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Supreme Justice: A Novel of Suspense Mass Market Paperback

4.1 out of 5 stars 152 customer reviews
Book 2 of 4 in the Dana Cutler Series

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this entertaining if predictable sequel to Executive Privilege (2008) from Margolin, policewoman Sarah Woodruff, who's on death row in Oregon, has been tried twice for murdering her lover, John Finley. Sarah's life depends on an appeal to the Supreme Court, but her appeal, if heard, could expose a criminal plot within the CIA. An unexpected vacancy in the court provides one opportunity to quash Woodruff's attempted appeal. For the man at the center of the plot, however, this isn't enough, and a Supreme Court justice becomes a target for assassination. Once again PI Dana Cutler and law clerk Brad Miller find themselves investigating dastardly doings in Washington, D.C., involving a host of conventional characters, from scheming Beltway sachems to a ghetto-raised African-American justice. Thriller fans who like to see the villains receive their just rewards and the good guys come to no harm will find this a comforting read. (June)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

From Booklist

Margolin is usually a sure thing, but this sequel to Executive Privilege (2008) is surprisingly weak. Brad Miller, the lawyer who played a key role in bringing down the U.S. president, is now a clerk for a Supreme Court justice. When seemingly unprovoked attacks on two justices appear to be connected to a pending death-row appeal, Brad and several other characters from the preceding novel race against time to get to the truth. For a debut novelist, this would be an adequate first effort. For a genre veteran like Margolin, it reads like a rough draft: thin characters, dialogue that is frequently stilted, and major structural problems (including a flashback sequence, located in the middle of the book, that amounts to a full third of the novel’s length). Devoted fans will look past the novel’s many flaws to enjoy the intricate story, but this is a far cry from Margolin’s excellent early novels, including Gone, but Not Forgotten (1993) and After Dark (1995). --David Pitt --This text refers to the Audio CD edition.

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Harper; Reprint edition
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008SLEY1Y
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.8 x 7.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (152 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,260,217 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. Lee on May 11, 2010
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I read Margolin's previous Executive Privilege and really enjoyed it. This is a good, solid engaging legal thriller, but, for me, didn't live up to the prior one.

Short summary: Brad Miller is back from Executive Privilege where he helped crack the case that brought the former President down. Now, he's working for a Supreme Court Justice - and a case emerges that it appears someone is going to great lengths to prevent the Supreme Court from allowing it to be re-examined. Who is doing that and why?

Here's the ups and downs of it to me:

- Though able to be read as a stand alone, it'll be harder to enjoy that way, since references from the previous book kept getting made about the various characters. I found it distracting, and don't think they're terribly helpful to the new Margolin reader.

- It is well-plotted, so all the pieces get wrapped up nicely, and there's a few twists. But, I didn't find it as page-turning as some thrillers can be.

Bottom-line: It's as good as a lot of the average Turow or Grishams works, and if you like them, you'll probably like this one. But, I would really recommend Executive Privilege before and over this one.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
At the heart of this highly plot-driven book is the petition before the Supreme Court for a writ of certiorari by a woman on death row in Oregon convicted of murdering her lover. Stemming from the heart is a series of side stories that go back and forth in time involving Supreme Court Justices, their law clerks, the FBI, DAs, a female private detective and a former head of the CIA. In its favor, Supreme Justice is a fast-paced, entertaining book that adequately satisfies your craving for a brief diversion from life's daily realities. Margolin does a pretty good job in tying the main plot and all of its side stories into a decent, though partially predictable, conclusion. It is an ideal read for a plane ride or a trip to the beach. However, in my opinion, due to Margolin's somewhat shallow characters that are, at best, serviceable, and to some of the mulitple story lines being a bit contrived, Supreme Justice is not a book that will provide readers with a full, rich sense of satisfaction that will stay with them for a while after they've finished it. For me, reading Supreme Justice was like drinking a light beer, in that it served to quench my thirst for the moment, but it did not leave me feeling sated like a more full-bodied beer does. Nor did it make me feel the need for another "Margolin" anytime soon.
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
"Supreme Justice" is a readable book, but is not an unforgettable book. It starts out with an exciting first chapter leading one to expect a taut political or espionage thriller. The book then skips around and introduces new characters including lawyers, Supreme Court Justices, DAs, private detectives, law clerks, etc. It skips around in time and space. The first chapter character later reappears. There is a female cop, Sarah, who is indicted for murdering her lover, the man in the first chapter, and is up for the death penalty. Her case is dismissed because the man turned up alive. Then he dies and she is indicted again. In addition a government agency with black suvs and contract killers has made the first chapter incident "disappear" and one of the Supremes and another powerful lawyer want to keep it disappeared. There is an attempt on the life of another of the Supremes. Eventually everything ties together and some disposition is seen of all of the characters except for one real bad guy assassin who is in the wind.

Read it on the airplane or while waiting to see your doctor, dentist, lawyer, etc..
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Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Via the Amazon Vine review program, I was able to get an advanced reader copy of Phillip Margolin's latest novel, Supreme Justice: A Novel of Suspense. Overall, this is an enjoyable read, good for a few hours of suspense and escape. It didn't grab me quite as hard as many of his earlier works, and that might be due to the length of time since I read the last Margolin novel. He carries over a number of the characters, and I was hazy on the backstories. Even so, I enjoyed the read and the character issue wasn't that big of a deal.

There are a number of plots and subplots going on in Supreme Justice that all merge and get tied together at the end. There's a ghost ship docked in a small Oregon town that mysteriously disappears courtesy of the US government when local police try to investigate a mass killing on board. Apparently only a single person survived the killings, and now he's also been murdered. A Supreme Court Justice is lobbied hard to reject a plea to reopen the case where Sarah Woodruff was convicted of his murder, but her refusal to roll over leads to an attempt on her life. A surprise resignation on the bench leaves an opening that a former head of the CIA wants to have filled with a hand-picked (and likely in-his-pocket) choice. It seems as if everyone wants to keep Sarah Woodruff on death row for fear of what a new trial might bring to light...

My haziness on the main characters made the motivations somewhat hard to follow. As such, I had to just go with the story and let it unfold without trying to analyze why certain things might be happening. There were some decent twists at the end, and you had to re-examine a lot of what had come before based on what new information came to light. Supreme Justice was a nice way to spend a few hours without feeling like I had to keep reading to find out what happened next...

Obtained From: Amazon Vine Review Program
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