Betrayal: A Robin Lockwood Novel (Robin Lockwood, 7)
“The reader familiar with Margolin’s stories will carefully pick through the clues that he drops, and may or may not make their own decisions on whodunnit and why.”
Any reader familiar with Phillip Margolin’s character Robin Lockwood will find Betrayal to be a good read. It is fast paced, well researched, and well written.
In several of the past Robin Lockwood books, Margolin has presented her as grieving for her fiancé who was murdered several books ago. It’s time for her to move on, and in Betrayal Robin once again finds romance in the character of Tom McGee.
The catch that Margolin slices into the story is that when Robin takes on a legal defense case, she finds herself up against Tom, the DA handling the prosecution—a snag that Margolin handles quite well and one that builds into the story so as not to be a distraction.
The story starts with lawyer Margaret Finch and her husband Nathan, and two children, Annie and Ryan, being assassinated in their home. The primary suspect is Mandy Kerrigan, a woman known to Robin from her days as a professional MMF fighter. Mandy was a top MMF fighter, and when Robin came up against her many years ago, Robin did not fare well.
Since those days long ago, Mandy’s skills and reputation have diminished. In her most recent bout, she is found to have taken drugs and is suspended until the investigation is complete.
She was told that the drugs she took could not be traced, and that was a lie. In her anger, she seeks out Ryan Finch, her dealer, and beats him severely. She is seen at the scene of the crime, and the police zero in on her as the murderer.
Robin takes on the foreboding task of defending Mandy while at the same time not destroying her growing relationship with Tom. Two testy situations, indeed.
But not to be discouraged, Robin gathers her team together and begins the investigation into the other possible suspects as well as the victims.
Margaret has a reputation as being a lawyer for the local mob. Suspect number one, mob boss Jack Kovalev.
Suspect number two. Margaret’s brother is recently released from jail and when he asks her for monetary assistance to get back on his feet, she categorically refuses. He is not pleased, plus he eyes his niece, Annie, as a tasty little treat.
Suspect number three. Alan Chen’s wife was in the wrong place at the wrong time, the victim of a legal scam put together by mob boss Kovalev. Chen knows that Margaret Finch works for the mob, and he is not about to let her get away with defending a man whom he believes murdered his wife. But how can he take out Kovalev? Kovalev discovers that Chen “. . .was Special Forces. He’s been in combat in Afghanistan, Iraq, and on missions that are classified. And worse still, he’s a sniper.”
Margolin has designed suspects that all have valid reasons to be considered as murderers, and yet they have alibis. Or do they?
While the state prefers to keep Mandy at the front of the line, Robin and her team continue to dig deeper into the others. As the story continues there are more murders, and yet Mandy is in jail, so she can not be considered. Chen rises to the top in Robin’s research, and yet there is something not quite right about him being the actual murderer. Robin needs to do more investigating.
In Margolin’s courtroom scenes, the reader gets a good look into what drives a trial. It’s an education.
It is the questioning of the various individuals connected to the date of the murder—neighbors, EMTs, medical personnel—who provide the clues that Robin needs to solve the crime, and identify the actual murderer.
The reader familiar with Margolin’s stories will carefully pick through the clues that he drops, and may or may not make their own decisions on whodunnit and why. It’s a good chase through the maze of clues, foreshadowing, and red herrings.
Regardless of their discoveries, the reader will be pleased with this story and its outcome. Now they just have to wait for the next Robin Lockwood mystery!