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  • Writer's pictureJudith D Collins

Major Crimes

Series: Nicole Long #1


Publisher: Moore Digital Media

Publication Date: 06/29/2022

Format: e-book

My Rating: 5 Stars +++


Cleveland’s top prosecutor is playing 4-D chess. Nicole Long is just a pawn in the game.

Nicole Long’s promotion to head of the Major Crimes prosecution unit comes with only one caveat, she has to give up drinking once and for all. Nicole knows she can hide her bourbon habit as long as she wins every case assigned to her. The first case her boss Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Lori Pope assigns her—a cold case murder—isn’t the slam dunk she needs to score a quick conviction for her win column.

Even worse than an unsolved decades-old murder? The victim was her boss’ sister. Lori Pope doesn’t just want Nicole to get a conviction, the top prosecutor wants revenge against her sister’s killer. When Nicole discovers the case isn’t as clear-cut as it seems, she must decide between justice for the accused or loyalty to the only job that will turn a blind eye to her addiction.

Check out the prequel OUTCRY WITNESS (6/22)

My Review

UTTERLY BLOWN AWAY. OMG! A POWERHOUSE. Stellar. Insanely INTENSE. MAJOR CRIMES (#1 The Nicole Long Legal Series) is Austin's most gripping and chilling novel yet! A riveting sophisticated, high-stakes legal/crime thriller on steroids crosses a highly-charged moving emotional family saga with moral dilemmas that will have you tearing through the pages until the stunning conclusion. You will think you are reading a Michael Connley/ Bosch/Lisa Gardner/Jodi Picoult novel with Austin's signature winning style and trademark twists. What a story! I am in awe of her talent. She definitely knows how to jumpstart a new spin-off series in style! We met Nicole Long in (the Casey Cort series) with appearances in Caged, Contained, Unarmed, and her most recent, Abused. MAJOR CRIMES (The Nicole Long Legal Series #1) kicks off with a bang following the exhilarating prequel OUTCRY WITNESS (.05) where we met Nicole years earlier before becoming a lawyer. In OUTCRY WITNESS (prequel) Back in Louisiana at home for a visit after college, Nicole meets a devil in disguise, Seth Collins, a charismatic mega-church leader, her boss, and her abuser. She did not get justice, but she is now determined to go to law school so she can put the bad guys behind bars and seek justice. Now, in MAJOR CRIMES, she meets corruption head-on once again. Two different stories. Two different bosses. Two corrupt leaders. In MAJOR CRIMES, We also catch up with attorneys Justin and Casey (LOVE--from the Casey Cort Series) and much more. Underneath the engaging characters, brilliant dialogue, and riveting, timely plot and corruption—there's an undercurrent of humanity, heartbreaking honesty, emotional depth, and the passionate search for justice. Hang on for the ride of your life! MAJOR CRIMES is a multi-layered, complex, and haunting tale of two teen girls (black and white) and their families from different walks of life, joined together by an unexpected tragedy— caught up in a deadly drug business, the fallout, an evil plan of revenge, power, manipulation, and corruption. UPCOMING: In addition, at the end of the book, we get more Justin/Casey with a lead into the next in the series WITHOUT CONSENT. More about nuns, priests, diocese, and abusers who take advantage of children and the innocent victims, will hit home closer than you know. New things come to light. So get ready; it is going to be EPIC! OK, readers, this is a long review but let's get into it. You do not want to miss a thing. As you are aware if you have followed my blog for years. The books I am most passionate about - there is much to say! A "must-read" series. 2007: Sarah Rose Pope (white)—As the book opens, a drug deal is going down. Sarah, a drug addict, shows up at her long-time friend's upscale house, Tyisha Cooley (black), in Cleveland Heights. Tyisha is a compliance officer with a bank, a homeowner, educated, has no traffic tickets, and lives a straight and narrow life. She has put her personal life on hold time and time again to continue to come to her dear childhood friend Sarah's rescue. (LOVE this character-A saint, and her brother) TEEN YEARS & beyond: SARAH 1966-1991: They have been friends since they met pre-teen many years earlier, when Tyisha's crazy half-sister, Rainey, dumped her out at a riot out of town in Hough on purpose. The Cooley family took her under their wing. That was the first time this family saved her and far from the last. (I wanted to smack her so many times-please get help!) The manipulative psycho half-sister Rainey is a she-devil MONSTER and made many attempts on Sarah's life. Sarah's dad was a cop, and the half-sister's mom Anna was a drug addict. Rainey had it out for the sister when the dad married Sarah's mom. Her dad always took his own daughter's side. Sarah was gay, and Rainey used that against her. The family disowned her. Tyisha, her older brother Wayne, and her parents had taken in Sarah over the years numerous times when her family deserted her. They have been there for her with all her mistakes and downfalls as an addict. Sarah adores them and wishes they were her family. However, Tyisha's patience is running out—this is the last time she will take her in. They are now in their 50s. She must get clean, and Tyisha has set up a rehab facility, Journeys— three hours away, and they leave the following morning—the bed is ready. They have already lost Wayne, Tyisha's brother, due to Sarah's drug use connection, and sordid friends with a case still unsolved, and now Tyisha is off to bed, and Sarah is calling her drug dealer friend, Ja Roach to get high again. (will she ever learn)? Another junkie with a heroin habit. However, the guy will not give her the shot when he shows up. She begs Tyisha to do it. Sarah pleads that she will go to rehab but cannot start detox here tonight. She just got evicted and has gone too long without a fix. Tyisha regrettably agrees only for this "one" time. They show her what to do and how to find the vein. The unthinkable occurs—a bad batch (or was it planned) with high levels of oxycodone, heroin, and fentanyl. She dies of an overdose. Lorraine (sister) conveniently rushed the cremation. NICOLE LONG 2008: Nicole is now head of the Major Crimes division and works for the prosecutor's office in Cuyahoga County, OH. As we learned from previous books in the Casey Cort Series and prequel—she has a major alcoholic addiction. Also, there happens to be another case regarding an overdose handled entirely differently than the one with Sarah Pope. Sarah Pope is the younger half-sister of Lorraine (Rainey) Pope. Let the games begin! The only thing worse than a prosecutor with an agenda was one with a personal crusade. She wants a murder charge. She never liked Sarah, her friend Tyisha or any of the Cooleys. BLACKMAIL: Her boss and prosecuting attorney, Lorraine Pope, has used county money for her recent rehab, and Nicole must prove herself, or she will be out of a job and career. She needs to stay on the straight and narrow with debt for repayment, but she cannot help herself. She still keeps the two tiny bottles of Maker's Mark locked in her desk, which she tends to be into more than not. She also does not trust Valerie Dodd's assistant prosecutor on her team. (history here). A PAWN: Little does Nicole know she is about to be set up and used again. Nicole is about to embark on another disaster as Cleveland's top prosecutor is playing 4-D chess, and Nicole Long is just a pawn in the game. LORRAINE (Lori) POPE is EVIL and Corrupt! Everything has been carefully orchestrated. She wants revenge, and now she has her pawn. She can control Nicole and get her to do her evil deeds because she holds the cards. She knows about the drinking. She knows about Seth Collins. Blackmail. Justin McPhee 2008: We met Justin in the Casey Cort series, and he happens to be the attorney for Tyisha Cooley. In a recent similar case, it got pleaded down to a misdemeanor. No jail time. No felony record. Community service and probation. But NOT this case. He consults with his friend, Casey, which is brilliant, of course. You must read to find out about the baby. Again, Cooley is as clean as a whistle. So her only crime was being friends with an addict but killing her, according to Lorraine. She had no idea what was in the shot. Now her life is ruined for helping a friend. She wished she had driven her to Journeys that night. She was not responsible for what happened to her friend Sarah. Her family abandoned her for being gay; she turned into a polysubstance user, years of drugs, heroin, and something in the drugs that pushed her past her limits. A system failed her. Justin knows Pope is using the office to grind out her personal vendetta and abuse the office. Casey is consulting on the case and they must come up with a plan to help save Tyisha from prison. NICOLE LONG 2008: Normally overdoes were not suspicious deaths unless there was evidence. Now, this Ja Roach guy has a connection to Lorraine. Now she is forced to try a case that makes no sense. If she does not convict Cooley she will be pushed out. She has been threatened. WOW! MAJOR CRIMES is one emotional roller coaster with fast-paced NON-STOP action. The research, cop procedurals, legalities, drugs, etc. are spot on.

From 1966 and earlier we flash back to Sarah's home life with her devil half-sister, Rainey. Anything to get Sarah into trouble. This story is heartbreaking and horrific. You will fall in love with the Cooleys and their children, Tyisha and brother Wayne. Sarah and Tyisha become instant friends sharing a love of books and other things. Sarah feels safe in their home. Their family is what she has always wanted. A mother who cooks, and a loving family. She does not have this. You feel sorry for her but you are losing patience when she keeps on the downward spiral when people are trying to help. She is an addict. In alternating chapters with Sarah, Nicole, and Justin the story unfolds. It will grab you by the heartstrings teeming with passion, family, power, and heartbreak. The laws, manipulation, and corruption will provoke and infuriate you. The goodness of those who care will inspire you. You will be an emotional wreck! WHAT I LOVE ABOUT AIME'S NOVELS: They are gritty, street smart, and relevant —ripped from today's headline eye-opening topics and how they fit in with the law crossing moral lines. From corruption, politics, power, and scandal. Well-developed multi-dimensional diverse, relatable characters caught up in moral dilemmas overcoming insurmountable obstacles, laugh-out-loud dark humor, and electric prose that reads like a cross between Michael Connelly, Lisa Gardner, Jodi Picoult, and John Grisham. She continually delivers thrills, high-stakes action, suspense, emotion, family drama, a little romance, and captivating, intense courtroom scenes. A taut, multi-layered, complex, emotional, and superbly crafted legal/crime thriller. Austin's characters are real people who live and breathe on the page. She is not only a female master of the legal thriller genre but a powerful master storyteller as well! Austin brings expert and intimate knowledge of the law to the courtroom scenes and paints a devastating portrait of families in crisis. But the novel's terrifying final twist will keep you up at night. WHY I LOVE LEGAL THRILLERS The fascinating thing about legal thrillers (my favorite) is that they cross so many other genres. The subject matter of each case, a story within the story can be anything from domestic, classic, crime, psychological, cop procedural, to action/adventure. But it all comes down to a single, central theme. The pursuit of justice within the complex often twisted mechanics of the law. STANDALONE OR SERIES: You can read this one and the prequel as a standalone; however, an excellent time to get on board with the new Nichole Long series, and I assure you will be hooked and want to read the Casey Cort Series as well. I know; I have read them all. I read my first Amie Austin book in 2014 when I started my blog and have read every book since. A huge fan and the top female legal thriller author out today. AUSTIN EXCELS! Highly recommend. PODCAST: If you have not listened to her popular A TIME TO THRILL Podcast, please do so. Her voice is pitch-perfect and made for audio and each episode is filled with interesting content interviews with great bestselling authors and other brilliant creative women! @JudithDCollins | #JDCMustReadBooks My Rating: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟 +++ Pub Date: June 29, 2022 Top Books of 2022 June 2022 Must-Read Books

Read my Review and Learn More about OUTCRY WITNESS (Nicole Long Legal Series #.05)

About the Author

Aime Austin is the author of the Casey Cort Crime Fiction Series. Casey is almost always in trouble. Aime’s full-time job? Rescuing her. Good thing Aime’s got experience. She practiced family and criminal law in Cleveland, Ohio for several years—so she has the skills for the job.

Her upcoming spin-off series The Nicole Long Legal series is set to launch, June 2022.

When Aime isn’t rescuing Casey from herself, she’s hosting the podcast, A Time to Thrill, raising her son or traveling between Budapest and Los Angeles. WEBSITE

Aime's A TIME TO THRILL PODCAST and her guest authors!

Check out my #AuthorElevatorSeries Interview with Aime Austin where we go behind the scenes of ABUSED (Casey Cort series) and more about this fabulous author!








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