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Friday, February 7, 2014

Book Review: Wild Justice (Amanda Jaffe #1) by Phillip Margolin

Finished February 7, 2014

Synopsis from Good Reads:

Seven years ago, Phillip Margolin seized the imagination of thriller readers everywhere with his chilling breakout bestseller, "Gone, but Not Forgotten." After five subsequent "New York Times" bestsellers, "Margolin" now returns to the haunting terrain of "Gone, but Not Forgotten" with a mesmerizing tour de force of psychological suspense, an electrifying tale of revenge and retribution that shows a master storyteller at the very peak of his craft.

Thursday: Subject is still combative after four days of applied pain, sleep deprivation and minimal food.

Vice squad detective Bobby Vasquez, for months on the trail of a slippery underworld figure, receives an anonymous tip that directs him to a mountain cabin. He races through the idyllic Oregon woods, expecting to close the book on a long-standing vendetta. What he finds instead opens a Pandora's box of horror that will haunt him to his dying day.

8:10: Subject bound and gagged and placed in upstairs closet at end of hall. Turned out lights in house, drove off, then parked and doubled back. Watched from woods.

Within hours, Vincent Cordoni -- a brilliant surgeon with a history of violence and drug abuse -- is arrested for a heinous crime. Facing a seemingly insurmountable wall of evidence, he turns to Portland's top criminal defense attorney, Frank Jaffe -- who, along with his ambitious daughter, Amanda, must put on an inspired defense. Amanda's first taste of criminal defense work is as intoxicating as it is chilling, but it raises moral questions she's loath to address. Is she defending an innocent man? Or is she using her considerable skills to set a monster free? Then Cardoni disappears under bizarre circumstances. Four years later, a second set of murders has begun ....

8:55: Subject exits house, naked and barefoot, armed with kitchen knife. Remarkable strength of character. Breaking her will be a challenge.

Has Cardoni resurfaced to ply his deadly trade anew? Is there a copycat killer? Or has the real killer been someone else all along? The police will do everything they can to stop Cardoni -- but they have to find him first.

Following a twisting trail of clues, including a harrowing diary that clinically records the killer's horrible deeds, Amanda Jaffe and Bobby Vasquez join the hunt -- and themselves become targets of the twenty-first century's first genuinely monstrous psychopath

My review at Good Reads:
5 of 5 Stars

Amanda Jaffe book #2 was the Nook deal of the day at Barnes & Noble.com and it looks like a good book so of course if the price was reasonable I had to get book #1 to read first. Wild Justice looked like a decent read and was reasonably priced so I bought book #1 and the $2 special book #2.

I knew who the killer in this book was by page 30. By page 60, I knew I was wrong because I knew somebody else was. I was sure I was right this time until about 20 pages later and I realized I was right to begin with. Then there was a third killer I was sure about. That’s what I loved about this book.

Wild Justice started with suspense and mystery and it’s took five years and many physical and legal twists and turns. The main characters had depth and I definitely knew who I did and didn’t like. What was fun in the end is some of the likable characters turned out not so likable while some of the more despicable characters were heroes. And yes, one of the characters I was initially sure was the villain did turn out to be the villain however I changed my mind about that character several times before the end of the book. The story is well-told and every turn that takes you in a different direction than you thought you were going makes sense.

An excellent read; book #2 is definitely next.

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