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Ties That Bind (Amanda Jaffe) Hardcover – March 11, 2003

69 customer reviews
Book 3 of 5 in the Amanda Jaffe Series

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Editorial Reviews Review

Bestselling author Phillip Margolin brings back Portland lawyer Amanda Jaffe for a repeat performance (after Wild Justice) in this mystery about a group of college killers who grow into a cadre of powerful political and business leaders bent on keeping their boyhood adventures concealed--as well as their present-day connection with a gang of cutthroat South American drug lords. There's big biotech money involved, enough to keep the so-called Vaughn Street Glee Club intent on making sure anyone who knows about their plans is silenced. Permanently, if necessary. It's up to Amanda to unmask the reason why the Glee Club is so anxious for her client Jon Dupre, the accused killer of a U.S. senator, to go down for murder. And what she learns about the lengths to which they'll go to keep their secrets, including killing members of their own family, threatens her life as well. Margolin strings a clumsy plot on a weak thread--why three affluent college boys become killers is never adequately explained--and the heroine, whose dogged perseverance is admirable, is otherwise too boring to capture the reader's interest. --Jane Adams

From Publishers Weekly

Murder and intricately plotted mayhem are abundant in this latest by attorney-turned-novelist Margolin (Wild Justice), which should satisfy the most discerning and bloodthirsty of legal literati. There's a huge cast of characters, but readers shouldn't get attached-most will end up dead. Oregon attorney Amanda Jaffe reluctantly agrees to defend Portland pimp and drug dealer Jon Dupre, accused of killing one of his high-end call girls. Since Dupre also murdered his previous lawyer in a fit of pique, defending him takes guts. Jaffe's opponent in the case is state's attorney Tim Harrigan. A handsome ex-football star, Harrigan intends to parlay this sensational trial into national prominence and election to the Senate. Unfortunately, Harrigan harbors a fatal weakness and a dark secret, both of which undermine his performance as prosecuting attorney and his ascension to high-level politics. Behind all this subterfuge lurks a covert club of prominent, fat-cat officials who secretly manipulate unsuspecting men and women into implementing the club's criminal master plan to elect one of their own to the U.S. presidency. It matters little that the premise is over-the-top and that most of the characterizations are familiar. Margolin's legal expertise and narrative skill keeps the plot twisting, the action rolling and readers precariously perched on the edge of their seats.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • Series: Amanda Jaffe
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; 1st edition (March 11, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060083247
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060083243
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,211,324 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

16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on March 15, 2003
Format: Hardcover
TIES THAT BIND is a vehicle for Phillip Margolin's reintroduction of Amanda Jaffe, last seen in WILD JUSTICE. Jaffe is still adversely affected by the events that befell her in that novel and is making efforts to deal with them. Daniel Ames from THE ASSOCIATE also makes a cameo appearance, but this is primarily Jaffe's book. Jaffe is an interesting character, but in TIES THAT BIND, she tends to get lost among the more interesting people and events around her.
There aren't a lot of sympathetic characters in TIES THAT BIND. The bad guys are really bad and as is often the case, they're more interesting than the white hats. Jon Dupre, a violent pimp accused of murdering Senator Harold Travis, is a world-class scumbag. It's difficult to let your sense of justice rise to the occasion and see him acquitted of a crime for which he might be wrongfully accused. However, the evidence against him looks strong and, while in police custody, he kills his court-appointed attorney. To paraphrase Tom Sawyer's Aunt Polly, he wouldn't miss a lick if he rode the lightning, even if it was for the wrong crime.
There accordingly isn't a lot of tension for any sort of race against time to find the real killer. On top of that, Travis is an extortionist and a murderer in his own right, so his death is not going to elicit any particular sympathy, one way or the other. When Jaffe is requested by the court to take over his defense, it looks like an uphill battle for her. When she begins to investigate Dupre's alibi and claims of innocence, however, she is pressured --- violently --- to drop her investigation and let justice take its course.
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14 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Nick G on March 12, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Recovering from her run-in with "The Surgeon", lawyer Amanda Jaffe still has nightmares of the traumatic experience, but she returns to work, only to defend a man accused of killing a U.S. senator.
Amanda believes her client�s innocence, and when he tells of having evidence that will link the senator to South American drug lords, she knows she must investigate.
The deeper Amanda becomes involved in this case, the deeper she throws herself into danger, as she will be forced to face a world of sex, escorts, lies, murder and a political conspiracy that has involved high-ranking judges, and public officials for over thirty years.
As the powerful men behind the plan close in on her, Amanda makes a shocking discovery�one that has a direct path to the presidency.
�Ties That Bind� is another powerful shocker from master thrill writer Phillip Margolin. Combining legal thrills with the dark underside of the political world, �Ties That Bind� grabs you from the first page and holds you captive with each murder, plot twist and shocking discovery. As with all Margolin novels the writing is clean, the plotting razor sharp and the pace super-fast, and of course a surprise ending.
Phillip Margolin, a lawyer-turned-author, remains one of my favorite authors, he never strays from what he does best; writing great thrillers. Each new novel is action packed and full of thrills and �Ties That Bind� is no different�it�s intricately plotted with twists galore so expect to see this at the top of the best-seller lists.
Nick Gonnella
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Roz Levine on April 22, 2003
Format: Hardcover
When Portland, Oregon defense attorney, Amanda Jaffe, is asked by the court to defend Jon Dupre, a drug dealer and owner of an upscale escort service, her first instinct is to just say no. This case is a slam dunk for the prosecution. Dupre is accused of not only murdering a U.S. Senator, but of also stabbing and killing his high-profile, big named attorney right in the jailhouse conference room under the watchful eyes of a guard. No other lawyer will touch the case, for obvious reasons. Dupre claims he's innocent and being framed. He says his attorney came at him with the shiv, and he was only defending himself. Amanda finds one aspect of the case intriguing. Dupre's arms and hands are covered with defensive wounds that add some credibility to his story. But the obvious question hangs in the air. Why would his own attorney try to murder him? As she begins to investigate, Amanda stumbles over a connection between her client's case and some of Portland's high-powered elite that goes back thirty years. And the deeper she digs into the past, the more she comes to realize that these men will do anything to protect themselves, their secrets, and their way of life. Finding justice for Jon Dupre won't be easy, and has placed not only her life, but everyone she loves in harms way..... Buckle your seatbelt and pull it tight, Phillip Margolin is about to take you on a roller coaster of a ride. This is an action packed thriller filled with twists, turns, and more than a few surprises. Unfortunately, the story line never really rings true, is awkward at times and a bit over-the-top. When it comes to the climax and implausable ending, you definitely have to be willing to suspend disbelief. Mr Margolin's cast of too many characters tend to be one dimensional and uninspired.Read more ›
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