Marcia Clark: The Fall Girl Thursday, Oct 13 2022 

Hear the name Marcia Clark, and some of us think back to her work for the LA DA’s office prosecuting such trials as that of Robert Bardo and OJ Simpson.

But there’s so much more to this talented author, with two series in print that feature strong female lawyers, one a prosecutor (the Rachel Knight series) and one on the defense side (the Samantha Brinkman series).

So when a chance came to read her new stand alone, FALL GIRL, I was excited to crack this one open but not prepared for the wild ride she would take me on.

Charlie Blair leaves Chicago and assumes a new identity for very good reasons, moving to the Santa Cruz DA’s office to start over and protect her family. Assigned to work a murder case with high profile prosecutor Erika Lorman, Charlie tries to keep away from the limelight, even as she feels she’s being sidelined and soon start poking her investigative nose into their most recent case with surprising results. She starts to question who she can trust.

At the same time, the man who she lives in fear of, after devastating her family, is making his presence known…

This is a fast-paced legal thriller, but even more so, a nuanced look at the question: What is justice and how do ethics figure in? How does morality reside alongside one’s conscience?

With deep characterizations and troubled pasts for both lawyers, the cat-and-mouse game these strong, intelligent women play with each other is as fascinating as their drive. At one point you can’t see any way there can be a a satisfying outcome, and yet, Clark managed to do just that.

A strong, quickly-paced read, with excellent legal scenes balanced by the action that takes place out of the courtroom.

Phillip Margolin: A Reasonable Doubt Friday, Mar 20 2020 

Phillip Margolin brings a juicy legal thriller in his Robin Lockwood series to readers with A Reasonable Doubt.

Magic is the name of the game when one of her former boss’s earlier clients, Robert Chesterfield, shows up asking for her help with patent protection. A fan of magic, Robin doesn’t have the expertise he needs, but when she investigates the earlier cases, finds he was previously arrested for two murders, for which her boss, Regina Barrister, defended him easily.

When she’s invited to see this new illusion performed, it ends with Robin’s disappearance. Has he gone away to avoid another arrest, or is there more to his disappearance? Just how many enemies does the famed musician with his heavy British accent, actually have?

Plenty, as Robin soon discovers. With the story shifting through the years to show Chesterfield’s history and his accumulation of enemies, Robin will be forced to look deeper when a twist occurs that shocks everyone.

Margolin’s legal experience as a criminal defense lawyer is apparent in the courtroom scenes but as always, it’s Robin and her team who bring the cases to a close.

Tightly paced and well-plotted, it’s a satisfying read with suspenseful chills.

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S L Hollister, author

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The Wonderful World of Reading

The Life of Guppy

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Reading is a wonderful adventure!

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The Wickeds

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John Bainbridge Writer

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Writers & writing: books, movies, art & music - the bits & pieces of a (retiring) writer's life

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