New Arrival 2016-02-17
Violent CrimesAdult FictionMysteryHired to represent the eco-warrior son of an oil tycoon who has been found murdered, veteran lawyer Amanda Jaffe, discovering that the suspect has only confessed to promote a cause, endeavors to discover the identity of the true killer.
- After a clear return to form in Woman with a Gun (2014), Margolin slips back again into the rut into which he had fallen. In this installment in the Amanda Jaffe series, the Portland, Oregon, attorney gets involved in a case that starts out complicated and only gets worse: a lawyer is killed, the senior partner at her firm comes under scrutiny for the way he conducts his business, the senior partner himself is murdered, and his son confesses to the crime. But is the son really guilty? The premise is interesting enough, but the writing lets us down, in terms of both style (the prose is downright clumsy in places, with wordy descriptions calling attention to their awkwardness) and substance (the characters are thin and rather familiar, as though they’ve been imported from other books). Margolin still has a following, but this volume feels tired and formulaic, and those aren’t things that could have been said about his early novels. Buy sparingly, for the established readership only. -- Pitt, David (Reviewed 12-01-2015) (Booklist, vol 112, number 7)