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After Dark

3.92  ·  Rating Details  ·  3,291 Ratings  ·  87 Reviews
The first woman ever hired by legendary defense lawyer Matthew Reynolds, Tracy Cavanaugh cuts her teeth on a horrifying crime: the car-bomb murder of Oregon Supreme Court Justice Robert Griffen. Reynold's client - and the chief suspect - is none other than the icy but celebrated prosecutor Abigail Griffen, the Justice's estranged wife. Tracy's research plunges her into a w ...more
Paperback, 384 pages
Published May 2nd 1996 by Bantam (first published June 1st 1995)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jill Manske
Apr 16, 2015 Jill Manske rated it really liked it
Margolin knows a thing or two about criminal defense. And with "After Dark", he demonstrates that he also knows a bit about writing a legal thriller. I've read Margolin before, but this is one of his best books. It really keeps you guessing till the very end. For someone who enjoys trying to figure out endings early on, this one stymied me. Margolin created several very intriguing characters, all with flaws of one kind or another. The plot was original and flowed smoothly, with settings and dial ...more
Mar 05, 2011 VLynch rated it it was amazing
This book was great, however... After my husband and kids were in bed. And I was a bit stressed and unable to sleep. I read it straight in one night. Managed to get less than 2 hrs of sleep that night, the book was that good! Be sure to read the descriptions of the characters in this book, and imagine them in your head. For me, this book played out in my mind like a Crime Show on TV. And the ending made me gasp! It was so wrong, it was so good. I highly recommend this book.
Jun 15, 2013 Terry rated it it was amazing
I just had to give this book a 5 star. It was so good.
Why aren't I reading more Phillip Margolin? This book
was fascinating, kept my interest, and really fooled me
when I thought I had it figured out! Excellent!
Carl Brookins
Aug 23, 2012 Carl Brookins rated it really liked it
Author Phillip Margolin is a criminal defense lawyer in Portland, Oregon, where this novel is set. The book reflects its knowledgeable creator. Descriptions set a well-thought-out series of locations, so the reader has a real sense of place and relationship of one to the others. The characters stand up and become real, well-modulated individuals. The novel takes on current trends to bring back and expand the death penalty. But while it is clear where the author stands on the issue, this is not a ...more
Jan 08, 2016 Mike rated it liked it
It's an okay read, nothing spectacular. The author likes to introduce lots and lots of characters, not all of whom have anything significant to contribute. The plot is convoluted with an interesting ending but the main characters are pretty stereotypical...the brilliant female law associate, the ice maiden wife, the hot private investigator, the unbeatable defense attorney and his foil, the dumbass ADA. All in all this is a readable courtroom drama, but I won't be rushing out to find Margolin's ...more
Jeff Dickison
May 20, 2013 Jeff Dickison rated it liked it
Pretty good legal/mystery until the ending which was just stupid. Author trying to be clever almost totally ruined the book. The 3-star rating is for the first 95% of the book which is very good. Not recommended to anyone unless they like stupid endings. Bah!
Oct 02, 2014 Alison rated it it was amazing
One of the best Phillip Margolin books I've read to date. I could not put this book down. Margolin does an outstanding job of character development, so much so, that it made my skin crawl to read any page that had Charlie Deems on it, fearing that he knew I knew what he did in the past, and was doing now, and that I would become one of his victims because of my knowledge. I read a lot of mysteries and have never felt that way before. This is a real page turner, with twists and turns that kept me ...more
Dec 19, 2009 Debra rated it really liked it

Formidable prosecutor Abbie Griffen is used to winning and being in control. She’s wealthy, attractive, highly respected and, except for her obnoxious ex-husband, Robert, is enjoying a great life. But Abbie’s world begins to unravel when a psychopathic murderer she helped put on death row is now free due to her ex who is a Supreme Court Justice. When Abbie is arrested for Robert’s murder, she hires famous defense attorney, Matthew Reynolds. Reynolds’ assistant, Tracy Cavanaugh, however, worries
Anna Stewart McCall
May 21, 2013 Anna Stewart McCall rated it really liked it
I became a fan of Phillip Margolin after reading "Gone but not Forgotten." That only continued with what I call his "branches of government trilogy" and has carried through to his independent novels, like this one, After Dark. Tracy Cavanaugh has just finished clerking with the Supreme Court of Oregon and accepts a job with the brilliant and enigmatic defense attorney Matthew Reynolds. She immediately finds herself embroiled in a high profile death penalty case when Reynolds is retained to defen ...more
Jul 08, 2010 Sarah rated it did not like it
After Dark. Phillip Margolin. 1995. Bantam. 354 pages. ISBN 0553569082.

After Dark is Phillip Margolin's fourth novel written in the courtroom-drama style Margolin has perfected since its release in 1995.

Tracy Cavanaugh is a smart, successful up-and-coming law clark who lands a position working under the prestigious Matthew Reynolds, a legendary defense lawyer. Tracy finds herself involved in the middle of a massive plot and case involving the murder of a judge by his accused ex-wife named Abbie
May 28, 2016 Timothy rated it really liked it
Full of suspense that grips you and makes you turn the page until the last page final comes to a test at the end and you're left with enough clues to know who the killer is, but not enough to point then out entirely.
I've always hated court procedurals, but Margolin knows how to spin a good yarn.
Rhonda Hankins
I read this book because the author lives in Portland and the novel is set in Oregon.

It's just a typical murder mystery, nothing special about it. Readable with a pretty predictable plot line complete with a "twist" at the end that is anticipated.

Apr 21, 2014 Tracy rated it it was amazing
A very good mystery. I wanted so much for Abby to be innocent and yet had my doubts all they way until the truth comes out - or what the reader believes is the truth. Then there's more to the book. A must read for mystery/thriller fans.
Mar 01, 2013 William rated it really liked it
Shelves: law
Phillip Margolin may never be accused of being the most detailed or atmospheric writer, but he does provide the reader with just the right amount of "legalese" in his law thrillers, a few nasty bad guys and a couple of good twists too to keep you engaged. I did feel, however, that he added one twist too many in this novel, and was more satisfied when it seemed like the novel ended at the 320 page mark. Margolin then added another turn in the plot, and I felt it didn't really fit with the charact ...more
Henry Brandt
Mar 25, 2013 Henry Brandt rated it liked it
Somewhat mixed feelings. I started out being put off by the author's amateurish habit of giving a physical description of everything and everybody when they are introduced. That gave way a bit as things progressed, and I became engaged with the characters and the plot. The twists and turns were pretty good! And the ending was pretty satisfying -- not predictable, not terribly easy or saccharine. And, given my interest in the law, Margolin's use of those details were fun -- maybe more for me than ...more
Jan 19, 2016 Christine rated it it was amazing
A lot of twists and turns. Kept me guessing and had an unexpected ending. A lot of legal and detective talk - very interesting. Definitely recommend.
Lynn Caygle
Jan 10, 2016 Lynn Caygle rated it did not like it
Way to graphic for me. I didn't even get past chapter 2. I did not like this at all.
Prashanth Baskaran
Oct 21, 2015 Prashanth Baskaran rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
One of the best legal thrillers I've read. But the ending was a bit odd. Otherwise, a sound book and a pacy read.
Kim Higgs
Nov 03, 2014 Kim Higgs rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book but not as much as others by him. It is not one that I will remember but it was a nice, fun read.
Linda Fast
Feb 23, 2013 Linda Fast rated it liked it
I liked "After Dark" because it was well written and it kept me guessing until the end of the book.
The story centers around a Abigail Griffen, a prosecuting lawyer, who is charged with the murder of her ex-husband a Supreme Court Judge. Griffen hires the best defense lawyer Matthew Reynolds whose office has just hired a new associate named Tracy Cavanaugh. Cavanaugh's research unwraps the truth which consists of deals and lies as well as hidden secrets. Cavanaugh also becomes involved with Reyno
Oct 16, 2015 John rated it liked it
Decent, but predictable. a good subway read.
Phantom Mojo
Feb 15, 2013 Phantom Mojo rated it did not like it
My rating system does not follow the traditional 5- or 4-star model.

I either like a book, or I think it's earth shattering and everyone would be better off for having read it, or. . . it's meh. . . or I dislike it.

There's no "sort of" disliking a book for me. Antipathy or nothing, I say.
Off with its head!

And when I was younger I expressed my disdain suchly when rating:

My time would have been better spent getting an enema.

Remembering this book.

Time would have been better spent. . .


Apr 12, 2016 Beth rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
As usual, Margolin's book is exciting, a true page turner. I have thoroughly enjoyed it.
Chuck Ledger
Feb 14, 2014 Chuck Ledger rated it really liked it
Great plot twists.
Yvette Karns
Jul 15, 2015 Yvette Karns rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2015
Great Murder mystery. Can't wait to read another one of his books.
Dec 15, 2014 Fred rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book very much.
I was really enjoying the twists and turns of the book until one of the female characters became involved with one of the male characters. Given her history of unluckiness in matters of the heart and her icy demeanor I'm not buying that she would suddenly fall in love and jump in the sack.
So, I dropped a star in overall ranking for that inconsistency. Other than that, I did enjoy all the legal wrangling and detective work that took place.
Apr 15, 2008 Maurean rated it really liked it
Another gripping legal thriller by my favorite of the genre!

When Tracy Cavanaugh is hired on by legendary defense attorney, Matthew Reynolds, her first big case involves the murder of a State Supreme Court Justice and the primary suspect is his wife - a celebrated defense lawyer whom Mr. Reynolds is very fond of, both professionally and 'personally'.

This one twists and turns right to the very end; a clever, suspenseful tale
Greer Andjanetta
Dec 11, 2012 Greer Andjanetta rated it it was amazing
Another excellent trial/mystery novel from Margolin.As well as an interesting story dealing with a released-from-prison psychopath, the Oregon State Supreme Court and some of its Justices, a revered defense lawyer and his pretty young new associate, the book gives a detailed account of how to build a pipe bomb, attach it to the underside of a car and rig it to explode when you are far away from the site.
Jul 28, 2011 Laurie rated it liked it
Decent murder/trial novel. I figured it out too early though, quite predictable, even though he tried to throw a few twists and turns in there. I didn't like that it wasn't focused - who was supposed to be the main character? It seemed to switch throughout the book, Tracy, Matthew, Abbie, hey even Charlie Deems at times. He should have stuck to one of them and made it flow better.
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