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The Burning Man Hardcover – August 1, 1996
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"The Lying Game" by Ruth Ware
From the instant New York Times bestselling author of blockbuster thrillers In a Dark, Dark Wood and The Woman in Cabin 10 comes Ruth Ware’s chilling new novel, The Lying Game. Pre-order today
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From Library Journal
Playing off the spookiness of recent recovered memory trials, Margolin, in his fifth thriller (e.g., After Dark, LJ 3/15/95), layers the good, the bad, and the ugly of lawyering into a crackling tale of redemption for two young men. The tale is set in Eastern Oregon, where a mildly retarded man is charged with the brutal slaying of a young woman. His lawyer, having never tried a capital crime case before, fumbles badly, but a glimmer of native wit gets him back on track. Working the genre with a discipline some popular authors have begun to ignore, Margolin relies on a few crafty stereotypes to keep up the pace and simplify the action. The dialogs in the jailhouse and the interrogation scenes, though, are intense and fierce. The moral zigzags of desperate people are laid out to contrast with the lawyer and his client as they feint and weave to avoid the ultimate penalty. This is a can't-go-wrong choice for popular collections.?Barbara Conaty, Library of Congress
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Margolin may well be the Danielle Steel of mysteries. His books have the same trite but oh-so-true characters, familiar but nonetheless gripping plots, consummately bad villains, and perfectly flawed heroes. Young attorney Peter Hale, spoiled, conceited, and with a perpetual chip on his shoulder, wants to prove he's as good a lawyer as his father. So when Dad suffers a heart attack, Peter takes on one of the old man's toughest cases and ends up costing a paralyzed woman her million-dollar settlement. Furious, the senior Hale writes Peter out of his will and exiles him to a small town to work as a public defender. Peter doesn't know which is worse, not having his cappucino machine or dealing with nasty criminals. So he goes behind his new boss' back (Won't this guy ever learn?) and takes on the defense of a retarded man accused of murder. If Peter loses the case, the accused goes to Death Row, but if he wins, it's a chance to redeem himself in Dad's eyes. Of course, things go wrong from the git-go, and Peter's stupidity nearly ruins everything. But finally, from the depths of his jerky little soul, something worthwhile emerges. With terrific courtroom scenes, great lawyerly dialogue, and a plot that won't quit, Margolin's latest is sure to parallel a Danielle Steel novel in one more way: bankable mass-market appeal. Emily Melton
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Top customer reviews
The character of Michael Gideon is a complex one. While the witty yet caustic one-liner replies are quite clever, like referring to the crime scene as "Golgotha" (FYI, it's where Jesus got crucified), they are merely a cover for his wounded psyche. Most people simply won't associate with him on their first impression that he's just grumpy. It's the friends that can see through that gruff exterior that see him as a real person. And yes, there's Sirius, who doesn't speak, but is a great character nonetheless, sometimes playing the straight man to Gideon's bad jokes, but more often than not reading Gideon's moods and doesn't let him brood, as well as saving Gideon's life twice in this novel alone (once in the fire).
Other supporting characters are good too, and as in any good mystery, there were many red herrings. However, there sure seemed to be a LOT of extra characters, and not quite enough red herrings. There were no telegraphed moves, i.e. "I saw that coming a mile away", and the resolution is very reminiscent of some of the Sherlock Holmes stories where doing the "right" thing is not always the same as justice.
I expected the Weatherman thread to be left dangling, and as I already have the next book guess I'll see what happens next.
Perhaps I would have liked this book more if I hadn't just read Suspect by Robert Crais which is the best police dog book I've ever read.
Overall, I'm just glad I bought this at a deeply discounted price.