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THE THIRD VICTIM
by Phillip Margolin
Minotaur, February 2018
319 pages
$26.99
ISBN: 125011750X


Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Mental whiplash is the only way to describe the experience of reading THE THIRD VICTIM, Phillip Margolin's new series debut introducing attorney Robin Lockwood.

A young woman, Meredith Fenner, escapes from the house where she was taken and assaulted. She manages to lead the police back to the house where evidence of her abduction and two earlier murders is found. The owner is a prominent Portland attorney and he is quickly arrested and charged with all three crimes.

Enter "The Sorceress," Regina Barrister, leading criminal attorney who agrees to represent Alex Mason. Sitting second chair is young, newly-hired lawyer Robin Lockwood, former MMA fighter, who recently served a clerkship at the Oregon Supreme Court.

Physical evidence against Mason is incriminating. Police interviews with Mason's wife, Allison, uncover the fact that he preferred S & M practices including subjecting his wife to the same types of abuse that the murder victims experienced. Then, Allison hires her own attorney and begins divorce proceedings.

In the meantime, Regina is approached by Arnold Prather, a detective who is being sued by a local pimp for harassment and abusing his "girls." Prather wants her to represent him, but he can't afford her fees. A few days later when Prather is accused of murdering the pimp by witnesses he suddenly finds the $100,000 retainer.

The Mason case is heating up as Robin continues to work with Jeff Hodges, the firm's investigator, to gather information for the defense and notices Regina is having issues affecting her professional performance, yet another complication in this finely layered story.

The twists and turns in this complexly plotted thriller are akin to wrestling with an octopus and to connect any more dots will spoil the reading experience. The reader moves from a small reveal on one page to meaningful discussion of new evidence on the next, gathering disconnected threads along the way.

An experienced craftsman, Margolin finally pulls all the threads together and the reader finds the fabric of this story is tightly woven, one that kept this reader turning the pages in pursuit of the solution.

Ruth Castleberry has worked as an investigator for Pinkerton's, city desk assistant on the Charlotte News, free-lance writer, marketing/business strategy consultant, competitive intelligence practitioner and digital marketing consultant.

Reviewed by Ruth Castleberry, January 2018

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)


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