A Matter of Life and Death ~ by Phillip Margolin

And true to my word I looked at what other books in this series that I hadn’t read and came up with what Kirkus Reviews calls “A genuine whodunnit.”  

A Matter of Life and Death
by Phillip Margolin 
Read by Therésè Plummer 5h 38m
Rating – A+ / legal thriller
# 4 in Robin Lockwood series) 

One thing I really like about this series is that the women are very realistic (imo and speaking as a moderately well read woman). They’re not chic-lit in any way, They’re nicely differentiated from each other. They’re not overly emotional or anything else. They’re what they say they are – or aren’t.  

Another thing I appreciate is that the plots are tangled with more than one thread, they’re thrillers. And the courtroom scenes are high tension,  in fact the tension in the whole book is masterfully built.  

In this story Robin starts out defending a man who is transitioning to be a woman. She is a CPA but was arrested for prostitution.  The courtroom drama is very well done.  

And then in Part 2 the first body shows up in what turns out to be a story of illegal street fighting and Joe, the fighter in trouble, knows Robin from wrestling  Not too long later a second body is found and two threads merge.       

Legal crime fiction is often a matter of “who done it” and Margolin adds to this in his Robin Longwood series by focusing on criminals who are wrongly convicted.   

Robin Lockwood – defense lawyer and ex-wrestler 
Jeff Hodges – her romantic partner – roommate 
Mark Berman Robin’s law partner 
Erica Stassen – transexual on trial 
Ian Hennessy  – DA’s office – prosecuting attorney of Erica
Carrasco – a crooked Judge   
Betsy Carasco – Judge’s angry wife 
Stacy Hayes- the Judge’s mistress 
Loretta Washington – receptionist 
Joe Lattimore -ex-pro fighter/cook and murder suspect – (Black)
Maria Lattimore – Joe’s wife 
Asian woman – fighter
Carlos Ortega – Joe’s opponent in the fight  
Kevin Bash –  very criminal fight manager  – 
Roger – police investigator at scene 
Carrie Anders – police –  “
Vanessa  Cole – DA – 
Wilma Malone – circuit court judge – 
Harold Wright –  presiding judge – Robin likes him – 
Brent Maclan/ Macklin – reporter on illegal fights –  
Helen Reptis….  Betsy’s mother – very angry and very rich
 ______ Helen’s body guard 
Amanda Jaffe –  Robin’s co-council on this case
Carl Tepper – Man in Stacy’s apartment – 
Martin Breech –  gangster,  owns The Jungle Club 
Andre Rostoff –  giant gangster 
Sally Grace – medical examiner 
Wendell Appleton  – fingerprint spec 
Marvin Bradshaw –  police at judge’s house   
Melinda Cortez –  forensics expert – DNA 
Max Weaver –   lawyer for Bash 
Sal Bandetto – thug 

These are not long books – I can finish one in a day with no problem.  Also,  rating them is no problem because there is nothing at all literary about them. They’re straight-forward legal crime novels with great characters and plot with masterful hand in the tension-building.  

So now I’ve got 2 books to go – A Reasonable Doubt (#3) and The Darkest Place (#5)

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