BY PHILLIP MARGOLIN
New York Times bestselling author Phillip Margolin returns to the corridors of power in Washington, D.C., with an exciting thriller about a ghost ship and the President's nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Sarah Woodruff, on death row in Oregon for murdering her lover, John Finley, has appealed her case to the Supreme Court just when a prominent justice resigns, leaving a vacancy.
Then, for no apparent reason, another justice is mysteriously attacked. Dana Cutler—one of the heroes from Margolin's bestselling Executive Privilege—is quietly called in to investigate. She looks for links between the Woodruff appeal and the ominous incidents in the justices' chambers, which eventually lead her to a shoot-out that took place years ago on a small freighter docked upriver in Shelby, Oregon, containing a dead crew and illegal drugs. The only survivor on board? John Finley.
With the help of Brad Miller and Keith Evans, Dana uncovers a plot by a rogue element in the American intelligence community involving the president's nominee to the Supreme Court, and soon the trio is thrown back into the grips of a deadly, executive danger.
With nonstop action, Supreme Justice picks up where Executive Privilege left off, putting readers right back where they were—on the edge of their seats.ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
I grew up in New York City and Levittown, New York. In 1965 I graduated from The American University in Washington, D.C., with a Bachelor's Degree in Government. From 1965 to 1967, I was a Peace Corps volunteer in Liberia, West Africa. In 1970 I graduated from New York University School of Law. During my last two years in law school, I went at night and worked my way through by teaching junior high school in the South Bronx in New York City. My first job after law school was a clerkship with Herbert M. Schwab, the Chief Judge of the Oregon Court of Appeals. From 1972 until 1996, I was in private practice in Portland, Oregon, specializing in criminal defense at the trial and appellate levels. As an appellate attorney, I have appeared before the United States Supreme Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the Oregon Supreme Court, and the Oregon Court of Appeals. As a trial attorney, I have handled all sorts of criminal cases in state and federal court, and I have represented approximately 30 people charged with homicide, including several who have faced the death penalty. I was the first Oregon attorney to use the Battered Women's Syndrome to defend a battered woman accused of murdering her spouse.
Since 1996, I have been writing full-time. All of my novels have been New York Times bestsellers. Heartstone, my first novel, was nominated for an Edgar for best original paperback mystery of 1978 by the Mystery Writers of America. My second novel, The Last Innocent Man, was made into an HBO movie. Gone, But Not Forgotten has been sold to more than 25 foreign publishers and debuted as a miniseries in 2004. After Dark, The Burning Man, The Undertaker's Widow, Wild Justice, The Associate, Ties That Bind, and Sleeping Beauty were also New York Times bestsellers and selections, or main selections, of the major book clubs.
In addition to my novels, I have published short stories and nonfiction articles in magazines and law journals. My short story, "The Jailhouse Lawyer," was selected for the anthology The Best American Mystery Stories 1999.
Since 1996, I've been the President and Chairman of the Board of Chess for Success, a nonprofit charity that uses chess to teach study skills to elementary and middle school children in Title I schools.MY REVIEW:
SUPREME JUSTICE by Phillip Margolin is a novel that speaks to our times as our country is about to appoint a new Justice to the Supreme Court. Margolin’s book begins however with John Finley described as the survivor of a horrific attack on a ship in which it is later found complete with bodies and some drugs on board. From that start, the reader is then taken a few years forward to a time where death row is inhabited by Sarah Woodruff, who used to be a police office, and now finds herself in maximum security but not visiting an inmate, instead being one. She’s been convicted of the murder of one John Finley who also, it turns out, was her lover.
Sarah has run out of time and ways to prove her innocence other than one last shot of being heard by the Supreme Court. As luck would have it- bad luck for Sarah-one of the justices retires and all the special interest groups scramble to have the person they want approved for the opening. With all this going on, it is now questionable that Sarah will even have a chance of having her case presented to the highest court in the land. And just as one thinks that things couldn’t get worse for Sarah, they do. With one Justice retiring, the last thing anyone would want is for another justice to leave but sure enough, the one justice who would cast the deciding vote, is savagely attacked. Justice Moss is saved by her law clerk, Brad Miller, who fans of Margolin will recognize from EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE. Coinciding with this attack, the group who want a certain appointment to the Supreme Court made as it would be in favor of their cause, but not Sarah’s, is now in position to force their candidate.
With that as the basic premise for the story, the real excitement I found was in the thrilling mystery that Margolin wove into this somewhat typical legal battle one normally reads about. The details of what happened prior to Finley’s murder and the following investigation and arrest finally of Sarah Woodruff makes for a great read. The evidence is all circumstantial but basically enough to send her to prison. Being eager to charge Woodruff, the assistant district attorney, Max Dietz, gets it done but readers find out there was a personal reason for his wanting this indictment. The only part they can’t show any evidence of is that Finley is really dead. And so this tangled mystery has several twists as Woodruff is first acquitted and Dietz’s personal life takes a hit when his personal part in all this comes out. However, later Finley’s body is found and Woodruff is then charged and sent to prison awaiting appeal when all the Supreme Court drama enters into the story. Dana Cutler, investigator also from EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE is on the hunt to see why this case way out in the northwest is of such interest to those in the capital. As she uncovers the real motive and truth to this case, the excitement builds and the story with more twists than a mountain road ends in a way you never see coming. As you can tell, SUPREME JUSTICE is a sequel to EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE but does stand on its own if you have not read the first book. I enjoyed the book but the mystery part of the story was more interesting to me than the part about the Supreme Court appointments. However, the way it all comes together left me with a satisfied read and enough curiosity to read more of Margolin’s books
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