Next book

A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH

“I feel like I’m in a movie sequel,” the presiding judge observes, but there’s nothing wrong with that.

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.

Pub Date: March 9, 2021

ISBN: 978-1-2502-5842-7

Page Count: 320

Publisher: Minotaur

Review Posted Online: Nov. 26, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15, 2020

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 23


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • New York Times Bestseller

Next book

HOME IS WHERE THE BODIES ARE

Answers are hard to come by in this twisting tale designed to trick and delight.

Awards & Accolades

Likes

  • Readers Vote
  • 23


Our Verdict

  • Our Verdict
  • GET IT


  • New York Times Bestseller

Three siblings on very different paths learn that their family home may be haunted by secrets.

Eldest daughter Beth is alone with her fading mother as she takes her final breath and says something about Beth’s long-departed brother and sister, who may not have disappeared forever. Beth is still reeling from the loss of her mother when her estranged siblings show up. Michael, the youngest, hasn’t been home since their father’s disappearance seven years ago. In the meantime, he’s outgrown his siblings, trading his share of the family troubles for a high-paying job in San Jose. Nicole, the middle child, has been overpowered by addiction and prioritized tuning out reality over any sense of responsibility, much to Beth’s disgust. Though their mother’s death marks an ending for the family, it’s also a beginning, as the three siblings realize when they find a disturbing videotape among their parents’ belongings. The video, from 1999, sheds suspicion on their father’s disappearance, linking it to a long-unsolved neighborhood mystery. Was it just a series of unfortunate circumstances that broke the family apart, or does something more sinister underlie the sadness they’ve all found in life? In chapters that rotate among the family’s first-person narratives, the siblings take turns digging up stories and secrets in their search for solace.

Answers are hard to come by in this twisting tale designed to trick and delight.

Pub Date: April 30, 2024

ISBN: 9798212182843

Page Count: 270

Publisher: Blackstone

Review Posted Online: Feb. 3, 2024

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2024

Next book

THE HOUSE ACROSS THE LAKE

A weird, wild ride.

Celebrity scandal and a haunted lake drive the narrative in this bestselling author’s latest serving of subtly ironic suspense.

Sager’s debut, Final Girls (2017), was fun and beautifully crafted. His most recent novels—Home Before Dark (2020) and Survive the Night (2021) —have been fun and a bit rickety. His new novel fits that mold. Narrator Casey Fletcher grew up watching her mother dazzle audiences, and then she became an actor herself. While she never achieves the “America’s sweetheart” status her mother enjoyed, Casey makes a career out of bit parts in movies and on TV and meatier parts onstage. Then the death of her husband sends her into an alcoholic spiral that ends with her getting fired from a Broadway play. When paparazzi document her substance abuse, her mother exiles her to the family retreat in Vermont. Casey has a dry, droll perspective that persists until circumstances overwhelm her, and if you’re getting a Carrie Fisher vibe from Casey Fletcher, that is almost certainly not an accident. Once in Vermont, she passes the time drinking bourbon and watching the former supermodel and the tech mogul who live across the lake through a pair of binoculars. Casey befriends Katherine Royce after rescuing her when she almost drowns and soon concludes that all is not well in Katherine and Tom’s marriage. Then Katherine disappears….It would be unfair to say too much about what happens next, but creepy coincidences start piling up, and eventually, Casey has to face the possibility that maybe some of the eerie legends about Lake Greene might have some truth to them. Sager certainly delivers a lot of twists, and he ventures into what is, for him, new territory. Are there some things that don’t quite add up at the end? Maybe, but asking that question does nothing but spoil a highly entertaining read.

A weird, wild ride.

Pub Date: June 21, 2022

ISBN: 978-0-593-18319-9

Page Count: 368

Publisher: Dutton

Review Posted Online: March 29, 2022

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2022

Close Quickview