Violent Crimes (Amanda Jaffe Series #5)

Violent Crimes (Amanda Jaffe Series #5)

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by Phillip Margolin

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In this mesmerizing tale of suspense from New York Times bestselling author Phillip Margolin, attorney Amanda Jaffe—star of Wild Justice, Ties That Bind, Proof Positive, and Fugitive—becomes entangled in a murder case involving Big Oil, an estranged father and son, and the greatest ethical dilemma of her career .

Dale Masterson,


In this mesmerizing tale of suspense from New York Times bestselling author Phillip Margolin, attorney Amanda Jaffe—star of Wild Justice, Ties That Bind, Proof Positive, and Fugitive—becomes entangled in a murder case involving Big Oil, an estranged father and son, and the greatest ethical dilemma of her career .

Dale Masterson, senior partner in a large Portland, Oregon, law firm, has become wealthy and successful representing the interests of oil and coal companies. When his colleague, Christine Larson, is found dead, Masterson’s business practices are put under surveillance and a lower-level employee stands accused.

The controversy surrounding the firm is magnified tenfold when Dale is found beaten to death in his mansion. But this time Dale’s son, Brandon, is seen fleeing the scene. A dedicated eco-warrior obsessed with saving the planet, Brandon confesses to killing his father—for revenge, he claims—on behalf of all the people whose lives are being destroyed by his father’s questionable clients.

Veteran lawyer Amanda Jaffe is hired to represent Brandon, but what seems like an open-and-shut case quickly begins to unravel. If Brandon is really innocent—a radical activist determined to martyr himself for his cause—then who viciously murdered Dale Masterson? And what, if any, is the connection between his murder and the murder of Christine Larson? Smart, fierce, and unafraid of the truth even if it puts her in danger, Amanda begins to look deeper. What she finds will force the seasoned legal pro to make the hardest professional decision of her life.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
In bestseller Margolin’s subpar fifth Amanda Jaffe novel (after 2009’s Fugitive), the Portland, Ore., DA decides to defend paralegal Tom Beatty, a veteran with PTSD, after he becomes the prime suspect in the murder of his boss, Christine Larson, whose battered body turned up in Beatty’s bedroom. Then Dale Masterson, a senior partner at the prestigious law firm where Larson worked, is found dead in his home. This time, the assailant appears obvious: Masterson’s 26-year-old son, Brandon, was seen running from his father’s house, covered in blood. After Brandon’s mother approaches Jaffe, she agrees to represent Brandon, an outspoken environmental activist who claims he killed his father to send a message to Big Oil. Unsettling connections between the Masterson and Larson murders put Jaffe in an ethical pickle as she tries to help both her clients without harming the other’s case. Sympathetic characters compensate only in part for an overly complicated plot. Agents: Jean Naggar and Jennifer Weltz, Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency. (Feb.)
Huffington Post
“A thriller taking the reader on a gripping journey through a legal minefield, while addressing greed, ethics, psychology, the deepest of human relationships, and truth.”
New York Journal of Books
“Phillip Margolin is a talented storyteller. He’s got a silky, deceptively simple style that snakes back around when you least expect it and grabs you.”
“Margolin has once again produced a thought-provoking novel that is likely to keep you up late at night.… Don’t miss it.”
Lisa Scottoline
“A master of plot and pacing-and one of those rare authors who can create a genuinely surprising ending.”
Library Journal
A lawyer who's gleamingly lined his coffers by representing oil and coal interests, Dale Masterson is found beaten to death, and ecowarrior son Brandon confesses. But the case falls apart, and defense lawyer Amanda Jaffe (popular with Margolin fans) considers who the real killer might be. With a 50,000-copy first printing.
Kirkus Reviews
What the title promises is exactly what Margolin (Worthy Brown's Daughter, 2014, etc.) delivers: another torrent of violent crimes for Oregon defense attorney Amanda Jaffe. Christine Larson, of Masterson, Hamilton, Rickman, and Thomas, wants Amanda to defend Tom Beatty, a former Navy SEAL with PTSD who's working as a paralegal at the firm. Harold Roux, a bully who started a bar fight with Beatty, has sworn out a complaint from his hospital bed. Amanda gets the charge dismissed without breaking a sweat, unaware that the real trouble is just beginning. Someone murders Christine, plants her body in Beatty's place, and sends Detective Greg Nowicki, of Portland Narcotics, there on a trumped-up tip that Beatty's selling heroin. The cops pick up Beatty, but Amanda assures him she'll get bail for him, because she's certain Christine was killed by Dale Masterson, Mark Hamilton, or one of the other higher-ups in the firm whose falsified financial statements Christine had been looking into. Amanda, as good as her word, springs Beatty from police custody just in time for Masterson to get murdered. The presumption of Beatty's guilt would be overwhelming if only Dale's son, Brandon, hadn't been spotted running from the murder scene covered in blood. In fact, Brandon, an environmental activist bent on using his trial as a platform to broadcast his father's misdeeds to the world, is only too eager to confess to the murder, but Amanda doesn't believe him, and soon enough she's gotten herself hired as his attorney even though getting him off may involve implicating Beatty, who's also her client. This last problem may sound like a thorny ethical dilemma, but it's just as weightless as every other complication in this fleet, guileless, inch-deep yarn, a tale guaranteed to get you to bed in plenty of time and leave your dreams untroubled.

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Amanda Jaffe Series , #5
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Phillip Margolin has written nineteen novels, many of them New York Times bestsellers, including his latest novels Woman with a Gun, Worthy Brown’s Daughter, 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.

Brief Biography

Place of Birth:
New York, New York
B.A. in Government, American University, 1965; New York University School of Law, 1970

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Violent Crimes: A Novel 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 4 reviews.
Anonymous 30 days ago
I had planned on doing some much needed housework today,but I could not put this awesome book down! I should know by now, to never start reading a Phillip Margolin novel, when my honey do list needs my attention! I have read all of his novels at least 4 or 5 times! Already waiting on next one!
Gail-Cooke 11 months ago
With the sixth Amanda Jaffe novel we find our highly intelligent, fearless Portland attorney facing not only killers but a challenging ethical decision. When Christine Larson, a member of a prestigious law firm, Masterson, Hamilton, Rickman and Thomas, asks Amanda to represent Tom Beatty, a paralegal at her firm, Amanda readily agrees. Tom is a former Navy SEAL with PTSD who defended himself against a bully in a bar fight. Witnesses all agree that Tom didn’t start the fight and Amanda gets the charge dismissed. She’s pleased completely unaware that the real trouble is right around the corner, Christine had been looking into falsified financial statements provided by her law firm, but before she has a chance to even ask questions she is murdered and her body planted in Beatty’s apartment. Further, someone tips a Portland narcotics detective that Beatty had been selling heroin - a trumped up accusation. The police pick him up and Amanda promises she’ll soon have him bailed out as she’s sure Christine was murdered by one of the top lawyers in her firm - maybe Masterson himself. Beatty is released from custody shortly before Masterson is found murdered. Masterson’s son Brandon is seen running from the house covered in blood so Beatty is off the hook for that murder. An avid environmental activist Brandon readily admits to the killing and plans to use his trial as a platform to broadcast his father’s crimes. It’s no surprise that Amanda is hired to defend Brandon. She doesn’t believe his story, but if he didn’t kill Masterson, who did? For this reader the plot was overly complex and Amanda’s sleuthing does not reveal any great surprises.
MasonCanyon More than 1 year ago
What starts out as a simple case of defending a client for a bar room brawl leads to fraud, conspiracy and murder in Phillip Margolin’s latest mesmerizing tale, VIOLENT CRIMES. Narrator Therese Plummer does a superb job highlighting the various characters with their own unique voice. Her cadence and tone matches the highs and lows of the story. Plummer brings the emotions to the surface as she portrays the characters enhancing this fascinating story. Veteran attorney Amanda Jaffe is asked by her friend Christine Larson to defend a fellow colleague, Tom Beatty, in a bar room brawl case. Tom is ex-military suffering from PTSD. Shortly after Amanda gets Tom released from the charge, Christine is found brutally beaten to death in Tom’s bedroom. Amanda once again tried to help Tom and discovers Christine was looking into possible fraud involving her boss Dale Masterson at the law firm of Masterson, Hamilton, Rickman and Thomas where she and Tom worked. As the business practices of the law firm come under surveillance, Dale Masterson is found beaten to death in his mansion. Dale’s son, Brandon, is seen fleeing the house and is arrested for the murder. Amanda is hired to represent Brandon even though he confesses to killing his father for dealing with questionable clients that he claims are destroying the earth. Amanda begins to think there could be a connection between Dale and Christine’s murders. The more she digs deeper, the darker the situation becomes. Amanda puts her life in danger determined to find Christine’s killer and find justice for her two clients as she wonders if one of them really is a killer. This is a fast-pace story that has several plots going on at the same time before coming together in a surprised ending. The suspense and tension will keep you wondering what will happen next. While you might be able to figure out a few of the main bad guys, the author throws in a few twists to surprise you. The characters are realistic and well-developed. The protagonist is a strong, determined and feisty female, but shows a vulnerable side as well. VIOLENT CRIMES is the fifth installment in the Amanda Jaffe series, but can be read/listened to on its own. Filled with intrigue and anticipation, this story has a good blend of action, romance and courtroom procedures for an entertaining tale. FTC Full Disclosure – A copy of this audio book was sent to me by the publisher in hopes I would review it. However, receiving the complimentary copy did not influence my review. The thoughts are completely my own and given honestly and freely.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago