Betrayal Book Review

Betrayal Book Review

Title: Betrayal
Author: Phillip Margolin
Published: November 7, 2023, Minotaur Books
No. of Pages: 336
Cover Price: $29.00 Hardcover, $14.99 Kindle

Fans of the bestselling Robin Lockwood series by Phillip Margolin have been waiting patiently for the 7th book in the series, Betrayal. In this novel, Robin, who was previously an MMA fighter, and who continues to work out daily, attends a fight featuring the person who beat her so badly10 years prior in a televised competition, that Robin quit competition and focused on her law practice. Mandy Kerrigan is no longer a world champion, and loses the match. Kerrigan finds herself flunking a drug test which finds performance enhancing drugs in her system and beats up the drug dealer who had promised his drugs wouldn’t show up in a test. Then her drug dealer, Ryan Finch is found murdered along with the rest of his family and Kerrigan is accused and jailed. Lockwood takes the case, which, while investigating leads to Russian mafia ties, gambling ties to bookies, and a very dysfunctional family who has all been murdered.

While Margolin is an excellent storyteller, this novel is missing several elements that make it a believable story. For instance, Kerrigan is charged with the murders even though there is no proof or DNA evidence she was ever in the house, yet there was a break-in through the back of the house where Mandy never was. The evidence is only circumstantial and very thin. There are other suspects that have more motive, but law enforcement doesn’t agree. The Russian mafia connection doesn’t ring true, and Margolin fails to tie up loose ends by the end of the story. Alan Chen is a character who isn’t treated like he should be by law enforcement and his scenarios don’t seem plausible.

One thing Margolin does do well in this novel is develop his characters. Robin is a viable attorney and knows her stuff, and the court proceedings show how good of an attorney she really is. The supporting characters are also very believable – some likeable, and some not – but excellent in moving the story along.

Although this is a good novel, it isn't Margolin's best.

Special thanks to NetGalley for supplying a review copy of this book.

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