Even in this dangerous age in which we live there is still pleasure to be found in a good old fashioned political thriller. Such is the case with Supreme Justice by Phillip Margolin. This new novel is fast reading fun that will entertain you but not load you down with too many complex theories or messages. It is pure Margolin through and through and that means straight arrow heroes bound up in easy to follow plots.
This book is a sequel to the earlier Executive Privilege. Returning as the hero is Brad Miller. He lives in Washington, DC with his fiancée Ginny Striker and works as a clerk for Supreme Court Justice Felicia Moss. He is happy in his job and in his personal life. He is also pleased that the notoriety that followed him due to events spelled out in Executive Privilege has died down.
But things are going to get exciting for Brad again because Moss and her fellow justices have been asked to review the rulings in a certain death row case from Oregon. There are certain members of the current Presidential administration that don't want that appeal to be received favorably and they will result to any means to keep it from happening - including murder.
Meanwhile Brad's friend, private investigator Dana Cutler, heads to Oregon to dig up any information she can about why this case is so important. The defendant in the case is police officer Sarah Woodruff. She has been tried twice for murdering her lover John Finley. The first time she was found innocent but the second time she was convicted and sentenced to death. It is her case that has made its way to the Supreme Court.
Margolin knows these characters inside and out and uses this familiarity in making their actions believable. This results in Brad, Ginny and Dana having the readers rooting for them and their success from beginning to end of the story.
Sometimes you want a book that is full of twisting plots and mysterious characters. You also want to analyze every move and motion of the plot. Other times you just want a story to entertain and/or amuse you. Supreme Justice is a simple pleasure. You won't ponder over every turn of its plot or the behavior of a central character. Instead you will just relax and let Margolin steer you through an exciting and enjoyable mystery.
In this story less is better. You get all the necessary plot facts but nothing is belabored. And with Margolin's skills as a writer this is enough. Supreme Justice is one of the simple pleasures of the summer and a book you will thoroughly enjoy reading.
Supreme Justice is published by Harper Books. It contains 312 pages and sells for $25.99.
Jackie K. Cooper