Pierce Kelley, an attorney in Cedar Key, recently announced the release of his sixth novel, Asleep at the Wheel.
Like many of his other novels, Asleep at the Wheel is a legal thriller and is set in North Florida. The Protagonist falls asleep while driving back to his home in Fernandina Beach after a weekend of fishing in the Gulf of Mexico. His best friend dies in the resulting car crash.
In contrast to his other novels that have involved criminal issues, such as DUI manslaughter in A Very Fine Line, vehicular homicide in A Plenary Indulgence, or accessories after the fact as in Fistfight at the L&M Saloon, Kelley’s latest book focuses on a civil case.
“In this novel I have focused on an issue that often comes up in civil matters, which is called ‘bad faith,’” Kelley said. “When the protagonist is sued by the wife of his best friend, his insurance company refuses to settle the case within policy limits. The question becomes what happens when an insurance company puts its own financial interests ahead of the interests of an insured.”
Kelley said this is an issue few people know about and usually don’t find out about until after they are sued. “As with all of my other novels, I tell tales of what could happen to any of us at any given time – and I do my best to make it as entertaining as possible in the process.”
Always looking for the teaching moment, Kelley said he wants people to be able to learn something even while reading for pleasure. Hopefully it can be entertaining and teach at the same time, he said. “If readers want to turn the page and find out what happens next, the book is a success.”
Kelley worked for Three Rivers Legal Services out of Gainesville and Lake City offices, serving a 17 county area in North Florida for most of the last five years. He is now a solo practitioner in Cedar Key. He spent much of his 35 year legal career handling civil matters such as personal injury and wrongful death, as well as being a state and federal defender.