cover image The Perfect Alibi

The Perfect Alibi

Phillip Margolin. Minotaur, $27.99 (320p) ISBN 978-1-250-11753-3

More a murder mystery than a legal thriller, bestseller Margolin’s sequel to 2018’s The Third Victim features an intriguing lead, Portland, Ore., defense attorney Robin Lockwood, but offers few genuine thrills. Lockwood becomes entangled in the case of University of Oregon football star Blaine Hastings, who was convicted of rape and sent to prison based on DNA evidence. The DNA evidence in a second rape case also points to Hastings, but he was in prison at the time, so something fishy is going on. Hastings gets a new lawyer, who secures him a new trial, and he’s soon out on bail. But the subsequent murder of the law partner of the college athlete’s original lawyer creates complications. Lockwood disappears for long stretches as other characters take center stage, which lessens the story’s overall intensity and emotional impact. In addition, her personal story arc—particularly her relationship with her firm’s investigator, Jeff Hodges—develops only incrementally. Still, Margolin convincingly portrays the workings of the legal system and has created a worthy heroine. [em]100,000-copy announced first printing. Agent: Jennifer Weltz, Jean V. Naggar Literary Agency. (Mar.) [/em]