. You're exceptional. Not abnormal."

"I decided to get everything out of the way at once, be a single mother, go to school, work like a cur. That way, I'll have earned the right to a long commitment to some quiet loony-bin spa by the time I'm thirty."

"I gotta scoot." Diana started the battle to get her daughter strapped in. "Let's gossip soon."

"You back at work?"

"Part-time until the little gal's ready to launch. Two more years. I couldn't find full-time child care I can trust that would have her." Diana latched the seat belt across her daughter's car seat with a sigh.

"It's like getting them into a good college, applications, interviews."

"And then they reject you or your child, or your private financial status." Diana shrugged, slamming the door against her cranky child. "I discovered passable child care involved dark rooms with peed-upon plastic mattresses, watery peanut butter, and drunken college students. I realized, hey, I can do that and pay nothing."

How nice for her, Nina thought. Diana had a partner to help and an option to stay home with her daughter. How might that feel? No doubt good, no doubt fortunate.

"Take care," Nina said, strapping Bob into his own car seat. He had a new book to study, so he let the process happen peacefully for a change. Suddenly starving, she climbed inside her car, rustling around in the MG's glove compartment for a snack. She found nothing to eat there, only an old brochure for a restaurant she could never afford. Disgruntled, she raised her head to another unwelcome vision.

Richard Filsen leaned against the brick wall of the church that bordered the parking lot, smoking a cigarette.

Copyright © 2008 by Pamela O'Shaughnessy and Mary O'Shaughnessy

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Show No Fear (Nina Reilly Series #12) 2.9 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 20 reviews.
Betti More than 1 year ago
I was disappointed when I realized that this was a prequel. I find it annoying after reading 11 other stories to go back in time to find out how things began. If you can't do it in the beginning why do it at all? I found myself looking for inconsistancies in the story rather than enjoying it.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am so disappointed. I have not read O'Shaughnessy's books for some time. When I saw this new one come out I took it out from the library. I guess I did not read the book jacket thoroughly enough. It's storyline was about Nina Reilly's pre-lawyer days when she was a paralegal and going to law school. I realized something was amiss when the character Paul van Wagoner was introduced into the story. I knew they had had a relationship in the previous books. I reread the book jacket and then realized that this storyline was going back in time. For those readers of this series, I think this fact should have been identified better in the book itself. This book is written as if it is first in a series and it is not. For those readers that are new to the Nina Reilly series you might enjoy the book. For me, I felt cheated and would have preferred the writers move forward than backwards.
mtkingsley on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I agree for the most part with the previous reviewer that this was not as good as the other Nina Reilly series books. What I found most annoying is that it didn't tie up the strings at the end on the paternity issue and now I have to go back to the other books to remind myself about that. I read this on the Kindle, so didn't feel too bad about the investment and it was a quick, interesting read although I figured out the twist before it was laid out in print.
Cats57 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Show No Fear : A Nina Reilly Novel - by Perri O¿ShaughnessyThis is a prequel novel that gives us a tremendous amount of back story for the 13 books in the Nina Reilly Series. We learn about Nina, her brother Matt, her son Bob and PI Paul van Wagoner and how they became what they are today. We find out why Nina becomes such a driven attorney, how her relationship with Paul started and so many other details. This book cleverly opens with a prologue and the death of a woman on Nov 26, then starts it¿s first chapter with a jump back in time to mid September and the events leading up to that death. For people who have read the entire series and want this book because you think it will fill in gaps - wait - just save some money and wait for it to come out in paperback. It¿s not a horrible book, it¿s just not up to the usual standards of the O¿Shaugnessy sisters normal writing, nor is it their normal style. The plot is thin, the characters, even the ones we know and love are, for the most part unlikable and whiney during this time period. I have to wonder why there was such a hiatus between Nina Reilly novels.For anyone thinking to try this series by buying this book first - my advice is don¿t! If you want superb suspense and a good legal thriller with a butt-kicking female legal eagle then I suggest you dive right in with the first book in the series ¿Motion To Suppress¿ I don¿t think you¿ll be sorry.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Have the whole set. Love their stories.
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susabella More than 1 year ago
I have always enjoyed O'shaughnessy's books, and I've listened to each one rather than reading the printed page. It's been awhile, but I surely don't remember the reader being Dagmara Dominczyk, or if so, I must not have been used to good readers. Dagmara has a very annoying voice, no expression, and makes no attempt to develop a voice for each character. Her mono-tonal reading with that squeaky, accented voice is most offputting, and if it weren't for my liking the Nina Reilly series, I would have given up during the first cd. As it is, I am now on cd # 4 of 5, and am certainly glad I have the abridged edition. I can say with certainty I will never listen to a book narrated by Dagmara again. If Ms. O'shaughnessy persists with this narrater, I will read rather than listen to her next book. As for the story, as mentioned before, I am a fan and it has been very interesting learning Nina's previous history. This has been a slow starter, didn't really get going until the end of the third cd, and hasn't been my fave, but enjoyable nevertheless...except for the reader!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
RonnaL More than 1 year ago
I don't know how my mystery group has missed these Nina Reilly books in all of our years of reading together, but somehow we did. This mistake will now be solved as we have decided to read all of her books now that we have gotten a taste of the series with this prequel to the books already written by the O'Shaughnessy sisters. In SHOW NO FEAR by Perri O'Shaughnessy, the trials and hardships of the characters are extremely interesting and relevant to crimes we hear about all over the news today. Coming into a firm as a paralegal, Nina has high ideals and hopes, bur she soon realizes that there is safety nowhere, and she decides that criminal law is something that she is finally driven to pursue for all of those other people in the world who have been put in sad, hopeless, and fearful positions through no fault of their own. Nina has the love of her Mom and her young son, and her addicted brother, to drive her to provide better lives for all of them. When her Mom develops a chronic deadly disease and is taken advantage of by a would be doctor, Nina also finds herself dealing with an abusive stalker old boyfriend who now wants to be involved in Nina's life. This is only part of the many turns and twists that are being dealt with by Nina, while the murder of two people is also being investigated. Never a dull moment! Completely engrossing, this book has an emotionally driven story line that keeps the reader anxious, empathetic, and driven to know the "truth". Like meeting someone new and really wanting to know what makes them "tick", this book has started a new need to read!! All of Nina Reilly's stories are now part of our immediate reading list!
legalfan More than 1 year ago
The writing was disjointed, the story line truly not believable and I work in law. This was clearly not their best effort. I wasted a gift card on this book. It is unlikely I will buy another book by these authors.
gottareadJD More than 1 year ago
I have all of the "Nina" series books. I have always enjoyed the sister's writing, and "Show no Fear" was no exception.
My only complaint is I wish they would have written in the current with flash backs to the past. Already knowing about Nina's future made this book less enjoyable. We already know from reading her previous books about Paul and how they met, Nina's first husband and her son's father and her brother Matt and his addiction problems.
NoOneFan More than 1 year ago
Takes you back to the start of Nina's career. All the characters come and go in the book and, if I had not read all the other books, I would not have known what was going on. A little disappointed, but I'll still buy her next book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
kadydid More than 1 year ago
It was good to read about my old friend Nina and see how it all started. It was a different approach and one I liked. Thank you for the fun and mystery to warm me on these cold winter days.
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Guest More than 1 year ago
In 1990 in Carmel-by-the-Sea, California, paralegal Nina Reilly is a single mom who raises her preschool son Bob while attending law school. She is also very concerned with the health of her mom Ginny who is dealing with both a circulatory ailment and a botched acupuncture treatment while at the same time pushing for a malpractice suit. After a four year absence from her life, criminal defense lawyer Richard Filsen, claiming Bob is his son, wants a paternity test performed and if the results confirm his belief, he demands shared custody. Nina asks partners from the law firm she works at, Jack McIntyre and his ambitious girlfriend Remy Sorensen, for help. However, someone kills Richard and Ginny. Although she cannot see the connection besides herself, with the assistance of homicide cop Paul van Wagoner, Nina investigates needing closure for her mom. --- This is a clever engaging prequel to the wonderful Reilly legal thrillers. Nina is a wonderful protagonist with her plate full only to get even fuller. The story line is fast-paced and filled with superb twists, but most important the book remains true to the lead character¿s ¿future¿ tales as Perri O'Shaughnessy shows no fear with this deep look back at the paralegal days of single mom Nina Reilly. --- Harriet Klausner