After Dark

( 13 )


Gone, But Not Forgotten rocketed Phillip Margolin into the select company of million-selling novelists. Here he displays again the same genius for best-selling suspense in another intricate, breathtaking thriller of multiple murder in the legal community of the Pacific Northwest.

Laura Rizzati, a law clerk for Oregon Supreme Court Justice Robert Griffen, is found slain late one night in the deserted courthouse. Her office is ransacked—but ...

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After Dark

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Gone, But Not Forgotten rocketed Phillip Margolin into the select company of million-selling novelists. Here he displays again the same genius for best-selling suspense in another intricate, breathtaking thriller of multiple murder in the legal community of the Pacific Northwest.

Laura Rizzati, a law clerk for Oregon Supreme Court Justice Robert Griffen, is found slain late one night in the deserted courthouse. Her office is ransacked—but nothing seems to be missing. There are no suspects and no clues.

The following month Griffen himself is killed by a car bomb in the driveway of his Portland home. This time, though, there is a suspect: in a shocking turn of events, Abigail Griffen, star prosecutor in the Multnomah County District Attorney's office and estranged wife of Justice Griffen, is charged with first degree murder.

With the same gripping suspense that drove Gone, But Not Forgotten onto the bestseller lists, this is a complex legalthriller with a truly startling ending.

The bestselling author of Gone, But Not Forgotten offers an equally gripping novel--a roller coaster ride of legal suspense that begins with a pair of seemingly unrelated murders . . . and climaxes in a truly startling ending. Sure to be one of the summer's biggest hits.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Margolin's legal thriller, in which a killer claims that a local female prosecutor hired him to murder her husband, spent two weeks on PW's bestseller list. (June)
Library Journal
If Margolin's new novel of legal intrigue isn't hot stuff, a lot of readers will be disappointed; his Gone, but Not Forgotten (LJ 6/15/91) sold over a million copies. Here, a high-profile prosecutor is accused of murder.
Emily Melton
argolin's latest is part courtroom drama, part psychological thriller, part murder mystery, and part love story. But most of all, it's a whopping good read. Young lawyer Tracy Cavanaugh has just spent a year clerking for an Oregon Supreme Court justice and is ready for the big time. She has her pick of prestigious jobs, but she chooses to work for Matthew Reynolds, an eccentric, Abe Lincolntype lawyer whose reputation is built on the fact that not one of his clients has ever received the death penalty. The first case Tracy works on with Matthew is a tragic one--Abbie Griffen, a brilliant prosecutor, is accused of killing her husband with a car bomb. Matthew, who has admired Abbie's skill in the courtroom for years, is convinced she's innocent. In fact, he thinks she's been framed by psycho Charlie Deems, a murderer Abbie put on death row years ago. Tracy is awed by Matthew's superb handling of the complex case, and she just knows he'll get Abbie off. But in the course of her background research, Tracy stumbles across information that could have shocking, maybe even lethal, consequences, and suddenly all that was right is horribly wrong as the case moves inexorably to an explosive climax that will leave readers breathless. Margolin hit the best-seller lists with "Gone but Not Forgotten" (1993), and he's sure to be back with this one.
From Barnes & Noble
A judge is murdered, and the suspect is his estranged wife, a star prosecutor. The story races rapidly through the legal intrigue of death-penalty cases in Oregon's Supreme Court to the roller-coaster suspense of a bizarre murder investigation.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780553569087
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 5/28/1996
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 277,184
  • Product dimensions: 6.88 (w) x 4.24 (h) x 1.03 (d)

Meet the Author

Phillip Margolin
Phillip Margolin is the author of fifteen New York Times bestsellers. Each novel displays a unique, compelling insider’s view of criminal behavior which comes from his long background as a criminal defense attorney who has handled thirty murder cases. He lives in Portland, Oregon.

Good To Know

From 1965 to 1967, Margolin was a Peace Corps volunteer in Liberia, West Africa.

In our interview, Margolin tells us more about himself: "I have a terrific marriage -- 34 years and going strong -- two terrific children who make me proud, and I am the president of Chess for Success, a nonprofit that uses chess to build self-esteem and to trick elementary and middle school children into learning study skills that will help them do well in school. We are currently in 35 Title I elementary schools and six middle schools."

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    1. Also Known As:
      Phillip M. Margolin
    1. Education:
      B.A. in Government, American University, 1965; New York University School of Law, 1970

Read an Excerpt

Abbie sat up in bed, certain she had heard a noise but unable to tell what it was.  Her heart was beating so loudly, she had to take breaths to calm herself.  The moon was only a sliver and the sky was pitch black.  According to the clock on her nightstand, she had only been asleep for an hour and a half.

Abbie tried to identify the sound that had awakened her, but it only the waves breaking on the beach.  Just as she convinced herself that she was only having a bad dream, a stair creaked and her heart raced again.  Abbie had taken to carrying her handgun since the attempted break-in, but as she reached for it, she remembered that her purse was downstairs.

She had been too exhausted to change her clothes when she went to bed, so Abbie was wearing her tee shirt and panties and tossed her sneakers, socks and jeans onto the floor next to bed.  She rolled onto the floor and slipped on her jeans and sneakers.

There was a deck outside the bedroom window.  Abbie grabbbed the doorknob and tried to open the door quietly, but the air had warped the wood and the door stuck.  Abbie pulled a little harder, afraid that the intruder would hear her if she jerked open the door.  It would not move.

Another step creaked and she panicked.  The second she wrenched the door open footsteps pounded up the stairs toward her room.  Abbie ran onto the deck.  She slammed the deck door closed to slow the intruder, then she rolled over the low deck rail just as the door to her bedroom slammed open.  For a brief moment, Abbie could see the silhouette of aman in her doorway.  Then she was falling through the air and slamming against hardpacked earth.

The deck door crashed against the outside wall and Abbie was up and running.  A dirt trail ran between the woods and the edge of the bluff for a mile until it reached the neighbors' property.  There was no fence and the trail was narrow, but Abbie streaked along it, praying she would not be followed.

A hundred yards in was a footpath that led into the woods.  Abbie's brain was racing as she weighed her choices and decided her chances of survival were better in the woods, where there were more places to hide.  She veered to the left and shot down the trail, then moved off it and into the woods as silently as she could.

Abbie crouched behind a tree and strained to hear the man who was chasing her. A second later, footsteps pounded by on the path.  Abbie gulped air and tried to calm herself.  She decided to move deeper into the woods.  She would hide until daylight and hope the man would give up before then.  She had almost regained her composure when she heard a sound on her right.

Adrenaline coursed through her and she bolted into the underbrush, making no effort to be quiet.  Her feet churned.  She surged into the woods and away from the cliff, oblivious to the pain from branches that whipped across her face and ripped her shirt.  Then she was airborne.  She tried to cushion her fall but her face took the brunt of it.  Blinding lights flashed behind her eyes.  The air was momentarily crushed from her lungs.  She hugged the earth, praying she would be invisible in the dark.  Almost immediately, she heard the loud crack of branches breaking and the snap of bushes as they swung back after being pushed apart.

The sound was nearby and there was no way she could run.  On her right was a massive, rotting tree trunk.  Abbie burrowed under it, pressing herself into the earth, hoping that the mass of the log would shield her.

Something wet fell on Abbie's face.  It started to move.  Tiny legs scrambled across her lips and cheek.  An insect! Then another and another.  Abbie desperately wanted to scream, but she was afraid the insects would crawl into her mouth.  She clamped her jaws shut and took in air through her nose.  Every part of her wanted to bolt, but she was sure she would die if she did.

The woods were silent.  The man had stopped to reconnoiter.  Abbie brought a hand to her face and brushed off the bugs.  She expelled air slowly.  Her heart was beating wildly in her ears and she calmed herself so she could hear.

There was cool earth against her cheek and the silhouettes of tall evergreens against the night sky.  Suddenly the space between two large trees was filled by the outline of a man.  His back was to her, but she was certain he would see her if he turned and looked down.  Abbie pressed herself closer to the log, praying that the man would not turn.  He did.  Slowly.  A few inches more and he would see her.  Abbie felt for a rock or a thick tree limb she could use as a weapon, but her hand closed on nothing of substance.  Now the man was facing the log.  He started to look directly at Abbie.  Then the sky lit up.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 13 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 19, 2008

    Best mystery/thriller I've Ever Read

    Afer Dark, by Phillip Margolin, is the best mystery/thriller I¿ve ever read 'and believe me I¿ve read many'. To me the evaluation of how good a book is can be determined in how long it takes one to read it. I read After Dark in less than two days. It is a masterful work of penmanship with a twisted plot that keeps you reading to see whodunit, but the plot is so intricately woven, you never can decide what the resolution will turn out to be. Publishers Weekly called Margolin¿s style ¿whiplash plotting¿, which is an excellent description inasmuch as several characters were under suspicion. This was a complicated story with a great deal of legalese that could only be done through Margolin¿s background as an attorney. It is so well written, one must wonder if it comes from one of his court cases. If you are a mystery/thriller buff like me, then read this book. I think you will be as pleased as I was with it.

    6 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 28, 2008


    Book Review: ¿After Dark.¿ In the book, ¿After Dark¿ by Phillip Margolin, Tracy Cavanough, a young lawyer, finds her best friend dead. Soon after, Justice Robert is killed by a car bomb. This mystery then takes its place in a law firm. In this book, the plot is a very hard to follow. It is non-linear in how the events occurred. One thing happens, and then the plot jumps to something else. This mystery has many twists and turns. Although some dialogue goes into more detail, it sometimes becomes hard to follow. For example, Dr. Shirov goes into detail about neutron activation analysis. This dialogue didn¿t need to be that detailed, it confuses the reader. The final conclusion was exciting, but for that you have to read through the plot twists. In my opinion, ¿After Dark¿ is a very smart book to read, but the author¿s writing style is hard to follow. I would recommend this book to people who like law mysteries. However, I don¿t recommend it to people who don¿t know much about law.

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 1999

    Ending with a twist.

    After Dark held my interest from beginning to end. I was so surprised with the ending. I loaned the book to a few of my friends and they loved it also. In fact, one friend went to the library and borrowed other books by Mr. Margolin and she thoroughly enjoyed them.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2014

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 5, 2014


    Amberpelt bit into his chest and he yowled and jumped off. Amberpelt yowled to stormclaw, lets get out of here! She ran toward goldenclan camp.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2013

    Great read - great writing.

    This novel has it all: love, hate, revenge, ethical dilemmas, and a surprise ending. I couldn't wait to find out who killed the Justice yet hated when it ended. Worth the time and money if you enjoy suspenseful legal stories.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted March 13, 2013

    Good plot. Different than his other novels.

    I liked this story. It was not as gory as his newer books and had a quaint small town feel. The main character was not as likable as his other characters and he did not really grow on me as he changed throughout the story. Its worth the read. Good story.

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  • Posted April 10, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Good Legal Thriller

    After Dark was a very good read. There were so many twists and turns in the story. Trying to figure out who was responsible for the murders Abbie was being tried for was interesting. There were clues early on but nothing was given away. I would recommend this book and am interested in checking out other works by this author.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2005


    Well put together. Intricate details come together seamlessly. However, I didnt understand why Tracy couldnt empathize with Reynolds delima but thats my personal opinion which doesnt take away from the book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 10, 2003


    Phillip Margolins suspense novels are the best, after i read After Dark, I could not stop reading his books...the ending surprised me, its great !!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2001


    After Dark was an excellent book. It was the first mystery book that I read and I enjoyed it thoroughly. The book had an ending that was surprising; it made you think about previous events that happened in the book and it's nice how everything falls in to place. I loved the book and would recommend it highly.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 31, 2014

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted September 9, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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