Robbie's Reviews > Wild Justice

Wild Justice by Phillip Margolin
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's review
Jan 11, 2009

did not like it
Recommended for: Someone in need of a brain vacation
Read in September, 2008 , read count: 1

How can you combine doctors, lawyers, local mafia, serial killers, abusive spouses, and harvested organs on the black market, into a psychological thriller set in the beautiful pacific northwest, and not succeed? I'll tell you how! Read Wild Justice.

Phillip Margolin lazily wrote Wild Justice, both in character development and from a plot standpoint. For example, we learn on page 160 that local mafia hitman Ed Gordon is an ex-marine who had been dishonorably discharged for assaulting an officer. An entire page later, in a chase scene in the woods, Margolin writes: "Gordon had hiked and camped in the army..." This sloppiness disproportionately bothered me and I wonder how it gets by both the author and the editor that the marines and the army are not the same.

The protagonist is a young hotty who graduated at the top of her law school class, completed a prestigious clerkship, has now gone on to work for Daddy doing criminal defense work in the private sector, and is of course eminently single. Her unbelievable character, who has set her love life aside to succeed as a professional, immediately is smitten with an old friend from childhood who is tall, dark and handsome (and a doctor, God love it!). When the impending relationship is consummated, of course, the protagonist is all a quiver. It is perhaps the worst gratuitous sex scene in fiction, ever.

The plot revolves around a serial killer and there are only 3 possible suspects: the coked-out doctor, his ex-wife he abused and who has a trail of dead husbands from whom she has collected life insurance proceeds, and the tall, dark and handsome love interest (did I mention he's a doctor?!). You'll never guess which one it is. Or, more likely, you'll guess who it is within the first hundred pages.

Setting aside that we are not concerned with the characters and the psychology is not interesting, the narrative does not have a credible inner logic. In three of the primary professions in this book, law enforcement, law practice, and medicine, we see unethical and unbelievable conduct throughout.

I debated giving this book 2 stars because it was interesting. But then I thought that train wrecks are interesting too, but that doesn't make them good.

On the plus side, this is a fast read and if you are given the book, like I was, then it is free!
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Reading Progress

04/15 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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message 1: by Mike (new) - rated it 1 star

Mike I am glad you finished this crap; I tried but truly could not. This was bound and published excrement.

Michelle My copy was free too, so I finished it, but I had the exact same thoughts as you all the way through. I knew exactly where it was headed when she started telling the doctor-lover all the gory details about the case.

Time to give it away again...

Jaime Spot on!

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