A Reasonable Doubt #BookReview

Philip Margolin | March 2020 | 292 pp

Did I pay for this book? Let me go check… nope, picked it up through Libby. Cool. 🤦🏾‍♀️

😂🤣😂 Ever had that experience? Oh My Gosh! I found myself reading this while working my way through YA, 3 part drama series Dorothy Must Die. I dont like to read series back to back because I tend to get fatigued on the story. Let the characters breathe, miss them. It will make you hungrier for the next installment! Anyway, I digress, back to boring ass A Reasonable Doubt.

I take that back, not boring but, difficult to like mainly because, I never made a connection with any of the characters! And there are a ton of characters: show people, ex wives and girlfriends, attorneys, husbands of attorneys, i mean..all of this for one whodunnit? Meanwhile, all are either cast as victims or bad guys..or both. Its hard to wrap your head around finishing a book when you couldn’t care less. 🤷🏾‍♀️

I picked this up haphazardly, mostly because it was short and billed itself as a courtroom whodunnit. I didn’t realize it was third in a series but, Im pretty sure reading the first 2 novels wouldnt have helped any.

Robin Lockwood is an MMA fighter turned criminal defense attorney in Portland, Oregon. 🙄 She taken over the case files for her predecessor Regina Barrister, who has been forced to retire due to early onset of Alzheimer’s. One day, one of Regina’s previous clients, Robert, a magician who Regina got acquitted for murdering his rich wife, shows up in Robin’s office and wants help patenting a magic trick. Its outside of the practices scope and she eventually tells him no. But, not before she gets wrapped into his disappearing act. Robert is a cad, with dead bodies of disgruntled wives, girlfriends, old and new gambling debts and scorned friends all wanting to claim a piece of him. Even though Robin cannot patent his new act, he plans a huge Grand Opening and invites all his enemies. After his showing of his new performance, he disappears. Again. Is he dead or did he escape? Who knows. 🤷🏾‍♀️ Do you even care yet?

Pros: Im going to need to dig deep here. Its a good story, though nothing new. We all desire to be desired. Robert offered that to older rich women, though in return he wanted much more. Its a short book and doesn’t waste a lot of pages on fluff. Every word is pushing the story forward.

Cons: Listen, authors, I don’t care what anyone tells you, at least one character should be likable. We keep reading because we want to know what happens to the person we’re cheering for or at least like a little bit!

I didn’t like any of these folks! Even Robin’s ‘wanna be Agatha Christie’ ass but, only managed to get to ‘Nancy Drew’s’ level, shuffling around half clueless, worshiping Regina. Im pretty sure I was at the end of the book before it mentions her MMA fighting. And the way her skittish ass shuffles around the story…it is not giving my the confidence of a fighter, for sure! And yes, all the main characters names start with ‘R’. No, no thats not annoying or distracting at all!! 🙄

Had this been a hard read, (meaning physical book instead of audio) I definitely would have abandoned it early on. Listening made it easier for me to continue. I listened to this in October while putting up Halloween decorations. I remember trekking boxes from my basement to the garage and staking blow ups in my yard while listening to this story, on my AirPods, praying it would get better. I guess I was more of a captive audience.

The ending is fair, you’ll not be surprised, just happy its over so you can get back to your regularly scheduled book list…as I shall! Book #48

If you want a real ‘Agatha Christie’ style whodunnit, try these:

Silent Patient, by Alex Michaelides

The New Husband by D. J. Palmer

Thirteen, by Steve Cavanagh

Storygraph Summary:

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.


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