Executive Privilege

Executive Privilege

4.0 591
by Phillip Margolin
     
 

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"When private detective Dana Cutler is hired by an attorney with powerful political connections, the assignment seems simple enough: follow a pretty college student named Charlotte Walsh and report on where she goes and whom she sees. But then the unexpected happens. One night, Cutler follows Walsh to a secret meeting with Christopher Farrington, the president of… See more details below

Overview

"When private detective Dana Cutler is hired by an attorney with powerful political connections, the assignment seems simple enough: follow a pretty college student named Charlotte Walsh and report on where she goes and whom she sees. But then the unexpected happens. One night, Cutler follows Walsh to a secret meeting with Christopher Farrington, the president of the United States. The following morning, Walsh's dead body shows up and Cutler has to run for her life." In Oregon, Brad Miller, a junior associate in a huge law firm is working on the appeal of a convicted serial killer. Clarence Little, now on death row, claims he was framed for the murder of a teenager who, at the time of her death, worked for the then governor, Christopher Farrington. Suddenly, a small-time private eye and a fledgling lawyer find themselves in possession of evidence that suggests that someone in the White House is a murderer. Their only problem? Staying alive long enough to prove it.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
What a concept: the President of the United States as a possible serial killer. And ace suspense writer Margolin pulls it off beautifully, with the help of narrator Jonathan Davis, who is the perfect choice to cool off a hot concept and make it human (as he did with Neal Stephenson's Snow Crash). Davis' fine third-person narration is matched by his performance as Dana Cutler, a beautiful and sharp D.C. private detective who is hired to follow a young college student who ends up dead after a secret meeting with president Charles Farrington. Davis also excels as an Oregon lawyer who is working on the Death Row appeal of a convicted killer. The inmate says he was framed for the murder of a teenager who, at the time of her death, worked for then-governor Farrington. A Harper hardcover (Reviews, Apr. 7).
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Associated Press
“Just the kind of sizzling mystery needed for this long, hot summer. Margolin is the master of the successful suspense mystery. He gives you liberal doses of danger and evil villains, and keeps the action moving. Believable characters and compelling writing…another exciting trip through one of Margolin’s fast-paced plots.”
Booklist
“Story lines collide in this pulse-pounding thriller . Expect plenty of buzz for this one as a result of both the intriguing premise and the well-wrought narrative.”
Washington Post Express
“Page-turning...a rip-roaring conclusion...more twists than the Columbia River Gorge. Is it fun? A helluva lotta.”
National Examiner
“(A) thrilling page-turner.”
Brunswick News (Georgia)
“Phillip Margolin [is] a crafty storyteller who keeps you on the edge of your seat with frighteningly real scenarios. EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE is a must read this summer.”
Portland Oregonian
“Looking for summer reading? Gather your hammock, some iced tea and this page-turner of a book, one of Margolin’s most absorbing and richly textured to date.”
Pittsburgh Tribune
“Margolin is the master of the successful suspense mystery. With believable characters and compelling writing, EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE adds up to another exciting trip through one og Margolin’s plots [and] is just the kind of sizzling mystery needed for this long, hot summer.”
USA Today
“Sizzle factor: .38 Special hot.”
Bookloons.com
“Phillip Margolin has surprises up his sleeve for readers right to the end of this shocking thriller.”
Cosmopolitan
“A sexy summer read--the perfect way to spend an afternoon. Mixing crime and politics may make for a bad career, but it sure as hell makes for some good reading.”
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
“Margolin has mastered all the elements of a successful suspense mystery. The action moves quickly. His prose is compelling: nothing is what it seems, and there are surprises even after the reader has been fooled into thinking the mystery is solved.”
Bookreporter.com
“Chock full of harrowing chases, desperate situations and politics running rampant. Add in the corruption of power and the destructive force of lust, and you have all the ingredients for a winning thriller. Another page-turning read.”
Associated Press Staff
“Just the kind of sizzling mystery needed for this long, hot summer. Margolin is the master of the successful suspense mystery. He gives you liberal doses of danger and evil villains, and keeps the action moving. Believable characters and compelling writing…another exciting trip through one of Margolin’s fast-paced plots.”
Madison County Herald
“Reckless, fast, with no-holds-barred action and suspense, EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE will have you glued to your reading corner with a ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign on the door.”

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061236228
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
04/28/2009
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
480
Sales rank:
160,805
Product dimensions:
4.18(w) x 7.50(h) x 1.08(d)

Read an Excerpt

Executive Privilege A Novel
By Phillip Margolin
HarperCollins Publishers, Inc. Copyright © 2008 Phillip Margolin
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780061236211


Chapter One

Dana Cutler's cell phone rang moments after Jake Teeny's pickup disappeared around the corner and seconds after she closed the door of Jake's house, where she was house-sitting while he was away on an assignment.

"Cutler?" a raspy voice asked as soon as Dana flipped open the phone.

"What's up, Andy?" she asked.

Andy Zipay was an ex-cop who'd left the D.C. police force under a cloud a year before Dana had resigned for far different reasons. Dana had been one of the few cops who hadn't shunned Zipay, and she'd sent business his way when he'd set up shop as a private investigator. Six months after her release from the hospital, Dana had told him that she wouldn't mind working private if he had some overflow and the jobs were quiet. Zipay gave her assignments when he could, and she appreciated the fact that he had never asked her what had happened at the farm.

"You up for another job for Dale Perry?"

"Perry's a pig."

"True, but he liked the last job you did for him and he pays well."

"What's the deal?"

"A tail. It sounds like easy money. He needs someone right away and I have a full plate. You in or out?"

Dana's bank account needed an infusion of cash. She sighed.

"Does he want me to come to his office?"

"No." Zipay told her where to go.

"You're kidding?"

Itwas two in the morning when Dana eased Jake Teeny's Harley into a parking space in front of a twenty-four-hour pancake joint in suburban Maryland. She was wearing a black leather jacket, a black T-shirt, and tight jeans, an outfit that made her look tough. Even without the Harley and the outfit as props, people would back off instinctively in Dana's presence. She was a hard twenty-nine, five ten, lean and muscular, and she always seemed on edge. The intensity in her emerald green eyes was intimidating.

Before entering the Pancake House, Dana removed her helmet and shook out her shoulder-length auburn hair. As soon as she stepped through the door, she spotted Dale Perry in the rear of the restaurant. She ignored the hostess and headed to his booth. The lawyer was in his late forties, short, overweight, balding, and working on his third divorce. His fat face reminded Dana of a bulldog, but she was certain that Perry didn't see what others saw when he looked in the mirror, because he came on to every halfway attractive woman he met. Perry had made a pass at her the last time she'd done a job for him. She'd deflected it deftly and had even dropped hints that she was a lesbian to dissuade him, but that only seemed to create a challenge for the lascivious lawyer.

Dana rarely smiled, but her lips momentarily curled upward in amusement when she considered the spot that Dale Perry had selected for their meeting and the way he was dressed. Perry, a senior partner in a big D.C. firm, was a close friend of the president and very influential behind the scenes in national politics. He was the type who dressed in three-thousand-dollar power suits and conducted business in the bar at the Hay-Adams hotel, where Washington's power brokers decided the fate of the world while sipping twenty-five-year-old, single malt scotch. Tonight, the lawyer was cradling a chipped mug filled with bad Pancake House coffee and wearing jeans, a Washington Redskins jacket, dark glasses, and a Washington Nationals baseball cap with the brim pulled low.

"Qué pasa?" Dana asked as she slipped into the booth across from Perry and deposited her motorcycle helmet on the cracked vinyl.

"It's about time," Perry growled. Dana didn't react. She was used to Perry pulling rank. He was a macho pig who loved dumping on underlings. Dana didn't consider herself an underling, but there was no profit in letting Perry know how she felt. She never let her ego get in the way of making a buck.

"So, Mr. Perry, what's the problem?" Dana asked as she took off her jacket.

A waitress appeared and Dana ordered coffee. When the waitress was out of earshot, the lawyer resumed their conversation. Even though there were no other customers in their vicinity, he lowered his voice and leaned forward.

"Remember that job you did for me last year?"

"Tailing the guy who worked for the senator?"

Perry nodded.

"How'd that work out?" Dana asked.

Perry smiled. "Very nicely. I played him the tape. He threatened to sue, have me arrested, blah, blah, blah. But, in the end, he caved."

"Glad to hear it worked out."

"You do good work."

Now it was Dana's turn to nod. She did do excellent work. Private investigation suited her. She could stay in the shadows a good part of the time when she was working at jobs that Perry's firm would never assign to their in-house investigators, and the pay for assignments that weren't completely kosher was higher than most hourly wages. They were also tax free because she was always paid off the books and in cash.

The waitress returned with Dana's coffee. When she left, Perry dug into a manila envelope that was lying on the seat next to him. He pushed a color photograph of a young woman across the table.

"Her name is Charlotte Walsh. She's nineteen, a student at American University. I'll give you her address and some other information before you leave."

Dana studied the photograph. The girl was pretty. No, more than pretty. She had a sweet, fresh-faced look, like the good girl in movies about teens in high school, blue eyes, soft blond hair. Dana bet she'd been a cheerleader.

"My client wants her followed everywhere she goes." Perry handed Dana a cell phone. "The client also wants a running account of everything Walsh does." Perry slid a piece of notepaper with a phone number across the table. "Leave voice mail messages anytime she makes a move with details about what she's doing. Pictures, too. You'll give me everything you've got. Don't keep any copies."



Continues...

Excerpted from Executive Privilege by Phillip Margolin Copyright © 2008 by Phillip Margolin. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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