Matter of Life and Death
by Margolin, Phillip

"In A Matter of Life and Death, an indigent man has been set up for the brutal murder of the wealthy wife of a prominent judge in New York Times bestseller Phillip Margolin's latest legal thriller featuring Robin Lockwood. Joe Lattimore, homeless and trying desperately to provide for his young family, agrees to fight in a no-holds-barred fight, 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 for the crime. 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 onlyproblem is that she has no way of proving it and since this is a death case, if she fails then another innocent will die"-

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.

OK, so the premise is a little tenuous: a homeless man's opponent dies in a staged fight, and the fight's organizers force the homeless man to rob a house. Soon he's arrested for the murder of the house's resident. The case seems open-and-shut, but former MMA fighter Robin Lockwood, now a defense attorney working her way up through the ranks, believes the man was framed. Unfortunately, proving that could be difficult, because she has no evidence to suggest a frame-up. The situation seems hopeless, but Margolin, a veteran legal-thriller writer, excels at hopeless situations. Starting from nothing, Lockwood builds an increasingly persuasive case, zeroing in on the real villain and exposing secrets that certain people would kill to protect. The Lockwood series is still in its infancy (this is the fourth book), but it has a lot of potential, and legal-thriller fans should keep an eye on it. Copyright 2020 Booklist Reviews.

Portland attorney Robin Lockwood takes on the defense of a homeless boxer who‚??s been framed but good for murder. Joe Lattimore has a bad feeling about allowing himself to be drafted into an illegal no-holds-barred fight, but the $300 he‚??s offered would settle his wife and baby daughter in a motel room for a few nights while he looks for work. Things go from bad to worse when he apparently kills the man he‚??s fighting and agrees to burgle a stranger‚??s home as his price for the recording of the fight. Inside, Joe finds the corpse of Elizabeth Carasco, the wealthy wife of Judge Anthony Carasco, whose life has changed in dramatic ways ever since he was picked up by escort Stacey Hayes. Joe swears he‚??s innocent, but the cops have his fingerprints inside the house and a pair of witnesses, one of them Judge Carasco, who saw a man who looks a lot like him fleeing the scene shortly after the murder. It‚??s an ideal case for Robin, who‚??s not only a dab hand in the courtroom, but a former mixed martial arts warrior who, in a rare dead end, expresses an interest in returning to the ring undercover in order to expose the culprits who arranged the illegal fights and a whole lot more felonies. Margolin keeps the story steadily absorbing, replacing whatever surprises you might have expected with new revelations of the plotters‚?? ever more violent and treacherous behavior that make you nod with appreciation. Everything purrs along until one character too many gets killed and Robin suddenly finds herself wrestling with a genuine whodunit. "I feel like I‚??m in a movie sequel," the presiding judge observes, but there‚??s nothing wrong with that. Copyright Kirkus 2020 Kirkus/BPI Communications. All rights reserved.

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