Monday, September 27, 2010

Buying Time by Pamela Samuels Young

Title: Buying Time
Author: Pamela Samuels Young
Year: 2009
Page: 370
Genre: Fiction - Legal Thriller

New to me author? No
Read this author again? Maybe
Tearjerker? No
Where did it take place? US
FTC Disclosure: Borrowed from the library

Summary (from
Waverly Shaw is a down-on-his-luck lawyer who stumbles upon a potentially lucrative business just when he's about to hit rock bottom. In his new line of work as a viatical broker, Waverly comes to the rescue of people in desperate need of cash. There's a catch, however, his clients must be terminally ill and willing to sign over rights to their life insurance policies before they receive a dime. Waverly then finds investors 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 Lawrence Erickson, who's bucking to become the next U.S. Attorney General, hires Waverly to broker the insurance policy of his cancer-stricken wife. But Waverly's clients start dying sooner than they should, and Erickson—who has some skeletons of his own to hide—is unwittingly drawn into a perilous web of greed, blackmail, and murder. With two determined federal prosecutors hot on his trail, Waverly is on the run, and this time he might need some life insurance.

First Sentence:
Veronika Myers tried to convince them, but no one would listen.
Why did I pick this book?
I first heard about this book from Random Rambling's review. My library didn't have this book, so I read another book, In Firm Pursuit, by the same author instead. It was just an okay read for me, but Tea Time with Marce convinced me to give this author another chance.
My thoughts:
  • I do like this one better than In Firm Pursuit. I have no idea there is such a thing as a Viatical broker - you find someone who is dying from a terminal disease with health insurance. You tell them you'll pay them a percentage of the face value of what they are insured for, and you'll give them the money now. They'd just have to change the benefactor to the investors you work for, and as a broker you get a cut of the deal. Sometimes these dying people need the money for experimental clinical trials or whatever now... and this is the only way they could get enough money. 
  • What an interesting concept! The author mentioned at the end of the book that after she first heard about this, she decided to write a thriller about it. Definitely has a lot of potential!
  • What I didn't like though, again, as with other legal thrillers I read, there was NO courtroom drama... even though one of the main protagonists, Angela, was an Assistant US Attorney. So I was disappointed about that... this would be more of a murder / mystery / suspense, than a legal thriller. The protagonists just happened to be lawyers.
  • I like the characters fine, but don't really love them. Angela was supposed to be smart, but there were definitely decisions made by her, regarding her personal relationship, that I don't agree with. Now, I suppose she can't be perfect, and it's only human to have flaws. Perhaps it is realistic that even smart women aren't always logical or rational, especially when it comes to relationship. But still... I guess I just prefer stronger characters. I suppose, since I have never went through what she went through, I couldn't say exactly how I'd react. I can think about how I'd like to react, but you won't know until it happens to you (touch wood it won't.)
  • The plot is rather clever regarding who the killer was, and I didn't see it coming. But there was a loop hole [Spoiler] - p210-211 - Undercover agent Jon (aka "Jerry" in disguise) died - Waverly learned it from Rico, but when Waverly searched the internet, he couldn't find any articles about it. Yet when the Assistant US Attorneys Angela and Zack questioned him, Waverly told them Jerry died in a car accident, and yet Angela and Zack never questioned how he knew that detail if it wasn't reported, unless he was the killer... but they never had him arrested for murder...
  • I hope the author, with her legal background, would include more courtroom drama in her future books
    Rating: 3.5 Stars

    Have you read this book? 
    If you have, I would love to hear what you think! I'll link your review here if you wish!

    100+ Reading


    1. My best friend always catches loop holes, most times I don't, great job.

      I agree this wasn't a Legal Thriller but I definitely was impressed with the author, glad you got to read it.

      Thanks for linking me :-)

    2. @Marce - I can't believe I hadn't replied to comments dated back in September!! Sorry! I don't intentionally catch loop holes, in fact, most of the time I don't find them (especially in movies!) but sometimes for whatever reasons they just jump out to me! Thank you for introducing me to this author - I definitely learned something new from this book as I had no idea this type of insurance exists (and can't imagine being a broker for it!)