Cover image for A reasonable doubt
Title:
A reasonable doubt
ISBN:
9781250117540
Edition:
1st ed.
Physical Description:
292 pages ; 25 cm.
Summary:
A former MMA fighter and Yale Law graduate, Robin Lockwood joined the firm of legal legend Regina Barrister not long before Regina was forced into retirement by early onset Alzheimer's. One of Regina's former clients, Robert Chesterfield, shows up in the law office with an odd request-he's seeking help from his old attorney in acquiring patent protection for an illusion. Chesterfield is a professional magician of some reknown and he has a major new trick he's about to debut. This is out of the scope of the law firm's expertise, but when Robin Lockwood looks into his previous relationship with the firm, she learns that twenty years ago he was arrested for two murders, one attempted murder, and was involved in the potentially suspicious death of his very rich wife. At the time, Regina Barrister defended him with ease, after which he resumed his career as a magician in Las Vegas. Now, decades later, he debuts his new trick-only to disappear at the end. He's a man with more than one dark past and many enemies-is his disappearance tied to one of the many people who have good reason to hate him? Was he killed and his body disposed of, or did he use his considerable skills to engineer his own disappearance? Robin Lockwood must unravel the tangled skein of murder and bloody mischief to learn how it all ties together. --
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Summary

Summary

A magician linked to three murders and suspicious deaths years ago disappears in the middle of his new act in New York Times bestseller Phillip Margolin's latest thriller featuring Robin Lockwood

Robin Lockwood is a young criminal defense attorney and partner in a prominent law firm in Portland, Oregon. A former MMA fighter and Yale Law graduate, she joined the firm of legal legend Regina Barrister not long before Regina was forced into retirement by early onset Alzheimer's.

One of Regina's former clients, Robert Chesterfield, shows up in the law office with an odd request--he's seeking help from his old attorney in acquiring patent protection for an illusion. Chesterfield is a professional magician of some reknown and he has a major new trick he's about to debut. This is out of the scope of the law firm's expertise, but when Robin Lockwood looks into his previous relationship with the firm, she learns that twenty years ago he was arrested for two murders, one attempted murder, and was involved in the potentially suspicious death of his very rich wife. At the time, Regina Barrister defended him with ease, after which he resumed his career as a magician in Las Vegas.

Now, decades later, he debuts his new trick--only to disappear at the end. He's a man with more than one dark past and many enemies--is his disappearance tied to one of the many people who have good reason to hate him? Was he killed and his body disposed of, or did he use his considerable skills to engineer his own disappearance?

Robin Lockwood must unravel the tangled skein of murder and bloody mischief to learn how it all ties together.


Author Notes

Philip Margolin was born in New York City in 1944. He received a bachelor's degree in government from The American University in 1965. From 1965 to 1967, he was a Peace Corps volunteer in Liberia. He graduated from New York University School of Law in 1970. From 1972 until 1996, he was in private practice in Portland, Oregon, specializing in criminal defense. He has tried many high profile cases and has argued in the Supreme Court. He was the first attorney to use the battered woman's syndrome defense in a homicide case in Oregon.

His first novel, Heartstone, was published in 1978. He has been a full-time author since 1996. His other works include The Last Innocent Man; Gone, But Not Forgotten; After Dark; The Burning Man; The Undertaker's Widow; Wild Justice; The Associate; Sleeping Beauty; Capitol Murder and Sleight of Hand. He also writes short stories and non-fiction articles in magazines and law journals.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 4

Publisher's Weekly Review

In the teasing prologue of bestseller Margolin's convoluted third novel featuring attorney Robin Lockwood (after 2019's The Perfect Alibi), Lockwood attends the debut of her magician client Robert Chesterfield's "greatest illusion," the Chamber of Death, which involves a locked coffin, at a Portland, Ore., theater. Three years earlier, Lockwood attended a dress rehearsal of the act, which "ended in a truly bizarre manner," at Chesterfield's seaside manor. This time, things also don't go as planned, as screams emerging from the coffin are followed by the discovery of a male corpse, leaving Robin to wonder how murder was committed before 3,000 witnesses. Flash back to 2017, when Chesterfield seeks to hire her to patent the Chamber of Death, which she eventually agrees to do, despite having no experience with intellectual property. Another flashback, to 1997, shows that Lockwood was once suspected of a fatal poisoning. By the time the action returns to the present, the impact of the opening has been greatly diluted. Readers interested in whodunits set in the world of magic would be better served by Clayton Rawson's classic Merlini novels. 100,000-copy announced first printing. Agent: Jennifer Weltz, Jean V. Naggar Literary. (Mar.)


Kirkus Review

A magician's greatest illusion becomes even more dramatic when he's killed onstage in front of 3,000 witnesses.Lord Robert Chesterfield (don't look too closely at that presumably self-conferred title) has finally perfected his ultimate magic trick: the Chamber of Death, which involves his escape from a bolted sarcophagus filled with scorpions, snakes, and him. Since Chesterfield's only public rehearsal for the illusion ended with his vanishing from both the sarcophagus and the face of the Earth for three years, expectations are running high, and the tickets for his performance at the Babylon Casino all seem to have been reserved for everyone the performer has ever crossed. His estranged second wife, Claire Madison, is there, along with her lover, rival magician David Turner, whose professional life took a nose dive when Chesterfield told the world the secret behind Turner's own trademark illusion. Joe Samuels, one of Chesterfield's many creditors, is on hand, and although Augustine Montenegro, a harder-edged creditor, couldn't make it, he's sent two of his enforcers. Iris Hitchens, who's never stopped believing that Chesterfield killed her mother, Lily Dowd, the grocery heiress who was his first wife, is watching in rapt attention. So are detectives Tamara Robinson and Lou Fletcher, who've come to arrest the magician for theft. There's hardly room in the crowd for young attorney Robin Lockwood (The Perfect Alibi, 2019, etc.), whose firm defended Chesterfield years ago against the charge of poisoning Sophie Randall, the secretary to Westmont Country Club manager Samuel Moser, who'd accused Chesterfield of cheating at cards and coming on to Sophie and othersand yes, Moser's in the audience too. It's clear from the opening pages that the Chamber of Death will be Chesterfield's last performance; the pages that follow are devoted to filling in the layers upon layers of dubious backstory and multiplying the suspects even further before the guilty party is plucked from thin air.Lots of tricks up Margolin's sleeve. Just don't expect the denouement to bring down the house. Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Booklist Review

The third Robin Lockwood novel (following The Perfect Alibi, 2019) from the veteran New York Times best-selling author of more than 20 legal thrillers. This time, Lockwood is drawn into the world of a professional magician, Lord Chesterfield, who claims to be British royalty, accused of three suspicious deaths in the past, including that of his wealthy wife. He was defended and acquitted each time by Lockwood's mentor, Regina Barrister. Now Chesterfield asks Lockwood to handle the copyright for his greatest illusion, the Chamber of Death. He pulls a for-real vanishing act after its preview to escape his debts, then shows up again three years later and announces he is resurrecting the Chamber. The deputy DA who prosecuted his cases--along with Chesterfield's creditors, rival magicians, several women he misused, and his late wife's daughter--are all in attendance at the opening performance. When the sarcophagus is opened, Chesterfield is dead inside. A smooth, tight narrative with a snappy, old-time whodunit finish. Margolin pulls off his own sleight of hand when the murderer is revealed.


Library Journal Review

Criminal defense attorney Robin Lockwood has just received the strangest request of her career: a magician seeks patent protection for an illusion he's about to perform. When she investigates, Robin discovers that he is a former client her firm helped clear of murder and attempted murder charges. What's most bizarre: when the magician performs his new illusion, he is what disappears.