October 17, 2023

Book Review


As a long-time fan of Phillip Margolin and his captivating legal thriller series, I eagerly anticipated what adventures Robin Lockwood would undertake next. Drawing from Robin’s history as both an MMA fighter and an exceptional lawyer, the story seamlessly weaves these two worlds, illustrating how a murder can bring myriad motives to light.

Margolin reaffirms his expertise, showcasing his knack for suspenseful storytelling, especially when allowing the narrative to organically unfold.

Robin Lockwood was once a rising star in the MMA fighting circuit. However, after a pivotal clash with Mandy Kerrigan a decade ago, Robin’s fighting career came to a sudden halt. She pivoted her focus to law school, where she not only excelled but eventually became a notable lawyer in the Portland area.

When Mandy reenters Robin’s life, their circumstances are starkly different. With her career hanging by a thread, Mandy faces arrest for a heinous quadruple homicide — the entire Finch family found murdered in their residence. In this desperate hour, Mandy seeks Robin’s legal expertise, setting the stage for a defense that’s nothing short of Herculean.

As Robin delves deeper into the intricacies of the case, she discerns that the Finches were not without adversaries. The matriarch, Margaret, had been entangled with the Russian mob due to her legal dealings. The patriarch, Nathan, was submerged in debt from his crippling gambling addiction. Their son, Ryan, was involved in peddling designer drugs touted as undetectable — a claim proven false after these drugs surfaced in Mandy’s post-fight tests, leading to her suspension and furnishing a potent motive for the crime. Then there’s the teenage daughter, outwardly serene, yet beneath that facade, she harbored a malevolent streak, having bullied a peer into a tragic suicide.

Though Robin is aware that the District Attorney’s case seems weak, it appears more cogent than any counterargument she can muster. Her presentation to the jury isn’t as persuasive as she’d hoped, casting ominous shadows on Mandy’s prospects. Yet, the legal realm is unpredictable, and if a serendipitous twist favors Mandy, Robin and her team will be poised to seize the opportunity. Margolin masterfully crafts a narrative laden with deception, treachery, and astute legal strategies that will engross readers into the wee hours.

Phillip Margolin’s writings are a guarantee of thrilling entertainment. His narratives are grounded in insightful viewpoints, granting readers a sturdy base as they navigate intricate legal plots. The brisk dialogue and concise chapters propel the story forward, escalating anticipation with each revelation.

Character depth is paramount in this tale. Beyond the robust portrayal of the protagonist, the ensemble around Robin Lockwood enriches the narrative with resilience and nuance. There’s a hint of development in Robin’s personal sphere, subtly interwoven, ensuring it doesn’t eclipse the primary legal drama. The multifaceted perspectives in this novel enable readers to grasp the story’s depth, marking it as one of Margolin’s finest works.

A hallmark of an enthralling legal thriller is its unpredictable twists, and Margolin is adept at introducing these shifts judiciously for maximal effect. The story’s denouement is particularly riveting, promising a surprise that only the most astute readers might foresee from the scattered hints leading up to the climax. I’m eager to discover what Margolin and Robin Lockwood present in the subsequent chapter of this series.

Kudos to Mr. Margolin for consistently delivering sharp and exhilarating narratives.

Betrayal is available at:

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