Review: Her Deadly Game by Robert Dugoni


Print Length: 396 pages
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer (March 28, 2023)

From A defense attorney is prepared to play. But is she a pawn in a master’s deadly match? A twisting novel of suspense by New York Times bestselling author Robert Dugoni.

Keera Duggan was building a solid reputation as a Seattle prosecutor, until her romantic relationship with a senior colleague ended badly. For the competitive former chess prodigy, returning to her family’s failing criminal defense law firm to work for her father is the best shot she has. With the right moves, she hopes to restore the family’s reputation, her relationship with her father, and her career.

Keera’s chance to play in the big leagues comes when she’s retained by Vince LaRussa, an investment adviser accused of murdering his wealthy wife. There’s little hard evidence against him, but considering the couple’s impending and potentially nasty divorce, LaRussa faces life in prison. The prosecutor is equally challenging: Miller Ambrose, Keera’s former lover, who’s eager to destroy her in court on her first homicide defense.

As Keera and her team follow the evidence, they uncover a complicated and deadly game that’s more than Keera bargained for. When shocking information turns the case upside down, Keera must decide between her duty to her client, her family’s legacy, and her own future.


My Rating: 3 stars out of 5

Being a big fan of Robert Dugoni, this book did fall short of what I was expecting, so I'm going to start with those reasons first. 

To begin with, I am not a chess player. So while I can appreciate that chess was a big part of Keera's life, all of the passages between her and her (at first) mysterious partner were lost on me. I was interested in the murder case being tried, not all of the chess jargon as Keera played. Cool, it helped her concentrate and gave her an outlet, but it just took away from the overall story for me. I think it would have been easier had Keera reflected on the game without the technical terms such as pawn to whatever. 

I also found the final whodunit to be a bit too unrealistic. I mean, heck, it was a good twist, don't get me wrong,  but it seemed ridiculously far-fetched. 

Now aside from these things, I enjoyed the story. I enjoyed following Keera and company along as they followed the trail of breadcrumbs left to them by the mysterious Jack Worthington. The scenes inside the courtroom, while a little long and repetitive for my tastes, seemed very true to life, and it was interesting watching Ambrose and Keera battle it out knowing of their past relationship and the current issues between them that stemmed from it. It was also fun to see some familiar names from the Tracy Crosswhite series pop up. 

I will say that there were a couple of other twists that I felt were better done than the one surrounding the perpetrator of the crime, and I did thoroughly enjoy the ways that those plot lines were executed. 

On the whole, if the author decides to continue on and make this a series, I would read more. I don't think we have seen the last of Keera or her "The Irish Brawler" father, and I look forward to seeing how these two (along with Ella and Maggie) continue to grow. I would definitely read more from this author! 

DISCLAIMER: I received a complimentary copy of this novel from the publisher. This has not affected my review in any way. All thoughts and opinions expressed in this review are 100% my own.

                                          Her Deadly Game is available on
                                         (for free if you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited)

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