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Fugitive (Amanda Jaffe Series) Mass Market Paperback – January 26, 2010

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

When the editor-in-chief of World News magazine offers Amanda Jaffe a $500,000 retainer to defend Charlie Marsh, an ex-con turned bestselling spiritual guru, in bestseller Margolin's entertaining fourth thriller to feature the Portland, Ore., lawyer (after Proof Positive), Amanda can't say no. Marsh, who fled the country in 1997 after being accused of murdering Congressman Arnold Pope Jr., has spent the 12 years since in the African country of Batanga under the protection of its benevolent ruler, Jean-Claude Baptiste, whose threat to kill Marsh for sleeping with his favorite wife has prompted Marsh to return to the U.S. to stand trial. Toss in Pope's revenge-seeking father, several homicidal maniacs and the evil head of the Batanga secret service, and you've got a plot set on full boil. While some readers will figure out the identity of Pope's real killer early on, all will enjoy following the resourceful Amanda as she puts the puzzle pieces together. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From Booklist

Oregon attorney Amanda Jaffe—star of three other Margolin thrillers, including Proof Positive (2006)—takes on the case of a lifetime when she is tapped to defend Charlie Marsh, aka Guru Gabriel Sun. Marsh’s past is legend: he was a prisoner whose freedom came abruptly when he saved the life of a guard during a riot. He then changed his name and published a book, The Light Within, in which he spoke of how you, too, could achieve personal transformation. The public, especially women, ate it up, helped by Marsh’s good looks, dangerous background, and newfound sensitivity. One of those swooning women was the wife of a U.S. congressman. After the congressman’s murder, both his wife and Marsh stood trial for the crime. Before the verdict was read, though, Marsh escaped, landing in Batanga, Africa, where the U.S. has no extradition treaty and a heartless dictator rules the country. When Marsh finds he might be caught for bedding one of the tyrant’s wives (sense a pattern here?), he realizes that a trial in the U.S. bodes better for him than punishment at the hands of Batanga’s cruel ruler. With the exception of Jaffe and Dennis Levy, a reporter who covers the Marsh case, Margolin’s characters and premise this time are a little too larger than life to be believable. Let’s hope he brings back both Jaffe and Levy in a novel a bit more grounded in reality. --Mary Frances Wilkens --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Product Details

  • Series: Amanda Jaffe Series (Book 4)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; Reprint edition (January 26, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061236241
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061236242
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1 x 7.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #917,736 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

I grew up in New York City and Levittown, New York. In 1965, I graduated from the American University in Washington, D.C., with a bachelor's degree in government. I spent 1965 to 1967 in Liberia, West Africa, as a Peace Corps volunteer, graduated from New York University School of Law in 1970 as a night student. I went nights and worked as a junior high teacher in the South Bronx to support myself. My first job following law school was a clerkship with Herbert M. Schwab, the chief judge of the Oregon Court of Appeals, and from 1972 until 1996, I was in private practice, specializing in criminal defense at the trial and appellate levels. As an appellate attorney I have appeared before the United States Supreme Court, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, the Oregon Supreme Court, and the Oregon Court of Appeals. As a trial attorney, I handled all sorts of criminal cases in state and federal court, and have represented approximately thirty people charged with homicide, several of whom faced the death penalty. I was the first Oregon attorney to use battered women's syndrome to defend a woman accused of murdering her spouse.

Since 1996, I have been writing full-time. All of my novels have been bestsellers. Heartstone, my first novel, was nominated by the Mystery Writers of America for an Edgar for best original paperback mystery of 1978. My second novel, The Last Innocent Man, was made into an HBO movie. Gone, But Not Forgotten has been sold to more than twenty-five foreign publishers and was made into a miniseries starring Brooke Shields. It was also the Main Selection of the Literary Guild. After Dark was a Book of the Month Club selection. The Burning Man, my fifth novel, published in August 1996, was the Main Selection of the Literary Guild and a Reader's Digest condensed book. My sixth novel, The Undertaker's Widow, was published in 1998 and was a Book of the Month Club selection. Wild Justice (HarperCollins, September 2000) was a Main Selection of the Literary Guild, a selection of the Book of the Month Club, and was nominated for an Oregon Book Award. The Associate was published by HarperCollins in August 2001, and Ties that Bind was published by HarperCollins in March 2003. My tenth novel, Sleeping Beauty, was published by HarperCollins on March 23, 2004. Lost Lake was published by HarperCollins in March 2005 and was nominated for an Oregon Book Award. Proof Positive was published by HarperCollins in July 2006. Executive Privilege was published by HarperCollins in May 2008 and in 2009 was given the Spotted Owl Award for the Best Northwest Mystery. Fugitive was published by HarperCollins on June 2, 2009. Willamette Writers gave me the 2009 Distinguished Northwest Writers Award. My latest novel, Supreme Justice, was published by HarperCollins in May 2010. My next novel, Capitol Murder, will come out in April 2012.

On October 11, 2011, HarperCollins will publish Vanishing Acts, my first Young Adult novel, which I wrote with my daughter, Ami Margolin Rome. Also in October, the short story "The Case of the Purloined Paget," which I wrote with my brother, Jerry, will be published by Random House in the anthology A Study in Sherlock.

In addition to my novels, I have published short stories and nonfiction articles in magazines and law journals. My short story "The Jailhouse Lawyer" was selected for the anthology The Best American Mystery Stories 1999. The House on Pine Terrace was selected for the anthology The Best American Mystery Stories 2010.

From 1996 to 2009 I was the president and chairman of the Board of Chess for Success. I am still heavily involved in the program, and returned to the board after a one-year absence in 2010. Chess for Success is a nonprofit charity that uses chess to teach study skills to elementary- and middle-school children in Title I schools . From 2007 to the present, I have been on the Board of Literary Arts, which sponsors the Oregon Book Awards, the Writers in the Schools program, and Portland Arts and Lectures.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

31 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Gail Cooke HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 12, 2009
Format: Hardcover
Remember those popular boxes of Cracker Jack, the sweet popcorn-like snack? We bought them because we liked the taste, of course, but the big come-on was the prize inside. We were never quite sure what we were going to get but it was going to be an extra something, a surprise, a prize. That pretty much encapsulates the way I feel about Philip Margolin's books - I'm never quite know what I'm going to get but I'm pretty sure I'll like it, and so I keep reading.

If you remember Amanda Jaffe, the young whiz-bang attorney from Wild Justice and Proof Positive, you'll welcome her back as she faces even greater challenges and higher hurdles in Fugitive. The Fugitive of the title is Charlie Marsh a small time con man who manages to parlay a prison incident into big time payola - he convinced a fellow prisoner to release the warden he had taken hostage and further claimed that during that moment he was visited by the Divine and even given a new name, Gabriel Sun.

What comes next, why just what any thinking con man would come up with - a book deal, an appearance on Oprah, and an ardent following. Of course, it didn't hurt Charlie one bit that he was also GQ good looking.

While riding the tide of public acclaim Charlie becomes involved with a politician's wife whose husband is murdered and, of course, Charlie's the No. 1 suspect. He takes off for the African country of Batanga where he lives off his royalties for a comfortable dozen years and woos and wins Batanga's dictator's favorite wife. Not one to take this lightly the dictator goes after Charlie who promptly exits for the U.S.

Back on American soil he still has to account for the death of the politician, and Amanda is called upon to champion him.
Read more ›
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on June 6, 2009
Format: Hardcover
In 1997, con man Charlie Marsh is a few weeks from being released from prison when his best friend Crazy Eddie holds three visiting female librarians and the penitentiary warden as hostages. He saves a guard's life getting accidentally stabbed in the process and that of the other hostages. Eddie blows himself up. Charlie is a hero and hooks up with agent Mickey Keys as they claim "The Light Within You" guided him. However, on tour in Oregon, Charlie has a tryst with local host Sally Pope, wife of a Congressman. When the spouse Arnold Pope Jr. attacks Charlie, all hell breaks out and Arnold is killed. Charlie flees for Africa while Sally stands trial for abetting a murder; attorney Frank Jaffe gets her acquitted after some shenanigans from her father-in-law Arnold, Sr.

However after a dozen years in Batanga under the ruthless rule of Jean Claude Baptiste, Charlie needs to escape as the cruel dictator knows he had an affair with his favorite wife the tortured and now dead Bernadette. Charlie arranges for World News to fund his return to the States where death row is safer than Batanga. Frank's daughter Amanda heads the defense while Baptiste sends killer Nelson Tuazama to kill Charlie but not before he retrieves diamonds the expatriate snuck out of the country.

This thriller is clearly over the top especially the last third current day trial, but no one will care as the reader is hooked from the opening sequence in Batanga, through what happened a dozen years ago, and finally the present day legal thriller. The story line is fast-paced from the onset and the cast solid especially the title character and his lawyer. With a terrific full circle spin, fans will appreciate Phillip Margolin's exhilarating thriller.

Harriet Klausner
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By John R. Linnell on July 3, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I go all the way back with Phillip Margolin and he has yet to disappoint me.

In this, his latest Amanda Jaffe novel, he creates a masterful whodunit
that remains unresolved, until the very interesting ending.

Congressman Arnold Pope, Jr is shot during an altercation at a posh Oregon Country Club. Two of those at the shooting are put on trial. One flees to an African country with no extradition treaty with the United States, the other is acquitted. The one who fled is Charlie Marsh, a celebrity author who has been sleeping with the wife of the Congressman who was shot. The unfaithful wife was the co-defendant.

Twelve years later, Charlie who could never resist the blandishments of the opposite sex, has made the near fatal mistake of bedding the favorite wife of the country's dictator. In a harrowing escape he returns to face trial on the murder charge and that is when things really get interesting.

That is as far as I will take you on this story line. Buy the book and let Phillip Margolin weave his special magic. He is very good at it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sissel M. Østdahl on July 12, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What a great writer Phillip Margolin is!

His latest book "Fugitive" is perfectly crafted and full of surprises. It's fast-paced as well as detailed and accurate, as becomes an experienced previous criminal defense attorney with excellent knowledge of both the criminal mind and the law after having handled 30 murder cases.

Petty thief and con man Charlie Marsh becomes a national hero when he rescues the warden during a prison riot. Not long after, Charlie is wanted again, suspected for having killed a United States Congressman. After twelve years in the African country of Batanga, ruled by sadistic dictator Jean Claude Baptiste, Charlie flees for home to face his murder charge.

Criminal lawyer Amanda Jaffe is getting the chance of her career trying to keep Charlie off death row as well as protect him from Baptiste's deadly secret police.

The story keeps the reader on her/his toes, as well as awake until the wee hours. One may have ones suspicions, in fact many, as the pieces of this brilliantly created puzzle are slowly put together. But it is not until the very last pages that "who did it" is finally being revealed. An elegant solution/twist in true Margolin style.

Philip Margolin has worked as a full time writer since 1996 and is today known as one of the world's foremost masters in his field. Well deserved.

Lean back and enjoy!
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