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Publisher's Summary

Charles Benedict - magnetic criminal defense lawyer, amateur illusionist, and professional hit man - and private investigator Dana Cutler are on a collision course set in motion by Benedict's greatest sleight of hand yet: framing a millionaire for the murder of his much younger wife.
Ten years ago, Horace Blair fell in love with Carrie, the prosecutor during his DUI trial. After a torrid courtship, he persuaded her to marry him and to sign a prenuptial agreement guaranteeing her twenty million dollars if she remained faithful during the first 10 years of their marriage. The week before their 10th anniversary, Carrie disappears, and Horace is charged with her murder. Desperate to clear his name, the millionaire hires one of D.C.'s most brilliant and ruthless defense attorneys - Charles Benedict.
Meanwhile, private investigator Dana Cutler is in the Pacific Northwest on the trail of a stolen relic, a gold scepter dating back to the Ottoman Empire. Hitting a dead end, she returns to Virginia, perplexed and disappointed - and straight into the twisting case of Horace and Carrie Blair.
©2013 Phillip Margolin (P)2013 HarperCollins Publishers
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Mary on 04-18-13

It should've been a better book

Margolin might mature into a very good writer one day. He has a great imagination and the ability to weave a good plot. Dialogue and character development can't be faulted.
His failures are subtle but brings the book from a good read to just something to burn time on an airplane.
He needs a good editor. Someone who can tell him when something's not working. A couple of places in the book, I winced. Nope. That won't work. If I can see that, why can't the writer? To be a good read, the author has to be at least a bit smarter than the reader.
He needs to stop writing from every character's point of view. I realize it's a popular concept, but you can't let your hero get lost in the mix. More from the hero, less from minor characters.

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6 of 6 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Book Lady on 04-28-13

If Jack Reacher were a girl

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Phillip Margolin who writes too infrequently has created an evolving character, Dana Cuttler who could rival Jack Reacher in violence, intelligence, and personality. Margolin's plots are always carefully crafted and following the conventions of a thriller, the reader knows the villain, the suspense is discovering whether the heroine in this scenerio can succeed or be thwarted. In sleight of hand, he pits Dana against the crafty lawyer, magician, Charles benedict and the head of the Russian mob. Even the main murder victim, Carrie Blair has a brief plot turn to thwart Dana. Margolin gives Dana her first staring role in Sleight of Hand--in previous books she was supported by young lawyer Brad Miller--and she doesn't disappoint. To emphasize his point that this is Dana's story, when Dana flies to the Pacific Northwest, she doesn't even contact her friend Brad who has moved off the pages to a quieter lifestyle.
Margolin shows his control of plot and characters. Even stock characters, the uber-wealthy and powerful, the downtrotten police, the Washington legal eagles, play well in Margolin's skillful analysis,. Charles Bendict is a worthy advesary and a compelling badguy. The set-up that opens the story, a rift on a thirties film noire, is cleverly worked into the plot. Margolin has that same economy of style as Lee Childs (or a very thorough editor) so not a detail dangles.
And Jonathan Davis is the perfect narrator although his Russian mobster accent sounds a little like somebody in a NY deli. Rather than overdramatizing, his slightly forbodding tone implies more violence, suspense, and action that makes this a "page turner"

I've never read a Margolin book, they are too good as audio-stories. They only thing missing is why the audible editors don't spotlight them in mystery picks!

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3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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