Synopses & Reviews
It's a beautiful summer night in Portland, Oregon. Ami Vergano, a young attorney and single mother, arrives at her son Ryan's Little League game with their tenant and new friend, Dan Morelli. When the assistant coach calls in sick, Morelli seems happy to help out. But then one player roughly blocks another, and a fight erupts. Before the game ends, Ami witnesses violence that shocks and horrifies her and makes her question everything she thought she knew about Morelli.
On the other side of the continent, in a cheap motel room in Washington, D.C., ex-mental patient Vanessa Kohler, a reporter for Exposed, a tabloid that specializes in alien-abduction stories, watches a piece on television about the Little League massacre and quickly places a call to the FBI. For years she's been telling anyone who will listen about a vast government conspiracy to conceal a secret military unit headed by Gen. Morris Wingate, a presidential candidate, and for years everyone has dismissed her stories. But when Vanessa sees Dan Morelli fighting, she believes she's found the key to proving that her theories are true.
Vanessa hires Ami Vergano to represent Morelli, who is charged with attempted murder, and Ami is drawn into Vanessa's paranoid world. Are Vanessa, a former mental patient, and Morelli, a confessed mass murderer, telling the truth about one of the nation's most respected soldiers and politicians? Or are their charges a product of two sick minds? Ami has to decide who and what to believe, in Phillip Margolin's most exciting and surprising thriller since his breakout bestseller, Gone, But Not Forgotten.
"Like the lake of its title, Margolin's latest suspense novel (a hybrid with traces of legal thriller and whodunit and a big debt to The Manchurian Candidate
) is smooth on the surface with tumultuous secrets lurking beneath. In Portland, Ore., lawyer and single mom Ami Vergano is pleased to take in handsome handyman Dan Morelli as a tenant, since he provides a positive male role model for her 10-year-old son, Ryan. Meanwhile, across the country in Washington, tightly wound tabloid reporter Vanessa Kohler spins elaborate paranoid fantasies (or are they?) involving personal danger and government conspiracy. These two women and their respective plot threads come together when Dan's volatility turns a Little League game into a crime scene, and Vanessa steps forward to support him, at considerable risk. But this is only the beginning of a labyrinthine plot built on twists and surprises. Hint: Vanessa's father is an influential general and political power broker. Margolin isn't the most original writer, but what he lacks in style he makes up for in clarity. Plotting is his strong suit. The artful arrangement of the story's episodes keeps the suspense high, and the author fills in the puzzle shrewdly, with small pieces from all over the chronology. The surprises keep coming, even after the story settles mostly into a courtroom drama, with Ami defending Dan on a high-stakes charge. Agent, Jean Naggar. 5-city author tour. (Mar. 1)
" Publishers Weekly
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"[W]ildly implausible....Except for the overlong flashbacks, Margolin's tenth may be his best, with everything a thriller should have, except thrills." Kirkus Reviews
"It's a mystery why Margolin...isn't at least as big as, say, John Grisham
. Overall he's a more polished writer, and his stories have an intellectual depth that Grisham's...frequently lack....[D]elivers
the goods, with plenty of action, suspense, and danger." Booklist
"Margolin takes a few liberties with his fiction....Nevertheless, Lost Lake
is a fun ride, and I'm sure Vince Kohler's
spirit would delight in his namesake." The Oregonian (Portland, OR)
“Margolins eleventh may be his best, with everything a thriller should have.” Kirkus Reviews
“A powerhouse thriller...a relentless gripper ... [that] never loses its fiendish hold on the readers attention.” Seattle Post-Intelligencer
“Lively ... the pacing is brisk, the plot cinematic.” Janet Maslin in the New York Times
“Frighteningly plausible...a page turner.” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
“Delivers the goods, with plenty of action, suspense, and danger.” Booklist
“The suspense [is] high ... surprises keep coming ... a labyrinthine plot built on twists and surprises.” Publishers Weekly
The bestselling author of Sleeping Beauty
returns with an explosive thriller about how a young tabloid reporter's "paranoid" theories just might be true.
About the Author
Phillip Margolin has written sixteen New York Times bestsellers, including his latest novels, Capitol Murder and Supreme Justice. Each displays a unique, compelling insider's view of criminal behavior, which comes from his long career as a criminal defense attorney who has handled thirty murder cases. Winner of the Distinguished Northwest Writer Award, Margolin lives in Portland, Oregon.