cover image Woman with a Gun

Woman with a Gun

Phillip Margolin. Harper, $26.99 (304p) ISBN 978-0-06-226652-1

Bestseller Margolin (Worthy Brown’s Daughter) stumbles with this overly complicated whodunit. At an exhibit of Kathy Moran’s photographs at Manhattan’s Museum of Modern Art, budding novelist Stacey Kim is transfixed by a picture of a woman standing on a beach in a white dress, holding a gun. Stacey decides to ditch her East Coast life and travel to Palisades Heights, Ore., where Kathy took the photo and now lives. Flash back to 2005, when Kathy snapped the picture after coming upon newlywed Megan Cahill, whose millionaire husband, Raymond, was shot to death hours after their wedding. An outside prosecutor who shares a history with Kathy helps investigate Raymond’s murder. Back in the present, another body turns up soon after Stacey arrives in Palisades Heights, and she must unravel Raymond’s unsolved murder if she hopes to crack the new case and get the real story behind Kathy’s photograph. With too many characters clogging the story, an intriguing premise devolves into a disappointing mess. A[em]gents: Jean Naggar and Jennifer Weltz, Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency. (Dec.) [/em]