Sunday Reading: The Third Victim by Phillip Margolin

As summer is getting closer and I more time to read, I thought this would be a great chance to start up a new reading series. I’ll cover a different book every Sunday that I’ve read recently, keeping it as spoiler-free as possible.

To start us off, I thought I’d dive into a murder mystery and legal thriller that I picked up recently, The Third Victim by Phillip Margolin. A woman stumbles onto an Oregon road beaten and burned. She’s quickly identified as the third victim of someone who had murdered two other women, leading police to Portland lawyer Alex as their prime suspect. From there, we dive into Regina Barrister’s world as a successful defence attorney and the battle she must go through to try and defend Alex when the evidence is stacked against him.

This book really got going after the initial setup and kept me hooked right until the very end. Margolin utilized a perspective shift to great effect here. Different characters provided us with contradictory information, at times leading me in one direction before I completely reversed my murder theories multiple times. Although the murder initially seems pretty clear-cut, I loved that there were so many twists and turns which kept me on my toes.

A little tidbit about me: I’m currently studying to be a lawyer. So it likely comes as no surprise that I was excited about the courtroom drama in this book, especially with the inclusion of practical information. It’s difficult to make the intricacies of trial sound interesting, but Margolin excelled with his real-world experience as a criminal defence lawyer until 1996. That really shone through here and made the story come alive.

I would also love to see more stories from the perspective of Robin Lockwood, the up-and-coming lawyer who works under Barrister and really pieces everything together. She felt like the most well-developed character that Margolin really put his time into, and she’s the best branch that could create a series. I’d love to see how she develops in her career and struggles with both difficult cases and balancing her responsibilities.

If you’ve already read this book, what did you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this one, and find out what book you want me to read next!

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