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The Burning Man

3.81  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,386 Ratings  ·  78 Reviews
Chad Wheeler, an arrogant, self-centered associate in a large Portland, Oregon law firm, disobeys the orders of his father--a senior partner in the same firm--and commits a terrible blunder in a multi-million dollar law suit. Fired from his big city job, and disinherited from his father's will, he is sent in disgrace to work as a public defender in a small Oregon town, whe ...more
Audio, Abridged, 360 pages
Published August 1st 1996 by Random House Audio
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,296)
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A good legal thriller about a hungry young attorney who ultimately learns the right lessons about how to value what is important and how to be a better man. Peter Hale is born with a silver spoon in his mouth and follows in his father's footsteps - becomes an attorney like his father, Ivy league education, goes to work at his father's firm and loses everything when he steps into his father's shoes in an important case and screws things up. His father sends him packing to a small town and an old ...more
E Wilson

This was the last story in a book of Readers Digest Condensed
stories I received. I think that the condensed version cheats the
author and the reader. I thought that reading a condensed book would allow me to read something that I otherwise would never read, but I
don't think it's worth it.

This book started out strong. The rather unlikable character,
Peter,makes a horrible mistake at his father's law practice and he is exiled to the practice of one of his father's friends who is a public defender
Jill Manske
This is the 6th Margolin novel I've read, and I rated all of the others with 4 stars. Which is why this book was such a disappointment. It was predictable and amateurish, with an uninspired plot and characters that I just couldn't warm up to. The dialog was trite and often stilted, not the way people generally talk. And bad boy Peter Hale just wasn't believable. Margolin didn't do a good enough job describing him as the self-absorbed, lazy screw-up that the book asserts he is. There were just to ...more
Feb 05, 2014 Marilyn rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Peter Hale is a cocky young lawyer who thinks he’s capable of trying a murder case. But, the truth of the matter is his lifestyle dictates that he’d better get making some money or he’s going to have to make some drastic changes. Harnessed to his attorney father’s agency, Peter makes a fatal career decision when his father has a near-fatal heart attack. Destroying a woman’s hope for settlement from an accident, Peter is disowned by his father and sent to po-dunk America to work for an old colleg ...more
Excellent book, well written and kept my interest until the end. Plot was good and kept me guessing
Dec 07, 2011 Dave rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A nice story of a poor spoiled rich kid forced to grow up. And he does so wonderfully.
Dec 01, 2014 Lou rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Peter Hale is the epitome of a cocky, brash lawyer. He's everything people just HATE about lawyers. And when he muffs a trial that he should not have been part of after his father suffers a near fatal heart attack, his father sends him off to a lawyer that he knows in another part of the state so that Peter can redeem himself. Peter goes kicking and screaming but then realizes this is his chance to try and be the brash lawyer AGAIN. And it nearly bites him in the butt a second time...

Pick up the
Feb 03, 2009 Dennis rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Peter Hale is a young attorney struggling to make his own mark in his father's venerable law firm when he is presented with the opportunity of a lifetime.

During the trial of a multimillion-dollar case, Peter's father, the lead counsel, suffers a heart attack and asks Peter to move for a mistrial until he's feeling better. Peter decides this is his only chance to prove to his father that he is the terrific lawyer he knows himself to be, and he chooses to carry on with the case against his father'
Jul 23, 2014 Marca rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I found another author! Burning Man tells of a young attorney Peter Hale who hopes to leapfrog over paying his dues to be a star in his father's law firm. Peter's arrogance and naiveté cause him to lose one of his father's big cases after his father suffers a heart attack on the day of the trial. As he is wheeled to the ambulance, Peter's father instructs Peter to ask for a mistrial. Peter thinks he knows better and goes ahead with the case and loses everything for the client. Peter's father tea ...more
Aug 11, 2012 Judi rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-1998
A retarded man in a small Oregon town is accused of murder and he may very well pay with his life -- the evidence makes a persuasive case against him. Meanwhile he is defended by a lawyer who has just been thrown out of his father's firm for a selfish screw up.

The concept behind this book is interesting. But there is something about THE BURNING MAN that I did not like as much as his previous books and I suspect that it has do with the central character, Peter Hale. Part of Margolin's goal with
Sep 01, 2015 Rosemary rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dave Thorner
May 17, 2014 Dave Thorner rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was a very fun read.i havent read a philip margolin book I didnt like.the characters were easy to like or dislike which it is exactly how it is supposed to all of the books I have read by this author, there was a definite twist in the end.i would recommend this book highly.
It's hard to follow up a Gearino with just about anything, but Margolin is so different and The Burning Man turned out to be a good choice. Peter Hale is a young lawyer who has gotten everything in his charmed life the easy way. But, he's just accepted everything and made no effort to learn from his advantaged gifts. In real life - after school and in his father's prestigious law firm, he quickly shoots himself in the foot. And, not for the first time. His father finally cuts him lose and he's f ...more
Jul 04, 2015 Bruce rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
An OK Book. The plot was very simple.

The characters in this book were very simple and not very well developed. There are gaps in the time line of the story that left you thinking that you have skipped over pages.
Fredrick Danysh
Peter Hale is a youthful lawyer who is used to success. With confidence he takes on a huge lawsuit but loses. Against advice and his experience he takes on a challenging murder case.
Frederick Bingham
I listened to this on tape on a trip.The is the story of Peter Hale. He is a young attorney working in his father's firm in Portland Oregon. He screws up a case badly and ends up getting fired and exiled to a small town in the eastern part of the state. He gets a job with a small firm handling public defender criminal cases. He ends up with a death penalty defense of a retarded man. He is accused of killing a young blond with a hatchet. Peter gradually figures out what is going on and what he ne ...more
Aug 31, 2014 Lynne rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is from several years ago (1992 I think) but I had never read it...missed a good read back then! This author always seems to bring a good story to the page.
Lou Fletcher
Apr 02, 2014 Lou Fletcher rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good read for lovers of suspense. Margolin ratchets up the tension throughout and kept me turning the pages. The characters - including the K-9 cop, are well developed and complex. Recommend.
Bridgett Crutchfield
This book was fantastic. It started out exciting and never lost pace. Spoiled adult who learned respect is earned, not a given.
Barbara Nutting
Aug 13, 2015 Barbara Nutting rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
He's done it again - I think I have the whole thing figured out and then am thrown for a loop in the last few pages!!

3.5 Bintang
Seliga dengan John Grisham..
Ceritanya menarik, menegangkan, banyak menampilkan sisi manusiawinya
Joyce McKune
Jan 16, 2016 Joyce McKune rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A spoiled rich lawyer, son of a prominent lawyer, screwed up one of his fathers cases and was banished to a small town. He was offered a capital murder case and if he screwed this up he'd be finished.
Katherine Devereux
Can't beat Margolin for telling unpredictable tales filled with intrigue and excitement.
Sherrida McKnight
The story was a little predictable, even though I fingered the wrong person for the murder!
Ruth Donald
May 27, 2012 Ruth Donald rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: couldn-t-finish
I loved the opening pages of this book, but just over 80 pages in, I had to quit reading. I felt uncomfortable with some of the subject matter (a mentally challenged - not sure what the politically correct term is, but I know it's not what is now being called the "R word" - adult with sexual fantasies) and there are just too many good reads out there to spend time on one I wasn't enjoying.

I don't feel good about giving a one star review, and I have enjoyed some of Margolin's novels in the past,
Mar 23, 2014 Natasha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Liked it. A few plot twists.
Sep 06, 2015 Nancyduffy13 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good plot. Moved along quickly. Some nice twists and turns. I like this author a lot.
Feb 19, 2010 Joe rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
'The Burning Man' is a good story written in a style that works for me. Philip Margolin did a pretty good job of keeping it real. The inexperienced small town lawyer does not turn into some kind of super investigator, lawyer god or anything. The capital case and investigation was straight forward not unusual twists or turns. The characters were decent. I appreciate all that in a book, but 'all that' as a whole, came out bland this time.

There wasn't much of an investigation in this book.

James Fitzgerald
good character development enjoyed the book
Feb 18, 2014 Brett rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The book finished strong as the "hero" finally was able to see what was obvious to the reader early on. There were still a couple of twists that did surprise.
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