By Harry Levins Special to the Post-Dispatch
Defense lawyer Robin Lockwood plays her fifth starring role for novelist (and defense lawyer) Phillip Margolin in “The Darkest Place.” Margolin gives Lockwood a dark assignment indeed.
Lockwood represents Marjorie Loman, beset with serious charges. First, Loman hires on as a surrogate mother, carrying a baby for a couple who she can’t conceive on their own. But she finds herself unable to surrender the baby boy. So she violently accosts the legal parents, snatches the child and runs.
Lockwood takes on Loman’s case, and the tale sets off on a wild and woolly run that involves murder, embezzlement, hired goons and enough other bad news to test Lockwood’s courtroom skills.
Giving more plot details would ruin the reading. But anyone who picks up this book will struggle to put it down.
Curiously, Margolin writes at times like a female thriller author, putting readers inside the heads of his female characters. A sample, from the mind of Lockwood:
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“More important, no matter how much she liked Stan, she didn’t feel the same overwhelming emotions she’d felt when she was with Jeff. When she was near Jeff, she felt like she was floating. Just seeing him brought a smile to her face.
On the other hand, the author can revert to bad humor. In describing the woman with whom her client’s slain husband had dallied in bed, Margolin calls her “a six-foot blonde who ran marathons, practiced yoga, and drained Joel’s bodily fluids.”
Harry Levins of Manchester retired in 2007 as senior writer of the Post-Dispatch.