Defense attorney Robin Lockwood faces an unimaginable personal disaster and her greatest professional challenge in the next New York Times bestselling Phillip Margolin's new legal thriller, The Darkest Place.
Robin Lockwood is an increasingly prominent defense attorney in the Portland community. A Yale graduate and former MMA fighter, she's becoming known for her string of innovative and successful defense strategies. As a favor to a judge, Robin takes on the pro bono defense of a reprehensible defendant charged with even more reprehensible crimes. But what she doesn't know—what she can't know—is how this one decision, this one case, will wreak complete devastation on her life and plans.
As she recovers from those consequences, Robin heads home to her small town of Elk Grove and the bosom of her family. As she tries to recuperate, a unique legal challenge presents itself—Marjorie Loman, a surrogate, is accused of kidnapping the baby she carried for another couple, and assaulting that couple in the process. There's no question that she committed these actions but that's not the same as being guilty of the crime. As Robin works to defend her client, she learns that Marjorie Loman has been hiding under a fake identity and is facing a warrant for her arrest for another, even more serious crime. And buried within the truth may once again be unexpected, deadly consequences.
Bestseller Margolin's mundane fifth Robin Lockwood novel (after 2021's A Matter of Life and Death) takes Robin, a well-respected Portland, Ore., defense attorney, home to Elk Grove, "a very conservative farming community in the Midwest," after a personal tragedy. Cloistered with her grief, Robin begins to revive when a local lawyer asks for her help with an unusual case. Marjorie Loman is accused of kidnapping the baby for whom she was a surrogate and assaulting the adoptive parents. Working on her defense, Robin discovers that Marjorie has an arrest warrant back in Oregon in connection with the torture and murder of her husband, Joel, with whom she was involved in a contentious divorce and who had wiped out their joint bank accounts. Joel also had been embezzling millions from his company and was being threatened by gangsters. Slow-moving courtroom scenes in Elk Grove and in Oregon simply regurgitate the uninspired plot points. The fully rounded Robin appeals, but other characters come across as caricatures. Margolin has done better. Agent: Jennifer Weltz, Jean V. Naggar Literary.