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. 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, ex-mental patient Vanessa Kohler watches a piece on television about the Little League massacre and quickly places a call to the FBI. For years she's been telling everyone about a vast government conspiracy to conceal a secret military unit headed by Gen. Morris Wingate, and everyone has dismissed her stories. But what she sees on television could prove her theories true.
Vanessa hires Ami Vergano to represent Morelli, 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? 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." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"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." Oregonian
"The characters enthrall, the plot twists surprise, the pages fly by. This is a thriller with thrills galore." Seattle Post-Intelligencer
"Margolin's tenth may be his best, with everything a thriller should have." Kirkus Reviews
“Lively ... the pacing is brisk, the plot cinematic.” Janet Maslin in the New York Times
“A powerhouse thriller...a relentless gripper ... [that] never loses its fiendish hold on the readers attention.” Seattle Post-Intelligencer
“Frighteningly plausible...a page turner.” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
“The suspense [is] high ... surprises keep coming ... a labyrinthine plot built on twists and surprises.” Publishers Weekly
“Delivers the goods, with plenty of action, suspense, and danger.” Booklist
On a summer night in Portland, Oregon, violence erupts at a Little League game -- and attorney Ami Vergano watches in horror as the quiet, gentle artist she recently befriended does the unexpected and unthinkable . . .
In a cheap motel room in Washington, D.C., Vanessa Kohler -- ex-mental patient, supermarket tabloid reporter, and estranged daughter of a powerful general running for president -- views a news broadcast of the bizarre incident and believes she's found the only witness to a deadly conspiracy.
Caught between a possible madwoman and a confessed mass murderer, between reality and delusion, Ami races to unearth the terrible truth about dark events that may or may never have happened twenty years earlier in a secluded cabin on Lost Lake.
About the Author
Phillip Margolin has written more than a dozen New York Times
bestselling mysteries for adults, including Gone, But Not Forgotten
; Executive Privilege
; and Wild Justice
. With Vanishing Acts
, he is achieving two new firstshis first book for young readers and his first book with his daughter, Ami Margolin Rome.
Ami Margolin Rome works in education philanthropy and is a former Peace Corps volunteer. Like Madison, Ami grew up in Portland, Oregon, with a criminal defense attorney for a father. She still lives in Portland today, near her father.