“Phillip Margolin’s best book in years. Deception is prominent, and the villain is truly vile.…A magician never reveals his secrets, and like the best prestidigitators, Margolin manipulates readers into believing one thing, then reveals … see full wiki
Phillip Margolin is one of my favorite authors, and I looked forward to his latest novel Sleight of Hand. I had to wait a bit to get through the hold list at the library, but it was well worth it. Margolin crafts a story that twists all over the place, where nothing is as it appears.
He brings back Dana Cutler, a private investigator who is recovering from a traumatic hostage situation that forever changed her. She gets a call to check into the ownership of a historical item that might be worth millions. The story makes no sense to her, but the client is offering a ton of money for Cutler to fly out to Seattle to check it out. She senses that something isn't quite right about the people she meets there, but she reports back and thinks that will be the end of it. However, she can't stop poking at the oddness, and she finds that her case might dovetail with a murder of a well-known prosecutor by her very rich husband. As she digs into that case, she comes face-to-face with a killer who has no qualms in making her disappear as just another loose end in his plans.
I enjoyed how Margolin created layers of illusion that are driven by the lawyer of the accused killer. He also uses his experience as a criminal defense attorney to deliver some of the best legal and court scenes in a novel. It also doesn't hurt that he lives in my town (Portland, Oregon), and many of his scenes occur in places that I've been to and can visualize in detail. It adds color to the stories for me.
If you read Margolin's novels, then definitely read Sleight of Hand. If you haven't read any, you can start here without losing much character continuity... and then you'll want to go back and read all of the others. :)