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THE DARKEST PLACE by Phillip Margolin


by Phillip Margolin

Pub Date: March 8th, 2022
ISBN: 978-1-2502-5844-1
Publisher: Minotaur

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.