The Associate [NOOK Book]


A mesmerizing tale of deceit and criminal stealth in the high-stakes world of pharmaceutical research from Phillip Margolin, the New York Times bestselling master of the courtroom thriller.

Daniel Ames is living the American dream. Though born into poverty and living on the streets by the age of fifteen, Daniel has overcome every obstacle -- and now is an associate at Reed, Briggs, Portland's most prestigious law firm, earning more money than ...

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The Associate

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A mesmerizing tale of deceit and criminal stealth in the high-stakes world of pharmaceutical research from Phillip Margolin, the New York Times bestselling master of the courtroom thriller.

Daniel Ames is living the American dream. Though born into poverty and living on the streets by the age of fifteen, Daniel has overcome every obstacle -- and now is an associate at Reed, Briggs, Portland's most prestigious law firm, earning more money than he ever imagined possible.

But when Aaron Flynn enters his life, Daniel finds himself caught between his towering ambition and his bedrock idealism. Flynn, a charismatic civil litigator, sues Geller Pharmaceuticals -- Reed, Briggs's biggest client -- for manufacturing a drug that he claims causes unspeakable birth defects. Daniel is certain the claim has no merit -- until a memo written by a Geller scientist is found, detailing the shocking results of a study that implicates the company in a horrific lie.

Could Daniel unwittingly be helping Geller cover up a dark secret? As he begins to investigate, his world comes tumbling down around him. His work is sabotaged, he's accused of professional incompetence, and he's fired. Twelve hours later the man who fired him is murdered. Daniel is arrested.

With help from two women, including lawyer Amanda Jaffe (whom we met in Wild Justice), Daniel scrambles to clear his name and save his reputation -- and in the process unearths a trail of deceit that leads back to a series of unsolved kidnappings seven years earlier. But someone doesn't want this trail explored, and Daniel becomes the target of a vicious killer who will stop at nothing to prevent the truth from being revealed.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Before he turned to writing, Philip Margolin was a criminal defense lawyer for 25 years. But don't think for a second that the novels of this crafty plotter are even distant cousins of dreary legal briefs. The author of the bestselling Wild Justice snaps out his stories with the assuredness of a career novelist. Which, thank heaven, he now is.
Multiple plot twists will keep you turning the pages.
Publishers Weekly
Another year, another young-attorney-in-peril story from Margolin (Wild Justice). This time, the attorney is Daniel Ames, an earnest, pink-cheeked associate at Portland's most prestigious law firm. Ames gets fired for a paperwork blunder that may force the firm's biggest client out of business. The client, Geller Pharmaceuticals, is being sued for its diabetes drug Insufort, which is believed to cause severe birth defects, much like thalidomide in the 1950s. Set up to take the fall by another lawyer in his firm, Ames mistakenly gives the plaintiff's attorney the results of a secret medical study documenting Insufort's shortcomings. Ames, however, suspects the story is a fake. To get his job back, he knows he has to prove that not only he, but also Geller Pharmaceuticals, has been scapegoated and hung out to dry. But who would do such a thing? The likely suspect is rich-but-sleazy attorney Aaron Flynn, who filed the lawsuit against Geller and has a history of backhanded tactics. Aided by legal investigator and love interest Kate Ross, Ames traces the case's roots back to a mysterious murder and disappearance in the Arizona desert nearly a decade earlier. Margolin's writing for the most part is unremarkable, his plot won't stand up to serious scrutiny and his characters engage only on a surface level. Yet the author of seven previous handsomely selling thrillers deserves credit. While his latest is eminently forgettable, the whole package light intrigue, good-looking, wealthy people under stress, a couple of ghoulish murders and a scattering of clever plot twists is undeniably entertaining and enjoyable if you don't think about it too hard. Major ad/promo; 25-city national radio campaign;12-city author tour. (Sept.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal
Daniel Ames agrees to help a fellow attorney by reviewing materials pertaining to a lawsuit against a drug manufacturer, before turning those items over to the plaintiff's lawyer the following morning. The plaintiff's lawyer then claims to have found clear proof in those materials that the drug company knew its product caused birth defects. When Daniel is fired the same day, he is convinced that the evidence was planted, and he sets out to clear his name. In his investigation, he uncovers a connection to a long-forgotten kidnapping and a series of murders, attracting the attention of the killer, who sets out to silence him. Margolin, author of seven New York Times best sellers, has created a complex web of circumstances and characters whose lives are all connected to one unknown individual. The story that unfolds is well crafted and intriguing and well read by Scott Brick. Recommended. Joanna M. Burkhardt, Coll. of Continuing Education Lib., Univ. of Rhode Island, Providence Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Humdrum legal thriller about a young lawyer who trusts his firm way more than he should. You've heard that one before, have you? Well, if bright, industrious, wide-eyed Daniel Ames had been up on his Grisham he might have taken fewer lumps. Reed, Briggs, Stephens, Stottlemeyer and Compton of Portland, Oregon, oh-so-elite, employs and regularly victimizes the oh-so-willing Daniel. One night, predictably, he gets suckered into a grunt work task that has exploitation written all over it. The case happens to involve a huge Reed, Briggs client-Geller Pharmaceuticals, makers of Insufort, billed in a venomous supermarket tabloid as "Son of Thalidomide." Geller and Insufort are being accused of causing horrifyingly severe birth defects-a multimillion-dollar lawsuit in progress. In turn, Arthur Briggs, senior member of the firm, accuses Daniel of having made a stupid and costly mistake. Not so, but suddenly Daniel finds himself being fitted for a scapegoat suit. Summarily fired, he's told to pack and be gone instanter. Resentful but powerless, Daniel obeys. To his surprise, he finds a message the next day from Briggs on his answering machine, apologizing and asking for a fence-mending meeting, not at the office, but in a remote country cottage. Even a cursory reading of Grisham might have helped Daniel dodge that one, too, but innocent that he is he trundles off. Naturally, he finds Briggs murdered. Naturally, he's framed for it. Things are going from bleak to bleaker. Fortunately for him, however, Kate Ross, investigator extraordinaire, is there to befriend him. With her help he turns the tables on an assortment of villains, while refurbishing a tarnished reputation and redeeming a blightedcareer, though not, praise be, at Reed, Briggs. Bland people, implausible plotting. Here, Margolin, who has tilled the legal thriller field with no mean success (Wild Justice, 2000, etc.), does little more than go through the motions.
"A classic legal thriller … intelligent, stylishly written, and exciting. … [A] fine novel."
“Multiple plot twists will keep you turning the pages.”
“A classic legal thriller … intelligent, stylishly written, and exciting. … [A] fine novel.”
“A classic legal thriller … intelligent, stylishly written, and exciting. … [A] fine novel.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061793493
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 10/13/2009
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 64,231
  • File size: 802 KB

Meet the Author

Phillip Margolin

Phillip Margolin has written seventeen New York Times bestsellers, including his latest, Sleight of Hand, and the Washington Trilogy. Each 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. Winner of the Distinguished Northwest Writer Award, 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

Excerpt from

The Associate

Chapter One

The headlight beams of Dr. Sergey Kaidanov's battered SAAB bounced off a stand of Douglas firs then came to rest on the unpainted wall of a one-story, cinderblock building buried in the woods several miles from downtown Portland. As soon as Kaidanov unlocked the front door of the building the rhesus monkeys started making that half-cooing, half-barking sound that set his nerves on edge. The volume of noise increased when Kaidanov flipped on the lights.

Most of the monkeys were housed in two rooms at the back of the building. Kaidanov walked down a narrow hall and stood in front of a thick metal door that sealed off one of the rooms. He slid back a metal sheet and studied the animals through the window it concealed. There were sixteen rhesus monkeys in each room. Each monkey was in its own steel mesh cage. The cages were stacked two high and two across on a flatcar with rollers. Kaidanov hated everything about the monkeys -- their sour, unwashed smell, the noises they made, the unnerving way they followed his every move.

As soon as Kaidanov's face was framed in the window, the monkey two from the door in the top cage leaped toward him and stared him down. Its fur was brownish gray and it gripped the mesh with hands containing opposable thumbs on both arms and legs. This was the dominant monkey in the room and it had established its dominance within three weeks even though there was no way it could get at the others.

Rhesus monkeys were very aggressive, very nervous, and always alert. It was bad etiquette to look one in the eye, but Kaidanov did it just to show the little bastard who was the boss. The monkey didn't blink. It stretched its doglike muzzle through the mesh as far as it could, baring a set of vicious canines. At two feet tall and forty pounds, the monkey didn't look like it could do much damage to a one-hundred-and-ninety-pound, five-foot-eight male human, but it was much stronger than it looked.

Kaidanov checked his watch. it was three in the morning. He couldn't imagine what was so important that he had to meet here at this hour, but the person whose call had dragged him from a deep sleep paid Kaidanov to do as he was told, no questions asked.

Kaidanov needed caffeine. He was about to go to his office to brew a pot of coffee when he noticed that the padlock on the dominant monkey's cage was open. He must have forgotten to close it after the last feeding. The scientist started to open the door but stopped when he remembered that the key to the monkey rooms was in his office.

Kaidanov returned to the front of the building. His office was twelve by fifteen and stuffed with lab equipment. A small desk on casters stood just inside the door. it was covered by a phone book, articles from research journals, and printouts of contractions that the monkeys experienced during pregnancy. Behind the table was a cheap office chair. Along the walls were metal filing cabinets, a sink, and a paper towel dispenser.

Kaidanov walked around the desk. The coffeepot was sitting on a table alongside a centrifuge, scales, a rack of test rubes, and a Pokémon mug filled with Magic Markers, pens, and pencils. Above the table was a television screen attached to a security camera that showed the front of the building.

The pot of coffee was almost brewed when Kaidanov heard a car pull up and a door slam. On the television a figure in a hooded windbreaker ran toward the lab. Kaidanov left his office and opened the front door. The scientist peered at the hooded face and saw two cold eyes staring at him through the slits in a ski mask. Before he could speak, a gun butt struck his forehead, blinding him with pain. Kaidanov collapsed to the floor. The muzzle of a gun ground into his neck.

"Move," a muffled voice commanded. He scrambled to his knees and a booted foot shoved him forward. The pain in his face brought tears to his eyes as he crawled the short distance to his office.

"The keys to the monkey rooms."

Kaidanov pointed toward a hook on the wall. Seconds later a blow to the back of his head knocked him unconscious.

Kaidanov had no idea how long he had been out. The first thing he heard when he came to were the hysterical shrieks of terrified monkeys and the sound of cages crashing together. The scientist felt like a nail had been driven into his skull, but he managed to struggle into a sitting position. Around him filing cabinets had been opened and overturned. The floor was littered with gasoline-drenched paper, but that was not the only object doused in gasoline -- his clothing, face, and hands reeked of it. Then the acrid smell of smoke assailed his nostrils and his stomach turned when he saw the shadow of flames dancing on the wall outside his office.

Fear dragged Kaidanov to his knees just as his assailant reentered the office holding the gun and a five-gallon can of gas. Kaidanov scurried back against the wall, much the way the more docile monkeys skittered to the back of their cages whenever he entered the monkey room. The gas can hit the desk with a metallic thud and Kaidanov's assailant pulled out a lighter. Kaidanov tried to speak, but terror made him mute. Just as the lid of the lighter flipped open, an insane shriek issued from the doorway. An apparition, engulfed in flame, eyes wide with panic and pain, filled the entrance to the office. The dominant monkey, Kaidanov thought. It had been able to force open its cage door because Kaidanov had forgotten to secure the padlock.

The term...

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 19 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 19 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 30, 2010

    Really enjoyed this

    The story had enough twists that I never quite knew the solution to the mystery ahead of time. I first read one of Margolin's books when I downloaded it free. What a great way to hook a new reader. Off to purchase book 3 of his.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 20, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Excellent Read!!!

    This is a really intriguing book. I found myself not wanting to put it down. I have read at least 4 other Phillip Margolin books. His books are always intriguing, suspenseful and can't put them down GOOD!! You will not be disappointed. There are Characters in his books that go from one book to the next. The continuation is very nice.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 20, 2009

    Good Read!

    This was my second read by this author. I was looking for something new and different. I was please with the storyline and the characters. I will continue to read his books.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    great author great book

    I'm not a great reader, I've only started enjoying books in the past year or so. So I'm not the best person to tell you what to read. All I know is that this book really grabbed my interest, And it helped me to really start enjoying reading again.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2006

    Philip Margolin's Sleeping Beauty

    With the help of her dying father, Ashley Spencer manages to escape from the man who invaded her home and killed Norman Spencer and her best friend, Tanya Jones. The police believe that it is the work of a serial killer, whose modus operandi is to enter the homes of families with teenaged daughters, where they are tortured and slaughtered before he ventures on into the kitchen for a midnight snack. But when the killer shows up at Ashley¿s new school, a private academy miles away from her hometown, Ashley knows that what happened in her home was not random. The murderer is determined to destroy Ashley and the worst part of it is that she doesn¿t know who she has to run from and why she needs to hide. The story jumps to five years later, when Ashley is forced to come out of hiding to return to Oregon with a truth that will shock those involved ¿ and place her in a vulnerable position where the killer is likely to strike. Philip Margolin conjures a tour de force of character and plot guaranteed to make you squirm in your seat ( or in your bed) as you race through the pages. Readers may have their suspicions as they are introduced to a myriad of characters the rich and powerful Van Meters, the has-been writer Joshua Maxfield who is in need of a new best seller, the unruly Randy Coleman who feeds on his wife, Casey Van Meter¿s wealth, and the attentive as well as attractive lawyer, Jerry Phillips, who captures the heroine¿s heart. But Margolin cleverly depicts these fictitious players, making them out to be believable and misleading, and readers will have to bite their nails to refrain themselves from yanking on the last page. This offering is guaranteed to bring you to an ending that is unexpected, leaving you with the fear that evil can lurk behind a compassionate and kindly demeanour.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2002

    What a Great Read!!

    Good Story Line! Lots of interesting twists. My only advice is not to start reading this book at night if you have to go to work in the morning like I did.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 29, 2002

    Awesome summer read!!!

    I read the associate in less than 6 hours.. and all I can say is WOW!!!! Many twists and turns and definetely worth the money.. Looking forward to many more great reads!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 26, 2001



    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 15, 2001

    A page-turning shocker

    Daniel Ames has a great job at Reed, Briggs-one of Portland¿s most prestigious firms, making more money than he ever could have imagined, but all that is about to change. Aaron Flynn enters Daniel¿s office and presents him with a suit being filed against Reed¿s biggest client, Geller Pharmaceuticals. The suit is naming Geller as the sole party responsible for manufacturing a drug that is causing birth defects in newborn babies. Daniel doesn¿t believe there is any merit to the allegation, so he begins an investigation, what he finds will shock him! Shortly after Daniel stumbles upon evidence of murder, and a cover-up involving Geller, he is fired from his job, and blacklisted from the law community. Several hours after being fired, Arthur Briggs, the man that did the firing, is dead, and Daniel ends up arrested. With the help of Kate Ross, and Amanda Jaffe (the star of `Wild Justice¿), Daniel races to clear his name, and in the process will uncover a trail of secrets that lead to a series of unsolved kidnappings from seven years earlier, secrets that someone is willing to kill to keep from being found out. `The Associate¿ is another UP-ALL-NIGHT-READ from suspense master Phillip Margolin. From page one, the carefully constructed plot grabs the reader by the throat and doesn¿t let go. Combining explosive legal thrills, cutting edge medical science, and heart stopping suspense `The Associate¿ achieves it¿s goal of being a scary, pulse quickening, entertaining read that will fly up the bestseller list¿s. After seven blockbuster bestsellers, Phillip Margolin has done it again¿he made this reviewer lose a night¿s sleep. A MUST read! Nick Gonnella

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2013

    The assocciate

    Not his best book

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    Posted February 14, 2011

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    Posted February 25, 2010

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