Darkest Place
by Margolin, Phillip

"Defense attorney Robin Lockwood faces an unimaginable personal disaster and her greatest professional challenge in the next New York Times bestselling Phillip Margolin's new legal thriller, The Darkest Place. Robin Lockwood is an increasingly prominent defense attorney in the Portland community. A Yale graduate and former MMA fighter, she's becoming known for her string of innovative and successful defense strategies. As a favor to a judge, Robin takes on the pro bono defense of a reprehensible defendant charged with even more reprehensible crimes. But what she doesn't know-what she can't know-is how this one decision, this one case, will wreak complete devastation on her life and plans. As she recovers from those consequences, Robin heads home to her small town of Elk Grove and the bosom of her family. As she tries to recuperate, a unique legal challenge presents itself-Marjorie Loman, a surrogate, is accused of kidnapping the baby she carried for another couple, and assaulting that couple in the process. There's no question that she committed these actions but that's not the same as being guilty of the crime. As Robin works to defend her client, she learns that Marjorie Loman has been hiding under a fake identity and is facing a warrant for her arrestfor another, even more serious crime. And buried within the truth may once again be unexpected, deadly consequences"-

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.

*Starred Review* In the fifth Robin Lockwood novel, the Portland, Oregon, defense lawyer is devastated by a personal tragedy. Returning to her small hometown of Elk Grove, she intends to do nothing but rest and try to recover. Instead, she winds up taking on the case of Marjorie Loman, a surrogate mother who's been accused of kidnapping the child she gave birth to from its rightful parents. It's not a simple case: the woman is clearly guilty, but it's the circumstances surrounding the kidnapping that confuse the issue, and Robin has no idea what she will uncover. Margolin's strength has always been story construction: when his stories are weak, so are his novels. But when they are strong, readers are in for a great ride. This novel is almost diabolical in its complexity, and we are constantly being hit with one surprising, what-the-hell-is-going-on-here moment after another. Pairing up two of Margolin's most interesting characters, series lead Lockwood and the cool, calculating Marjorie Loman, this is not only the best in this series, but one of Margolin's best novels, period. Copyright 2021 Booklist Reviews.

There's nothing like a pair of impossible legal cases to help a defense lawyer get over the death of the fiance who was gunned down in front of her. As soon as Profit, Oregon, investment adviser Joel Loman is found shot to death behind a Portland restaurant, a pair of homicide detectives call on his new widow, Marjorie Loman of the Profit Police Department, who can hardly conceal her delight that she no longer has to divorce the husband who was cheating on her with Kelly Starrett, his partner in Emerald Wealth Management. The detectives are shortly followed by a pair of thugs who tell Marjorie that Joel owed their boss $250,000 they expect her to pay. Faced with intolerable pressures from the law and the lawless, she flees to Elk Grove, Iowa, where, as Ruth Larson, she signs a $50,000 contract to serve as the surrogate who'll carry a baby for childless Caleb and Emily Lindstrom. When the baby is born, Marjorie, unexpectedly bonding with him, is desperate to renege on the agreement. She rushes over to the Lindstroms', pistol-whips Emily, and carries off the baby only to be caught soon after. Her defense on kidnapping and child abuse charges would be hopeless if Portland attorney Robin Lockwood, shocked and grief-stricken after witnessing the murder of Jeff Hodges, her investigator and husband-to-be, hadn't also retreated to her hometown of Elk Ridge, where she reluctantly agrees to join local attorney Stan McDermott in defending Marjorie and then, when Marjorie's extradited back to Portland, follows her and takes on her solo defense against the charge of murdering her husband. Whew! Margolin manages his overstuffed, profoundly unlikely plot with all the efficiency of an extra-sharp defense brief. Copyright Kirkus 2021 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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