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A Matter of Life and Death: A Robin Lockwood Novel

Review

A Matter of Life and Death: A Robin Lockwood Novel

Ace Portland attorney Robin Lockwood lands her toughest case yet when Joe Lattimore asks for her help. An on-again, off-again boxer, Lattimore lives in a tent camp with his wife and baby, desperate to find a safer place for his family. He thinks he has stumbled on his ticket to some decent money and a short-term path off the streets when a man makes him an irresistibly tempting offer. It’s just one illegal fight. There are no rules, but if you win, you win big and get a chance to come back. But the deal doesn’t go down quite as described.

Now Lattimore is up on murder charges. Worse, he’s faced with the death penalty. The victim was the wife of a prominent local judge, and the evidence against him appears airtight, but he swears he’s been set up. And when Robin looks at the file, she tends to agree. Hoping to convince Robin to coach her client to take a plea and avoid death row, the District Attorney gently reminds her that all defendants swear they’re innocent --- Lattimore wouldn’t be the first to claim a frame. Robin understands that, but she can’t advise a client to plead guilty to something they both know he did not do.

"Margolin delivers a series of twists and surprises, including an ending that readers won’t see coming."

The biggest trouble is Judge Carasco, whose wife is the victim. Not only does he have major influence, he also has questionable ethics. He had a mistress while his wife was alive, and he wants to keep her around, too. His late wife had the money --- and suspicions. In order to ensure that things go his way, he enlists the aid of a feckless young Deputy District Attorney, whom he manipulates like a puppet master. Carasco thinks he has buried his secrets, but when Robin is on the trail, the truth is bound to come out. She’s an honest, concerned jurist who wants to help people in need. And Lattimore is definitely someone in need.

With stakes this high, though, Robin suffers many sleepless nights and considers taking some serious risks to unearth the truth. Her boyfriend cautions her against this recklessness and digging up snakes, but he knows she won’t listen.

Phillip Margolin worked in the judicial system long enough to write as though each novel is simply another chapter in his career. He knows the system and how it can be played. He knows Portland and its law community. And he knows a good story when he encounters one. Few authors are more suited to writing legal thrillers than Margolin. And true to form, in A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH, he delivers a series of twists and surprises, including an ending that readers won’t see coming.

Reviewed by Kate Ayers on March 26, 2021

A Matter of Life and Death: A Robin Lockwood Novel
by Phillip Margolin

  • Publication Date: March 9, 2021
  • Genres: Fiction, Suspense, Thriller
  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Minotaur Books
  • ISBN-10: 1250258421
  • ISBN-13: 9781250258427