THE PERFECT ALIBI by Phillip Margolin


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Portland attorney Robin Lockwood (The Third Victim, 2017) gets a second case—or rather a perfect torrent of second cases.

Outraged that the police have granted bail to college football star Blaine Hastings, who's accused of raping her daughter, Randi, during a frat party, Maxine Stark wants Robin to sue the pants off the guy. Blaine has big pants, too, since his father, insurance executive Blaine Sr., has money to spare. Armed with DNA evidence, Robin and her trusty investigator, Jeff Hodges, are so successful against Blaine’s attorney, Doug Armstrong, that Blaine’s bail gets revoked, he’s convicted of the crime, and he’s resting comfortably in jail when Jessica Braxton lodges her own accusation of rape against an unknown she remembers only as “Ray,” and Ray’s DNA turns out to be the same as Blaine’s. How can the poor boy possibly have assaulted a second victim while he was locked up? The presiding judge, unable to answer this question, grants Blaine bail once more while he awaits a new trial, and he promptly takes off—very wisely in view of the criminal complications about to spring up from every corner in Multnomah County and far beyond. Doug’s law partner, Frank Nylander, is beaten to death in his own office; Nylander’s client Leonard Voss, who’d sued Norcross Pharmaceuticals for causing his incapacitating stroke, is murdered along with his wife; and Norcross attorney Tyler Harrison III turns up dead in a vacant lot in Manhattan. Closer to home, Margolin reveals that slimy prosecutor Rex Kellerman has embarked on his own one-man carnival of crime, from sleeping with Doug Armstrong’s wife to meddling with forensic evidence. What does all this have to do with the alibi Blaine Hastings has for that second rape—an alibi so perfect that it casts serious doubt on the DNA evidence that convicted him in the first place? Not a whole lot: The connections among different felonies in this woolly tale are as loose as all those lawyers’ connections to the truth.

So many murders, so many plotters, so much churn that you may wonder if you accidentally picked up a collection of short stories.

Pub Date: March 5th, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-250-11752-6
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: Minotaur
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 2018


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