Lost Lake
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Lost Lake

3.64 of 5 stars 3.64  ·  rating details  ·  1,227 ratings  ·  95 reviews
On a summer night in Portland, Oregon, violence erupts at a Little League game -- and attorney Ami Vergano watches in horror as the quiet, gentle artist she recently befriended does the unexpected and unthinkable . . .

In a cheap motel room in Washington, D.C., Vanessa Kohler -- ex-mental patient, supermarket tabloid reporter, and estranged daughter of a powerful general ru...more
ebook, 464 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by HarperCollins e-books (first published March 1st 2005)
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Lewis Weinstein
... a thoroughly enjoyable read ... complicated, lots of action, full of surprises, even some unexpected emotion. Perfect for my "not research for my writing" reading.

Margolin used an interesting writing technique in this book that deserves mention ...

There are certain crucial events and characters that are presented early in the story, but not clearly. Margolin brings the reader back to those events several times, from different points of view, each time adding something more and reducing some...more
Robert Dugoni
Phil Margolin is one of the best at intricate but understandable plotting. I enjoyed this and his other books thoroughly.
Mary JL
Dec 23, 2009 Mary JL rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: any fan of mysteries OR political thrillers
Recommended to Mary JL by: I am a fan of this author.
Shelves: mystery-horror
Phillip Margolin writes fast paced thrillers with interesting twists and "Lost Lake" is no exception.

The most interesting thing about this story is an event is described; and can be interpeted one of two ways.

For example, after the events at Lost Lake, Vanessa is confined to a mental hospital for a year.

He father says he loves her and hated to do so but it is for her own good.

Vanessa says that the doctors drugged her on her father's order so no one would believe her when she tried to tell them a...more
When packing for a long road trip I always like to take authors like Philip Margolin along for the ride. His books on CD keep you alert and engaged and Lost Lake is no exception.

While there is a crime committed in Lost Lake (several in fact) there is no mystery to solve because you already know who-dunnit. The underlying question is why was the crime committed, and are the stories being told by the chief protagonists (Carl Rice and Vanessa Kohler) the real deal or just the delusions of a couple...more
Rupert Gilliand
Lost Lake has aplot that tries to be complex but ends up being convoluted and cliched.
The twists offered by the author hold no surprises and the characters seem forced in their every interaction with one another.
The dialogue is average at best, itself not necessarily a bad thing but it is paired with poor action that displays the author's lack of research.

For example: Mr. Margolin created a character with a black belt in karate but did not put the effort into research of even ten minutes online...more
While I'm never disappointed in Margolin, this one was absolutely one of his best - it ranks right up there with "Gone, But Not Forgotten" and "The Undertaker's Widow" in my book. This one had me guessing right up until the end. *Was* General Wingate leading a team of commando assassins to do his political bidding, or is this all the crazy delusions of a distraught daughter and a psychotic ex-military man suffering from PTSD?

An intense political thriller, and a page turner from cover to cover.
This suspense novel is definitely not the author's best effort, but interesting characters and a military cover-up made this an easy and enjoyable read for me on a rainy afternoon.
His 11th thriller uneven - complex plot but choppy storyline...

We're Margolin fans, having read all ten of his prior novels, and generally find his work entertaining and satisfying. We agree that this one is slow to get going -- only the latter part of the book zings along with exciting action. Perhaps the problem with this thriller's complex plot is that to make any sense of the present we have to wade through lengthy recounts of the past for main characters Dan Morelli (aka Carl Rice) and Vane...more
Carl Alves
Lost Lake was entertaining, moved along nicely, had a strong plot and good tension. There was a lot to like about it. It's the story of a man Carl Rice, who was part of a general who is now running for president's secret army of assassins. Years later, he is arrested. A lawyer who befriended him agrees to take his case while General Wingate targets him for assassination. Although I enjoyed, there were some parts that I thought were unbelievable and brought the book down a peg. For instance, the...more
Sara Schmidt
Grabbed this one for 50 cents off the clearance shelf at Half Price Books. I thought it was going to be a horror story, but it wasn't. I'm not disappointed, however. It turned out to be a pretty riveting thriller.

I want to find more paperbacks from this author.

A young woman is destroyed by her father who is a general for a secret government intelligence agency (even more secret than the CIA). She witnesses her ex boyfriend doing some of her fathers dirty work and he subsequently forced her int...more
Robert Cohen
I picked up a large selection of audio books at a yard sale this past summer. Lost Lake is one of them. I had never heard of Phillip Margolin, but the description of the story printed on the box captivated me. I was not disappointed.
I must confess that I often enjoy the audio book more than I would the printed book, particularly if the reader is good (and Deborah Hazlett is quite good). I listen in my car, and am typically transported by a good story. This is a good story. It is a page turner (d...more
From a blog post I wrote in 2005:

Philip Margolin's latest book, Lost Lake, is an intriguing read with plenty of conspiracies and violence. The story revolves around a member, Carl Rice, of a secret governmental "Unit" set up during Vietnam that engaged in illegal drug running and assassinations. Rice has been on the lam since the 80s but is arrested for assault during a kids Little League game when he defends the coach from a bullying parent. His arrest draws the attention of Vanessa Kohler, his...more
I become more and more fascinated by this author with each book I read. In "Lost Lake" it is clear from the beginning that I was going to be turning pages as fast as I could. Throughout the story (read other reviews)I had to determine who was lying and who was telling the truth. Was the daughter who had been institutionalized by her father, the General, after seeing a brutal murder of her boss telling the truth or is she really crazy? Was there really a secret black ops unit run by her father? W...more
Linda Fast
Lost Lake was an ok read but at times I felt that it just dragged slowly along and was repetive of the same information.
A lawyer, named Ami Vergano who is set up at a craft show meets another artisan, Dan Morelli who is selling handmade furniture. Morelli has just taken on clients who are interested in purchasing his wares but he needs a place to stay so he can make the furnitur., Ami offers him a place to stay in an apt. she has on her property. Ami has a young son who is in Little League and M...more
Feb 25, 2010 Stacey rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Stacey by: Amy
Shelves: 2010-books
Vanessa Kohler's father is a General running for President. Daniel Morelli was a classmate of Vanessa's and her high school sweet heart. Daniel was also a member of the General top secret military Unit.

Daniel had been on the run since 1985 after completing an assignment for the Unit. Vanessa was instituionalized in 1985 after witnessing Daniel carry out his mission and she has been trying to prove the existence of her father's Unit and his wrong doings ever since.

Now Vanessa and Daniel must conv...more
James Korsmo
In this mystery thriller, a young Portland attorney finds herself in the middle of a strange case after a man she had recently befriended violently attacks two men at her son's little league game. He claims he is part of a super-secret government group called the Unit. As events unfold, it turns out Morelli, is really Carl Rice, and he is wanted in connection with a number of brutal murders. But he tells a different tale, of killings that were part of his work with the unit. Margolin's book turn...more
Darcia Helle
I have been a Margolin fan for many years but, for me, this book was not among his best. The details were overly repetitive. Characters rehashed the same issues over and over and I found myself skimming multiple sections. About a third of the way through the book, we were taken to various points decades back. These sections went on with tremendous detail, making it hard to stay connected to the characters in the present story. Also, I had a problem with the timeline. One of the main characters w...more
Jill Manske
What starts out as a murder mystery quickly evolves into a much darker, more sinister tale of lies, deception and political intrigue. Nothing is as it seems. And as the old psychological adage goes, "Just because you're paranoid, it doesn't mean people aren't out to get you." Margolin expertly crafts this novel to provide the biggest impact in terms of suspense, mystery and scandal. The characters are very complex and very well thought out. There are surprises lurking around every corner. I like...more
Really liked the story, pretty intense but just enough language to turn me off from the author.
One of the best suspense/mystery writers around. He never disappoints!
Ami, an attorney with a young son (why do all single female attorney characters have young sons?) befriends a drifter/artist Dan. Dan, as it turns out, has a secret past. Ami finds herself defending Dan in a case of presidential (literally) magnitude. Also in the mix is Dan's former girlfriend Vanessa who spent time in an insane asylum. Oh, and Vanessa's father. Good plot, lots of twists and turns, but still enjoyed. Ami's son is a minor character and not too annoying. Graphic violence in places...more
John Orman
Although I had hoped the Lost Lake of the title would be the Lost Lake east of Portland, the book was still a great read, beginning with mysterious events at the Lost Lake near San Francisco.

A murderous brawl at a Little League game in Portland, OR kicks off an investigation that traces back to the Lost Lake incident. Turns out there is a government conspiracy to cover up the actions of a secret military group led by a presidential candidate.

Quite an entertaining page-turner!
This is a great legal thriller which deals with a political coverup conspiracy, action and drama, and lots of intrigue for a four day read. I have one more Margolin book on my TBR list, the Associate, in which I'll get to later this month. P.S. I've started requesting February books this past weekend and will do more tomorrow. Once they're in, other than the books I won/brought for this month, I'll add them in to the pile, with January and my leftover 14 books from last year.
An escapist thriller (but aren't they all?). Comparisons to "The Manchurian Candidate" and generally positive reviews attracted me to this book while I was feeling unwell and needing distraction. A competent thriller that kept me wondering whether some characters were delusional or had actually been harmed by real conspiracies. The plot maintained reasonable tension up to the end. I saw no deep questions or themes, only a pleasant fictional roller-coaster ride.
Tom Hames
It's not very often that a book so grabs my attention that I can't put it down, but it happened this time. It wasn't the best book that I ever read, but the story line, flow of the events and the author's writing style kept me wanting to read more. In fact, I started it after work and didn't lay my head on the pillow I turned the last page. Parts of it were repetitive, but almost had to be because of what was happening.
Lost Lake is one of those mysteries with plenty of who did it to who with what in this whodunit. I liked the twists and turns that are thrown at the reader in such a way as to make the story interesting, without losing the reader somewhere along the trail. Margolin deftly weaves emotion and action together and comes up with a great book. Pick it up and give it a shot, who knows you might like it too.
listened to this on another long drive. the narrator's attempts to differeniate characters by changing the pitch or accent of her voice was distracting and i often found myself laughing aloud because of it, not the story. the plot is simple enough to follow. it's one of those books you read as filler, a summer beach book. i don't recommend it unless you've a long drive and nothing else to listen to.
Well, this isn't my full review, but I can't stand when editors and authors for that matter can't find their mistakes. Late in the book, when some people are trying to find the "true" identity of a man, as they are telling about events that have transpired, they use his real name, even though they don't know it yet! Uggg, frustrating. Keep the names straight already!
Another Dark & Stormy Night Meet the Author coming up, and I wanted to make sure I had read at least one of the author's novels before attending. The book was great - an element of 'which side am I on here?'held me almost all the way through - and I am looking forward to tomorrow's session ... and also to discovering more of Margolin's writings.
This book sat on my bedside table for over a year. In my reading frenzy as of late, I have succomed to reading Lost Lake - and let me tell you - this was a good book! I wish I read earlier! Did I learn anything - nope - no new insights. Did I enjoy myself? absolutely! Stayed up late a few nights to finish - ! That only takes a 4 star book!
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