Review

Executive Privilege

by Phillip Margolin

Brad
Miller isn’t having his best year. He moved the width of an
entire continent, from New York to Oregon, in order to put maximum
distance between himself and Bridget Malloy, yet he still thinks of
her almost constantly. It was his hope that his new position as
junior associate in the state’s most prestigious law firm
might take his mind off Malloy and their traumatic breakup. Several
months of a grueling workload, getting to know his colleagues and
learning the ropes, has eased his pain somewhat.

Just when he is starting to feel better, a case is assigned to him
that involves potentially appealing the conviction of Clarence
Little, the most notorious serial killer Oregon has ever seen.
While this may provide the sort of distraction Miller needs to help
him forget Malloy, it does not provide much in the way of comfort.
Little insists, though, that he has been framed for one of the
murders, despite an eerily similar MO.

On the opposite side of the country, in Washington, DC, Dana Cutler
is embarking on a new case too, one that will take her places she
had never envisioned. An ex-cop with a host of her own bad
memories, Cutler now works as a private investigator. She can
usually count on high-powered DC attorney Dale Perry to throw
business her way at least occasionally. The latest: A simple
surveillance of a pretty young college student. Sounds easy. Of
course, it isn’t. In DC, not much is as it seems. There is
always a hidden agenda. And Cutler should have known. The money was
just too good.

As the client instructed, Cutler follows Charlotte Walsh and ends
up surviving a harrowing evening of jaw-dropping surprises and
heart-racing chases. Unfortunately, Walsh does not. As it dawns on
Cutler, who was pursuing her during the night, she is filled with a
terrifying dread. She devises a little insurance for her safety,
thinking that she might yet come out of this all right. But when
she sees the news about the young woman’s death, Cutler
decides to take a powder, even though the murder is being
attributed to the DC Ripper, a serial killer at work in the
nation’s capital.

Meanwhile, back in Oregon, Miller is reluctantly starting to
believe that Little may actually be innocent as he claims, whether
the MO is the same or not. Little has an airtight alibi for the
time of the crime. Miller unhappily notes the direction the
evidence is taking him: straight to the president of the United
States.

Ex-governor of the state of Oregon, Chris Farrington was the poster
boy for success and rose to the top political position in an
enviably illustrious career. He is now up for re-election, and his
opposition is running a strong campaign. The last thing he needs
right now is a scandal. Since it can be proven that President
Farrington knew Walsh, his relationship with her could be a
spoiling point.

But ties to a murdered girl may be the least of the
president’s problems. Some people have made a connection
between Farrington and another dead girl, this one in Oregon. Could
the president slip out and commit murder --- several times? It
doesn’t seem possible. There are too many people around him
at all times. So can he explain why his movements on the night of
Walsh’s death don’t seem to coincide with the story he
has told the media? Is someone trying to frame him, or is someone
trying to protect him? A damaged ex-cop and an inexperienced lawyer
know the answers to those questions. Now if they can only live long
enough to tell someone.

EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE is chock full of harrowing chases, desperate
situations and politics running rampant. Add in the corruption of
power and the destructive force of lust, and you have all the
ingredients for a winning thriller. Phillip Margolin’s latest
proves that he hasn’t lost his talent for legal drama, and
gives us another page-turning read.

Reviewed by Kate Ayers on January 21, 2011

Executive Privilege
by Phillip Margolin

  • Publication Date: May 20, 2008
  • Genres: Fiction, Thriller
  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Harper
  • ISBN-10: 0061236217
  • ISBN-13: 9780061236211