Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Plot Thickens...and Thickens

Supreme Justice by Phillip Margolin, read by Jonathan Davis

It opens with John Finley, captain of a ship docked in a small, isolated port in Oregon.  He manages to kill a killer who has just murdered the entire crew. Finley escapes, but does not realize he is being followed.

The rest of the book evolves from that incident. It includes a police officer in Seattle who is ultimately accused of murdering Finley - in two separate incidents. It includes the Supreme Court and the political machinations of deciding which cases to hear and which to let go.

It involves a mysterious murder in Wisconsin where only parts of the body are discovered by a detective determined to identify the victim.

The plot is moved by deception, arrogance. ruthlessness, and abuse of power on one side and by courage, commitment, ethics, and the pursuit of justice on the other. Through most of the book, you really cannot tell which is which.

The genius of Phillip Margolin is his ability to link these far-flung and seemingly unrelated incidents together in a single, cohesive plot. The thing that makes his books so much fun to read is the way he parcels out clues and builds to a conclusion that is totally unexpected. 

If you are a reader who likes to follow the clues to reach the solution only a step ahead of the protagonist, the ending to Supreme Justice is, well...supremely satisfying. You gallop through the home stretch with the author and together, you cross the finish line to the ta-da resolution - where you stop to catch your breath only to discover the author is galloping on. . .

And, by the way, those little plot glitches you thought you spotted along the way? Those little details glossed over for the sake of moving the plot along? NOT! The final final resolution is just what you want from a really good mystery.

This is an enjoyable thriller/mystery and I have just one bit of advice before you run out to get a copy.  The characters in this book were introduced in the earlier book, Executive Privilege. Truthfully, though, this book does not move so much through the characters as through the plot twists.