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by Phillip Margolin
Minotaur, March 2019
306 pages
ISBN: 1250117526

Buy in the UK | Buy in Canada

Once again attorney Robin Lockwood is juggling at least three cases complicated by red herrings that provide more than enough twists to keep any reader guessing.

In the first case, Randi Stark retains Robin to sue her accused rapist, Blaine Hastings Jr, the son of a wealthy businessman who has his own trust fund. In addition to Blaine's DNA matching the evidence collected in the rape kit, Randi's friend Anne opened the door and heard Randi yelling "get off me" as a startled Blaine lifted himself off Randi. Rex Kellerman is the prosecuting DA and Douglas Armstrong is the defense attorney. When Blaine is convicted, he and his dad threaten both Randi and Armstrong. Things turn weird when a second rape is committed, and the DNA is an exact match to Blaine's who happens to be sitting in prison at the time. Blaine is released pending a new trial.

In the second case, the court appoints Robin to defend Everett Henderson, an ex-con accused of killing an off-duty policeman. Everett recognizes the attorney as Rockin' Robin Lockwood, a professional martial arts fighter during her college days, and agrees to let her represent him. According to Everett, the officer, Greg Schaefer, in casual clothes and drinking, came on to his girlfriend. When she rebuffed his advances Everett stepped in and Greg attacked Everett. Defending himself, Everett killed Greg. Rex Kellerman is the prosecuting DA and tries to pull a fast one.

The third case finds Robin defending Douglas Armstrong, charged with murdering his partner Frank Nylander. Unable to stop himself, Rex Kellerman begins to build a questionable case against Armstrong, determined to convict him. It seems that Marsha Armstrong recently ended her affair with Kellerman, and he didn't take it well.

Phillip Margolin carefully builds suspense as he weaves the various threads together creating a complex legal thriller with enough twists to keep even the sharpest reader wondering what's next. While there is nothing predictable about how the story develops, the characters are interesting and authentic. Margolin uses relationships to provide insight supported by finely tuned dialogue. THE PERFECT ALIBI is a compelling read.

§ Ruth Castleberry has worked as an investigator for Pinkerton’s, a 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, December 2014

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Contact: Yvonne Klein (ymk@reviewingtheevidence.com)

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