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"You possess the intelligence to be a good lawyer, but you're lazy and self-centered," Peter Hale's father harangues him just after Peter's arrogance and incompetence shut a client out of a well-deserved settlement, and just before he banishes him to legal serfdom in backwoods Whitaker. Well-tailored Peter fumes as he watches his old school friend Steve Mancini run rings around him in their separate defenses of Christopher Mammon and Kevin Booth, two lugs charged with serious coke possession. But salvation seems at hand when Steve maneuvers Peter into defending Gary Harmon, who's facing the death penalty for aggravated homicide after a third Whitaker State coed is killed with a hatchet. A gung-ho cop's persuaded sweet, retarded Gary, who'd had a public confrontation with an approachable blond who brushed him off shortly before the murder, that the couple he saw necking in Wishing Well Park was actually the killer and his latest victim—and then insinuated Gary into the frame by appealing to his psychic powers. And when prosecutor Becky O'Shay's case falters, Kevin Booth, who just happens to be doing his time in the same prison as Gary, passes on a duplicate confession Gary allegedly made to him. Just as Gary, under indictment on a capital crime, is worried that his mother will find out about his skin mags, Peter is worried what the case will do to his budding romance with Becky—until the impossible bind that makes Peter realize his real duty is to his client, not his career, and finally points a finger at the guilty party.
Despite the hints of grand conspiracy and grand passion, Margolin (After Dark, 1995, etc.) leaves too little meat on these bones for any but the staunchest fans of legal intrigue, with hollow surprises that arrive too late to save his puny plot.
"Margolin specializes in characters who make your skin crawl."—People
"Margolin's perfectly crafted plot provides plenty of chills"—Chicago Tribune
"[Margolin] weaves disparate subplots and surprise twists into a terrific whodunit."—San Francisco Chronicle
"Intricate plotting and warp-speed suspense. The man knows how to write a legal thriller."—Publishers Weekly
Posted July 4, 2005
Very good book. I kept reading it while walking to work. A few other friends of mine have read the book and couldn't have guessed the murderer until the end. I do agree that Margolin has written better. But I believe that this is one book that every Margolin fan should read.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 14, 2002
This was the third book I've read of Philip Margolin and I am going to read all of them !!!! So many twisits and suspense I just couldn't stop reading.. Now I am going to read another one !!!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted February 9, 2001
I really enjoyed this book. It was about a young attorny name Peter Hale. Who work for his father law firm. Peter father Mr.Hale had a mulitimillion dollar case. Peter father was the lead counsel. He had an heart attack. During his attack he told his son to tell the judge to have a mistrial.Peter took it the case in his own hands. He lost the case.When his father returned home he was very upset that he lost the case. His father told him to leave and make it on his on. He the moves to a quiet Oregon town. He was working with a attorny. He then had a case dealing with a psychotic man accused of murder. Peter realized that he will end up killing his client due to greed.He the begins to realize what it takes to be a lawyer.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted April 23, 2000
The plot was good, but I thought the characters were very poorly developed. The main character too immature to be believable and the dialogue was not realistic. The plot itself had a pretty good ending but the 'character ending' was something from a BAD soap opera. Not Margolin's best work by a long shot.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 8, 2012
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