Title: Buying Time
Author: Pamela Samuels Young
Publisher: Goldman House Publishing
Publication Date: November 1, 2009
Paperback: 370 pages
Genre: Legal Mystery
About this novel:
Buying Time is a scandalous tale of blackmail, murder and betrayal, evoking John Grisham with a dash of Terry McMillan.
Waverly Sloan is a down-on-his-luck lawyer. But just when he’s about to hit rock bottom, he stumbles upon a business with the potential to solve all of his problems.
In Waverly’s new line of work, he comes to the aid of people in desperate need of cash. But there’s a catch. His clients must be terminally ill and willing to sign over rights to their life insurance policies before they can collect a dime. Waverly then finds investors eager to advance them thousands of dollars—including a hefty broker’s fee for himself—in exchange for a significant return on their investment once the clients take their last breath.
The stakes get higher when Waverly brokers the policy of the cancer-stricken wife of Lawrence Erickson, a high-powered lawyer who’s bucking to become the next U.S. Attorney General. When Waverly’s clients start dying sooner than they should, both Waverly and Erickson—who has some skeletons of his own to hide—are unwittingly drawn into a perilous web of greed, blackmail and murder.
Soon, a determined federal prosecutor is hot on Waverly’s trail. But when the prosecutor’s own life begins to unravel, she finds herself on the run—with Waverly at her side.
Buying Time is the fourth novel by Pamela Samuels Young, and is a fantastic legal thriller filled with an intriguing plot replete with clever twists and turns involving Live Now, a viatical company. Buying Time is filled with power-hungry people willing to go beyond poor choices to corruption fueled by greed and to some extent extenuating circumstances. While the characters are well written it is rather difficult to feel sorry for them, which I think helps to make this novel work as well as it does. Waverly is a disbarred lawyer who becomes involved in buying insurance policies from dying patients. His wife Deidra is an uncaring narcissist and her parents are not any better. Erickson, vying for position to be the next Attorney General, may or may not have had his wife murdered because she was blackmailing him with a tape showing his predilection for young girls and porn, which would have definitely placed an end to his becoming the next Attorney General. Becker, his best friend and high-powered attorney appears to have no scruples and is willing to do what it takes to get his friend appointed as the next AG so he can rise to power. Dre, the most likeable character, has a nasty habit of making and selling drugs. Angela, a high-powered attorney is heading up a task force looking into Waverly and Live Now, the viatical company he works for. Angela, a brilliant lawyer in her own right, cannot appear to stand up for herself and is engaged to marry Cornell a controlling, critical, and violent man, who also happens to be federal judge. While I found all of the characters to be disagreeable at best, their offensiveness works for this novel and would make for an interesting debate. Prior to reading this novel, I had never heard of viatical companies and this novel not only sheds light on viatical companies, but also begs the question of their ethical nature. Buying Time brings up this issue via an extremely well written and thought provoking fictitious legal mystery alleging the viatical company, Live Now, of insurance fraud and murder. A definite page-turner filled with clever plot twists, double crosses and surprises along the way.
About the author:
Corporate attorney Pamela Samuels Young has always abided by the philosophy that you create the change you want to see. Fed up with never seeing women or people of color depicted as savvy, hot shot attorneys in the legal thrillers she read, Pamela decided to create her own characters. Despite the demands of a busy legal career, Pamela accomplished her ambitious goal by rising at four in the morning to write before work, dedicating her weekends to writing and even spending her vacation time glued to her laptop for ten or more hours a day.
The Essence magazine bestselling author now has four fast-paced legal thrillers to show for her efforts: Every Reasonable Doubt (BET Books, February 2006), In Firm Pursuit (Harlequin, January 2007), Murder on the Down Low (Goldman House Publishing, September 2008) and Buying Time (Goldman House Publishing, November 2009). New York Times bestselling author Sheldon Siegel described Buying Time, Pamela’s first stand-alone novel, as a “deftly plotted thriller that combines the best of Lisa Scottoline and Robert Crais.”
Pamela has achieved a successful writing career while working as Managing Counsel for Labor and Employment Law for a large corporation in Southern California. Prior to that, she served as Employment Law Counsel for Raytheon Company and spent several years with the law firm of O’Melveny & Myers, LLP in Los Angeles. A former journalist, Pamela began her broadcasting career as a production assistant at WXYZ-TV in Detroit, where she was quickly promoted to news writer. To escape the chilly Detroit winters, she returned home to Los Angeles and worked at KCBS-TV as a news writer and associate producer.
Pamela has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from USC, a master’s degree in broadcasting from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism and received her law degree from UC Berkeley’s Boalt Hall School of Law. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Southern California Chapter of Mystery Writers of America and is the Fiction Expert for BizyMoms.com.
Pamela is a frequent speaker on the topics of discrimination law, diversity, writing and pursuing your passion. She is married and lives in the Los Angeles area. To contact Pamela or to read an excerpt of her books, visit www.pamelasamuelsyoung.com.
Join Pamela Samuels Young, author of the legal thriller, Buying Time (Goldman House Publishing), as she virtually tours the blogosphere in January and February 2010 on her second virtual book tour with Pump Up Your Book Promotion! Pamela Samuels Young’s BUYING TIME VIRTUAL BOOK TOUR ‘10 officially began on January 4 and will end on February 28th.
I received a copy of Buying Time by Pamela Samuels Young from Pump Up Your Book Promotion as part of the tour. Receiving a copy in no way reflected my review of aforementioned novel.