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The Darkest Place: Robin Lockwood #5    by Phillip Margolin order for
Darkest Place
by Phillip Margolin
Order:  USA  Can
Minotaur, 2022 (2022)
Hardcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

The Darkest Place is the fifth (following A Matter of Life and Death) in Phillip Margolin's legal mystery series starring young criminal defense attorney Robin Lockwood. A Yale Law graduate and ex-MMA fighter, she's a partner in a Portland, Oregon law firm.

The story opens on two detectives notifying Marjorie Loman of her wealthy husband's torture and murder. She's not at all upset as they were in the process of a nasty divorce, in which Loman hid his assets. Marjorie is a cop with the Profit police force, and she's very short of cash.

Robin has just returned from a Hawaii vacation celebrating her engagement to her investigator, Jeff Hodges. When a judge she respects asks for a favor, she takes on the pro bono case of Lloyd Arness, accused (and clearly guilty) of a brutal rape that left the victim with permanent brain damage.

Robin's case erupts into a tragedy that leaves her reeling and sends her home to the family farmhouse in Elk Grove. As she struggles there, her brother introduces her to local lawyer Stan McDermott who asks for help on a case related to surrogacy. The defendant is Marjorie Loman. Though they win that one, Marjorie then faces trial back in Portland for her husband's murder.

As always, Margolin delivers a convoluted puzzler of a legal mystery, with many fascinating strands, a very appealing lead, and fine characterization. He is a most accomplished storyteller.

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