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Lost Lake

3.63 of 5 stars 3.63  ·  rating details  ·  1,665 ratings  ·  119 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
Paperback, 464 pages
Published April 29th 2008 by Harper (first published March 1st 2005)
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Lost Lake by Phillip MargolinWish Upon A Star by Olivia GoldsmithLost Lake by Sarah Addison AllenWish Upon a Star by Martina Reilly
1st out of 4 books — 2 voters
Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth GilbertThe Da Vinci Code by Dan BrownTwilight by Stephenie MeyerThe Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey NiffeneggerThe Notebook by Nicholas Sparks
Everyone's Read It But Me
480th out of 560 books — 4,042 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,719)
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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
Mary JL
Dec 23, 2009 Mary JL rated it 3 of 5 stars
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
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
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.
Robert Dugoni
Phil Margolin is one of the best at intricate but understandable plotting. I enjoyed this and his other books thoroughly.
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
Sara Jo 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
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
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
I do wish that GoodReads had 1/2 stars. I would rate this book 1 1/2. Perhaps if the book wasn't written in third person it would have been easier to find even one character in this book to bond with; but alas that is not the case. Perhaps the author himself doesn't bon with any of the characters as he chooses to refer to the characters by their full name almost all of the time throughout the story. Perhaps it is just the lack of the authors ability to make words and narratives flow naturally an ...more
In Phillip Margolin's Lost Lake, he told us a cryptic tale of a hidden conspiracy in this legal thriller. In Portland, Oregon, attorney Ami Vergano watched in horror as violent erupted in a Little League ball game. Back in Washington D.C., Vanessa Kohler viewed the news incident and believed she found a witness to the deadly conspiracy. Caught between a mad woman and a confess mass murderer, it was up to Ami to race against time to unearth the truth that may or may not happen 20 years ago in a s ...more
Hi, I'm new here & actually came to this site specifically to read reviews on this book. My husband checked it out at the library & while on a trip, after he'd finished it, I picked it up out of boredom. It's been a while since I've read a "thriller" or whatever label would be given such a novel, but I certainly expected something else after seeing that the author was a "NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING" defense attorney.

Somebody else here on the "Community Reviews" said they wished goodreads
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.
Disappointing, since I saw the author has best sellers.
Reads to me like a failed romance novel.
Some looming errors almost caused me to stop the reading but I trudged on.
Once the lawyer began to disbelieve her clients even after a savage attempt on her life in her home, seemingly forgetting the significance of this completely in the rest of the book, the whole premise of the two hero's being written off as mental cases started falling apart.
All these court, government and law offici
3.5 stars. An unstable woman who hates her father recognizes a man she thought was dead. The murder of a congressman turns into the uncovering of a secret assassin squad.

(view spoiler)

Teenagers fall for each other, it is Vietnam time frame, young man has a scholarship but he get's drafted and girlfriends father, a General puts the young man into a secret unit.

Time flies, the general covers his back by killing most of the unit, and the soldier is on the run under a different name. Unfortunately,his actions bring him to the public's attention. He is framed,and his ex-girlfriend tries to come to his rescue.

Very interesting story on Government coverups and conspiracy.
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
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
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
Feb 25, 2010 Stacey rated it 4 of 5 stars
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
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
Had to travel on the 19-20 for work so took this book since it was a paperback and the other that I was reading was hard cover. Good book for the plane/airport. Bit far fetched but liked the characters. Honestly the most annoying thing to me was that Lost Lake wasn't Oregon but California.
I always feel bad giving a 1 star review, but the book just bored me to death. I couldn't even finish it. I stopped halfway through and decided I just didn't care about the characters. It wasn't bad writing, but the characters and the plot just didn't hold my interest. I will give this author another try, but not for awhile.
I didn't like this book much. It felt like a very watered-down version of a good thriller, like an outline that was barely developed and then was just padded with circumstances that barely made sense to stretch it into a book
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
Dark Star
I enjoyed this story. We have a General with way too much power that tries to control all. His daughter, his soldiers, the future of our country. Lots of twists and turns. I will definitely be checking out more of Phillip's books.
Kathleen Loucks
daughter of a presidential candidate who he says is crazy says he runs a secret assassination group her high school boyfriend is a part of it, lawyer in Portland OR helps them prove it.
Mary Ladouceur
Imaginative conspiracy

This novel didn't, for me, live up to the standard of most of Mr. Carolina's earlier novels but was still a good read and worth reading.
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