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Joe Lattimore, homeless and trying desperately to provide for his young family, agrees to fight in a no-holds-barred illegal bout, only to have his opponent die. Lattimore now finds himself at the mercy of the fight’s organizers who blackmail him into burglarizing a house. However, when he breaks in, he finds a murdered woman on the floor and the police have received an anonymous tip naming him the murderer.
Robin Lockwood, an increasingly prominent young attorney and former MMA fighter, agrees to take on his defense. But the case is seemingly airtight—the murdered woman’s husband, Judge Anthony Carasco, has an alibi and Lattimore’s fingerprints are discovered at the scene. But everything about the case is too easy, too pat, and Lockwood is convinced that her client has been framed. The only problem is that she has no way of proving it and since this is a death case, if she fails then another innocent will die.
Capital crimes require the best available defense attorneys. Robin Lockwood fits that description. A persons’ life hangs in the balance. The press and the prosecuting attorneys present the defendant as a cold blooded and ruthless killer. Robin is faced with the task of saving the life of the accused. All the I’s and T’s need to be dotted and crossed and no mistakes made!
Phillip Margolin opens the reader’s eyes to the process. Robin is portrayed as a hands-on defense attorney charged with saving the arrested man’s life. Evidence can point one way and the truth takes another path. Knowing that a life hangs in the balance is the carrot driving the story line.
Unlike TV dramas this book reads more like a defense lawyers’ primer. Dig into the events, identify key witnesses for both the prosecution and the defense and strategize how the prosecutor will present the case. Build a solid timeline of the events leading up to the crime. The investigators of the crime and the forensic team will do their best to label your defendant as the perpetrator and how he is tied to the case.
Framing a patsy for the crime is an interesting process. Robin goes about the procedure with a fine-toothed determination. Certainly, the prosecutors are not cheating or manufacturing evidence. Can the actual killer be doing such a great job of manufacturing damning evidence? Reading this book is a way to learn what brilliant strategies culprits can employ.
I highly recommend this book as both an entertaining read and a satisfying use of time. The actual conclusion had enough twists to keep me totally engaged. 4.5 stars – CE Williams
FTC Disclosure: I received a complimentary review copy of this book from publisher through NetGalley. These are my honest opinions.
[NB: I reviewed Book 3, A Reasonable Doubt, in April, 2020. There is a slight disparity in how I saw the protagonist. See that review here.]
Rosepoint Publishing: Four point Five Stars
Genre: Legal Thrillers, Women Sleuths
Publisher: Minotaur Books
- ASIN : B08BYC5YSM
Print Length: 281 pages
Publication Date: 1st Edition, March 9, 2021
Source: Publisher and NetGalley
Title Link: A Matter of Life and Death [Amazon]
Also find the book at these locations:
Barnes and Noble
The Author: PHILLIP MARGOLIN has written over twenty novels, most of them New York Times bestsellers, including Gone But Not Forgotten, Lost Lake, and Violent Crimes. In addition to being a novelist, he was a long time criminal defense attorney with decades of trial experience, including a large number of capital cases. Margolin lives in Portland, Oregon. This text refers to the audioCD edition.)
©2021 CE Williams – V Williams