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Sleight of Hand: A Novel of Suspense (Dana Cutler Book 4) by [Margolin, Phillip]
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Sleight of Hand: A Novel of Suspense (Dana Cutler Book 4) Kindle Edition

4.0 out of 5 stars 193 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

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.)

From Booklist

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 Pitt

Product Details

  • File Size: 1120 KB
  • Print Length: 325 pages
  • Publisher: Harper (April 9, 2013)
  • Publication Date: April 9, 2013
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008HS2IC0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #64,170 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Phillip Margolin's 17th novel, Sleight of Hand, will hit the stores (and ereaders) on April 9. I have read all of Margolin's books and have enjoyed each and every one - to varying degrees. Some I've liked a lot, and others I've simply liked. This one is in the 2nd category. As I've mentioned ad nauseum (I'm sure you've read some of my posts and come down with that particular condition!), there is a definite comfort knowing that when you pick up a Margolin (or a Michael Palmer or a James Grippando or...), that you will be entertained. The writing is always good, and the story lines hold your attention. If some are better than others, that's really okay.

Sleight of Hand centers around Dana Cutler (for the 4th time), who is a private investigator in D.C. She gets involved in a very bizarre case involving a multi-millionaire businessman, his wife who is a federal prosecutor, and a well-known criminal defense attorney who dabbles in magic and illusions. 10 years earlier, Horace (the rich guy) actually confesses in court to a DUI so that he can get close to Carrie (the federal prosecutor). They end up getting married, and Horace has Carrie sign a pre-nup that says she will get 20 million dollars if she stays faithful to him for 10 years. The week before the 10-year anniversary, Carrie disappears. Charles (the criminal defense attorney) becomes very involved in ALL aspects of this case. Add in a royal scepter from the Ottoman Empire, and you've got a lot of story in a fairly short book (309 pages in the ARC - advanced reader's copy - with big print and only 30 lines per full page). I thought some of his details were a little far-fetched. But he took a complicated plot and held it together pretty well.

As I said, I liked this book.
Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
You know you are in trouble when the book starts with stuff like "who's who in the Washington legal community" and our main character is "strikingly handsome" blah blah blah. God, this stuff is such formulaic dreg that it should be hiding behind the Enquirer in the check out line. What's most disappointing is this guy at one time could actually write. This is such shameless whoring you should go back to being a lawyer. I think I really gave up on the dialog when Claire is drunk in the bar, she's "so far into her cups"... I mean, come on, who talks like this? Does this guy think he's Keats and Joyce incarnate? Sorry, those guys had a soul -you sold yours a long time ago.
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Format: Hardcover
This book starts out with what seems to be two separate, unrelated stories. Although both were interesting on their own, I kept wondering how they would come together and the first connection was made in chapter 13. From there it became even more of a "page-turner" for me as I wanted to discover how it would all end.

One story involves Dana Cutler, a private investigator hired to track down a stolen relic that turns out to be a dead end. She returns to Virginia only to become involved in the second story that involves the murder of Carrie Blair days before she would receive millions of dollars from her husband Horace according to the terms of their prenuptual agreement and he is charged with her murder. In a series of twists and turns, the two seemingly unrelated incidences develop a common thread and Dana finds herself facing a powerful enemy: Horace Blair's defense attorney Charles Benedict. Dana uncovers evidence that Horace may have been framed for the murder, but Benedict blocks her attempts to get the answers she needs. Soon she becomes a target of the real killer as she pursues truth.

This is the first book I've read by this author and was impressed with his ability to take multiple storylines and complex characters and bring them together in a way that held got and held my attention. The only negative for me was some of the language used, but the plot itself and how it all unfolded was everything I want in a good suspense novel.

I received a copy of this book for review from the publisher but the opinion of it is my own and was not solicited, nor was a positive review required.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book, to me, is the most interesting than all of Mr. Margolin's books. His main character, Charles Benedict, is a criminal attorney with no morals, along with being a magician, and a murderer. I thought this was great reading. I actually cheated and looked at the end of the book because I couldn't stand the suspense of not knowing how it would turn out. I also like his character, Dana Cutler. READ THIS BOOK!
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
...too bad those days are over. This is a stupid, superficial outing with a vapid, nonsensical storyline. From the totally ludicrous and unbelievable courtroom 'sleight of hand' in the beginning through the myriad of pointless plot devices, I wanted to call Mr. Margolin (and his publisher and editor) and demand my money back.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I have been a fan of Phillip Margolin for years and will buy and listen too anything he puts out. Another A+++ story. The best thing about audio books is that the reader makes the story come alive with emotion and inflection and you think you are in a movie.
I am an audio book junkie!!!
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