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A Reasonable Doubt: A Robin Lockwood Novel    by Phillip Margolin order for
Reasonable Doubt
by Phillip Margolin
Order:  USA  Can
St. Martin's, 2020 (2020)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

A Reasonable Doubt is the third in Phillip Margolin's legal mystery series starring young criminal defense attorney Robin Lockwood, a Yale Law graduate and ex-MMA fighter. She's now a partner in the Portland, Oregon law firm, where legal legend Regina Barrister once reigned. Sadly, Regina suffers from early onset Alzheimer's and has been forced to retire. Yet her memories play a key role in this episode.

Twenty years before, Regina acted for professional magician Robert Chesterfield, clearing him of two murder charges. He was also suspected of involvement in the death of his very wealthy wife. He continued his career as a magician in Las Vegas. Now he's approached Robin for help regarding patent protection for an illusion - not something the firm would normally take on. What is this all about?

Readers soon learn that Chesterfield is in deep financial trouble, in debt to a very dangerous man, but he always has a Plan B. As part of it, he's invited Robin to watch him try out his greatest illusion, the Chamber of Death. He performs it successfully but then disappears. Robin had attended with her partner, the firm's in-house investigator, Jeff Hodges. They find the answer in a missing speedboat.

When Chesterfield performs his illusion in front of a packed house, it fails and a corpse is found in the sarcophagus that's part of the act - how was he murdered in front of three thousand people? A fellow magician is charged with the crime and Robin defends him, with Jeff's investigative assistance. They find that it's all about misdirection in this convoluted, intriguing puzzler.

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