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 gaffed and placed in upstairs closet at end of hall. Turned out lights in house, drove off, then parked and doubled back.
Devious doctors test the ethics of ambitious attorneys in Margolin's (The Undertaker's Widow) latest speed-read, and give a plot already adrenalized by drug deals, serial murders and organized crime an added jolt of grisly medical mayhem. Novice criminal lawyer Amanda Jaffe helps her legal eagle father Frank defend Portland surgeon Vincent Cardoni against charges that the doctor conspired to sell illicitly harvested organs to support his coke habit and maintained a private torture chamber for his victims in a mountain cabin outside the city limits. Cardoni is freed on a technicalityDand presumed murdered by the mob shortly afterward when his disappearance coincides with the discovery of his severed hand. Four years later, Amanda is asked to lead the defense of doctor Justine Castle, Vincent's ex-wife, when her fingerprints turn up all over another cabin slaughterhouse. Amanda worries that Justine, whose first two husbands also died suspiciously, set up Vincent, but Justine has another theory: psychopathic Vincent is still alive and doing his best to frame her. En route to a breathtaking finale in which Amanda plays bait to the true killer at yet another bloodstained hideout, Margolin buffets the reader with an endless stream of pulpy plot twists: a shamed cop's reformation, rampaging Russian hit men, creative surgery and astonishingly acrobatic feats of pursuit and escape by ordinary people. Only the hysterical pace of the adventures will prevent readers from dwelling too long on their implausibility; meanwhile, pages will turn fast enough to make the perfect breeze for chilling beachside escapists. 250,000 first printing; $250,000 ad/promo; Literary Guild, Doubleday Book Club, Mystery Guild and BOMC selections; 12-city author tour. (Aug.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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July 31, 2001
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Excerpt from Wild Justice by Phillip Margolin
A lightning flash illuminated the Learjet that waited on the runway of the private airstrip moments before a thunderclap startled Dr. Clifford Grant. Grant scanned the darkness for signs of life, but there were no other cars in the lot and no one moving on the tarmac. When he checked his watch his hand trembled. It was 11:35. Breach's man was five minutes late. The surgeon stared at the glove compartment. A sip from his flask would steady his nerves, but he knew where that would lead. He had to be thinking clearly when they brought the money.
Large drops fell with increasing speed. Grant turned on his wipers at the same moment a huge fist rapped on his passenger door. The doctor jerked back and stared. For an instant he thought the rain was distorting his vision; but the man glaring at him through the window was really that big, a monster with a massive, shaved skull and a black knee-length leather coat.
"Open the door," the giant commanded, his voice harsh and frightening.
Grant obeyed instantly. A chill wind blew a fine spray into the car.
"Where is it?"
"In the trunk," Grant said, the words catching in his throat as he jerked his thumb backward. The man tossed an attachý case into the car and slammed the door shut. Water beaded the smooth sides of the briefcase and made the brass locks glisten. The money! Grant wondered how much the recipient was going to pay for the heart, if he and his partner were receiving a quarter of a million dollars. Two rapid thumps brought Grant around. The giant was pounding on the trunk. He had forgotten to pop the release. As Grant reached for the latch another lightning flash lit the view through his rear window -- and the cars that had appeared from nowhere. Without thinking, he floored the accelerator and cranked the wheel. The giant dove away with amazing agility as the sedan careened across the asphalt, leaving the smell of burning rubber. Grant was vaguely aware of the screech of metal on metal as he blasted past one of the police cars and took out part of a chain-link fence. Shots were fired, glass shattered and the car tipped briefly on two wheels before righting itself and speeding into the night.