cover image Capitol Murder

Capitol Murder

Phillip Margolin. Harper, $25.99 (352p) ISBN 978-0-06-206988-7

PI Dana Cutler and attorney Brad Miller, now working as a congressional legal aide, contend with sex scandals, an escaped murderer, and a looming major terrorist attack on U.S. soil in bestseller Margolin’s busy third Washington, D.C., thriller (after 2010’s Supreme Justice). Cutler is dispatched to Portland, Ore., where Miller’s boss, Sen. Jack Carson, has gotten involved with a Middle Eastern seductress, Jessica Koshani, who possesses a DVD showing Carson in a compromising position. Koshani blackmails Carson into returning to D.C., where he’s to report to her on what the authorities know about a suicide bombing her employers are plotting. Meanwhile, Miller must keep track of Clarence Little, a serial killer and former client sent to prison in 2008’s Executive Privilege, who’s been sending Miller cryptically threatening letters since escaping custody in Oregon. Some readers may struggle with the large cast and many scene shifts, but Margolin manages to pull everything together in the end. Agents: Jean Naggar and Jennifer Weltz, Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency. (Apr.)