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Capitol Murder    by Phillip Margolin order for
Capitol Murder
by Phillip Margolin
Order:  USA  Can
Harper, 2012 (2012)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book

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* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Phillip Margolin's Capitol Murder follows Executive Privilege and Supreme Justice as the third in his Washington trilogy, starring tough PI Dana Cutler and mild lawyer Brad Miller, as well as their romantic interests, photojournalist Jake Teeny and lawyer Ginny Striker, respectively. Ginny and Brad are newlyweds. FBI Agent Keith Evans is back in action in this episode also.

Capitol Murder opens in Karachi, Pakistan, where an American (Stephen Reynolds) living in the slums rescues a local man from attackers and earns his gratitude. Reynolds studied both engineering and chemistry in Ohio and was in the Special Forces in Afghanistan, where he went missing in action. Now alienated from his homeland, he is quickly recruited by jihadists - he's 'a terrorist's dream and the CIA's worst nightmare.' A plot against the United States simmers.

Three years later, Ginny has a new job at the Department of Justice and Brad is starting to work for Senator Jack Carson of Oregon. In Executive Privilege, Brad was assigned the pro bono case of an appeal by convicted serial killer Clarence Little. After winning retrials (as a result of what Brad uncovered), the killer now manipulates his gullible new lawyer into helping him escape. When he hears of it, Brad is concerned, but hopes that Little has left the country.

In the meantime, Senator Carson's 'kinky tastes' result in his being blackmailed by a woman who is subsequently murdered. Brad finds the body, which bears the marks of one of Little's kills. The plot steadily thickens as Dana is hired to investigate Carson; Ginny is transferred to the Counterterrorism division, where she comes across information that causes a crisis of conscience; and Little enjoys his sadistic games.

As always in a Margolin thriller, there are wheels within wheels, plenty of action and violence, and regular surprises before it all comes together. If you enjoy engrossing, suspenseful thrillers, then pick up this trilogy.

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