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Ties That Bind    by Phillip Margolin order for
Ties That Bind
by Philip Margolin
Order:  USA  Can
HarperCollins, 2003 (2003)
Hardcover, Audio, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

This is Philip Margolin's ninth novel. Reading Ties That Bind left me breathless. It moves at a fast pace and is hard hitting. There is hardly time to digest what has happened on the page just read, when another event crops up that boggles the mind. Amanda Jaffe is a rising star in the Portland legal community. In the New York Times bestseller Wild Justice, Amanda was up against a brilliant sociopath. That case left her badly traumatized and she is not convinced that she is up to defending a pimp in the case of a United States Senator's murder. She is sure to come face-to-face with brutality that will be difficult for her to deal with.

Wisps of information come to her about a secret society that controls the political community in Portland. This ties into the case against Jon Dupre, the pimp who runs an upscale escort service. The story deals with the dregs of society as well as some of the loftiest of its members. The reader joins Amanda in reeling from one horror to another, and is able to understand her trauma and her attempts to deal with it. Scenes progress seamlessly, with tight writing, presenting a mystery with a twist at the end that I haven't seen before. Although the ending seems a bit contrived, it does work. Be prepared for a complete surprise.

I look forward to Margolin's next novel Sleeping Beauty, due out in March. I hope I am able to reacquaint myself with Amanda Jaffe. Margolin's books leave the reader begging for more.

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