On the outside, Amanda Jaffe has healed from the traumatic events that concluded the sensational New York Times bestseller Wild Justice -- but inside, she's struggling to regain her self-assurance. When she is forced to represent a pimp accused of murder (a case no other lawyer will touch), her client threatens her, strirring up the trauma to such an extent that she must finally seek the help of a psychiatrist. Her opponent on the murder case, ADA Tom McCorkle, is a local hero -- he won the Heisman Trophy and secured for University Oregon its only victory in the Rose Bowl 15 years earlier -- who is embroiled in his own crisis of confidence, because his popularity is based on a lie.
Attorney-novelist Margolin's last feverish tale of Portland high crimes and low morals, Wild Justice, exposed defense attorney Amanda Jaffe to such brutal torture that this sequel finds her traumatized and withdrawn. Even rougher, the action is so convoluted and the cast of characters so large she nearly gets lost in the shuffle. Among the many vying with her for listener attention are Tim Harrigan, a popular state's attorney being groomed for "bigger things" but wallowing in self-loathing and sexual degradation; his overbearing father; a Hispanic gang lord with high-level protection; a drug dealer-pimp on trial for a murder he didn't commit; and that creaky pulp staple currently making a big fictional comeback, the secret society of evil power elitists. Amanda's cause is further thwarted by the choice of narrator on this unabridged audio edition. Guidall's seasoned voice has been put to excellent use on novels featuring male leads of a certain age (Lillian Jackson Braun's Cat Who... series [reviewed below] and Louis Bigley's About Schmidt). Here his mature tones work well for the cabal members and Harrigan's dad, but not for Harrigan, much less Amanda. Simultaneous release with the HarperCollins hardcover (Forecasts, Jan. 27). (Mar.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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February 29, 2004
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Excerpt from Ties That Bind by Phillip Margolin
United States Senator Chester Whipple, Republican from South Carolina, a staunch soldier of God, did not drink, a fact he regretted as he paced back and forth across the front room of his Georgetown town house. It was two in the morning; his investigator, Jerry Freemont, was three hours late, and prayer alone was not calming his nerves.
The doorbell rang. Whipple rushed into the foyer, but he did not find his investigator standing on his front stoop when he opened the door. Instead, an elegantly dressed man, wearing an old school tie from Whipple's alma mater, smiled at him. The senator's visitor was of medium build and height. He wore his sandy hair slicked down; wire-rimmed glasses perched on a Roman nose. Whipple, a scholarship boy from a rural public school, disliked most of his privileged Harvard classmates, but they did not threaten him. In truth, Chester Whipple was a difficult man to frighten: he had the physical strength of a man who worked the land and the spiritual fortitude of one who never wavered in his faith.
"Senator, I apologize for the intrusion at this late hour," the man said, handing Whipple his card. It announced that J. Stanton Northwood II was a partner in a prominent D.C. firm. Later that week, Whipple would discover that the firm employed no one by that name. "What do you want " Whipple asked, genuinely puzzled and anxious for Northwood to leave before Jerry arrived.
Whipple's visitor looked grim. "I'm afraid that I'm the bearer of bad news. May I come in " Whipple hesitated, then led Northwood into the living room and motioned him into a seat. The lawyer leaned back, crossing his right leg over his left to expose freshly polished wingtips.
"It's Mr. Freemont," Northwood said. "He's not coming."
Whipple was confused. The lawyer looked solemn. "He was a fine investigator, Senator. He found the memo proving that several biotech companies contributed millions to a secret slush fund that Harold Travis is using to defeat the anti-cloning bill. Mr. Freemont also had pictorial and audio evidence that would have made a very persuasive case for criminal charges against Senator Travis and others. Unfortunately for you, he no longer has this evidence -- we do."