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Margolin kicks off his latest thriller with a bit of literary legerdemain. He introduces Charles Benedict, a strikingly handsome and charismatic defense attorney and amateur magician who appears to be the novel's leading man. But Benedict is swiftly exposed as an extremely effective homicidal sociopath, and the book shifts to its true protagonist, private sleuth Dana Cutler, who is quickly dispatched on a convoluted cross-country search for a bejeweled golden scepter with a history curiously similar to that of Sam Spade's famous Maltese Falcon. It's a given that this quest will eventually bring the shrewd detective in contact with the homicidal Benedict. Jonathan Davis's narration is smooth and well paced. He adds just the right amount of smarm and smirk to Benedict's speech and captures all of Dana's drive, determination, and fearlessness. The book's other characters have more than their share of accents—from the mysterious Frenchwoman who sends Dana after the scepter to a surprisingly cheery Russian mob boss. Davis ably handles these and others in a stylish performance with just an appropriate hint of sardonic amusement. A Harper hardcover. (Apr.) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
After criminal defense attorney Charles Benedict accidentally kills a woman in the heat of the moment (while attempting to blackmail her to the tune of $250,000), he frames the woman’s husband for the murder. The victim, Carrie Blair, was a prosecutor, and her husband, Horace, is a very wealthy man, meaning that Benedict still sees a way to make some cash out of the deal. Meanwhile, private investigator Dana Cutler—Margolin fans will remember her from several novels, including Capitol Murder (2012)—is trying to track down a missing ancient relic, and her investigation leads her to the Blair murder case. There’s a really good story here—clever defense lawyer frames man for murder, then takes the man on as his client—but it’s obscured by a lot of unnecessary material. The connection between Cutler’s missing relic and the Blair case, for example, is unnecessarily complicated and massively distracting. It’s as if Margolin had two stories, Benedict’s and Cutler’s, and rather than writing a novel about each, he decided to mash them together. As with so many of his recent novels, this one’s for devoted fans only. --David PittSee all Editorial Reviews
Good read...kept my interest throughout wondering about the plots...and I say plots, plural. So much was going on and I kept wondering how the author was going to pull it all... Read morePublished 4 months ago by Ronnilu
i love all of phillip margolin's books. 'sleight of hand' was a very fast moving and enjoyable book. i am looking forward to
reading more by phillip margolin.
I was so glad I read it, never disappointed, can't wait to read more of his books they never let me down.Published 5 months ago by Rg
I am a definite reader fan of author Phillip Margolin's novels and was so excited at the prospect of reading one of the few titles that I had not yet read. Read morePublished 5 months ago by Corduroy
I love Phillip Margolin books. The characters are great I loved them and hated some. I couldn't put it down.Published 6 months ago by StaciB
Great story! Couldn't stop reading this book! Now I want to read all the other Dana Cutler books! Love it!!!!!Published 6 months ago by ute townsend
Phillip Margolin does it again w/another Dana Cutler book. She is an amazing character w/great spirit. This has been one of my favorites in the series so far. Thanks again!Published 6 months ago by Connibeth