Willful Blindness, the first book in Stina Hemming’s legal thriller series, introduces us to Alex Greene, an attractive, Paris-based, forty-something securities lawyer turned insurance investigator who investigates fraud, deceit and death in the American capital markets. In this first book Greene is called to investigate a series of suspicious deaths after life insurance claims are made by a Chicago-based life settlement fund known as a death fund. The business of the death fund is cashing in on life insurance policies purchased from hapless policy holders when they die. When Greene is brought in to investigate, the death fund is in the final stages of a billion dollar IPO heightening the stakes for the both the fund and Greene.
Greene is forced to take on the Russian mafia backers of the fund, a homicidal American lawyer and a Mossad trained assassin in an investigation that spans the globe and puts her life and ethics on the line. Alex quickly learns that the Russians and their lawyers will go to any length – including murder — to close the IPO. With the body count rising Greene, trained in the martial arts and an expert sharpshooter, is required to draw on all her skills to stop the killing spree. The fund’s lawyers discover that turning a blind eye to the fraud and murderous intentions of their clients is a deadly strategy. Fiercely intelligent, diabolically independent and doggedly relentless in her pursuit of her client’s best interests, Greene is a powerful force to be reckoned with, and her reserved and aloof demeanor belies her ruthless, tough and sometimes volatile personality.
Based in Paris, with holiday homes in Provence and the Turks & Caicos, Greene supports her extravagant lifestyle by being exceptional at her job. Greene’s life is taken up with her work and enjoying the fruits of her labors, collecting art, shopping in Paris’ exclusive haute couture houses and endlessly renovating her upscale apartment in the fashionable 6th Arrondissement of Paris, where she lives with her housekeeper. Alex tends to be reclusive, preferring her own company to the company of others and avoiding all but the most transitory of sexual relationships.
Diabolically independent and fiercely intelligent, Alex is a powerful force in her own right and a twenty-first century version of the “Ice Queen” persona. Imagine the fashion style, aloofness, sexual prowess and physicality of Villanelle from the TV series Killing Eve or Daisy Kowalski from Jett with the quirkiness, rudeness and righteous anger of Vera as well as the grace, style and smarts of Renee Russo in the Thomas Crowne Affair.
In her relentless pursuit of the perpetrators of Wall Street fraud, Alex teams up with a regular cast, which includes a former member of the French equivalent of the CIA, the DGSE, and a Mossad trained assassin to solve her cat and mouse cases. While her unconventional investigation methods, often skirt the four corners of the law, and put her own life in danger. Alex’ adventures bring to life the risks and rewards of lawyers practicing on Wall Street, highlighting the high stakes in the capital markets and the grey area between “legal,” and “illegal” that lawyers must operate in. Summaries of Stina Hemming’s second and third books, False Prophets and Easy Money can viewed at www.stinahemming.com. The fourth and fifth books chronicling Alex’ adventures are in the works.
Stina Hemming is a pseudonym for a North American based securities lawyer whose stories feature murder, mayhem and international intrigue in the treacherous American financial markets, focusing on Ponzi schemes, dirty lawyers, organized crime, inept regulators and billion-dollar frauds. Drawing from decades of experience through the most major stock crises of our generation. Hemming’s stories explore the corruption in the capital markets and the complicity of lawyers in the fraudulent activities of their clients.