THE DARKEST PLACE – A Legal Thriller by Phillip Margolin

Only in THE DARKEST PLACE Can You Tell Victim From Perpetrator

Cover of Novel – A Woman Peeking Through Partially Opened Doors

In THE DARKEST PLACE (Minotaur Books)—the fifth book in the Robin Lockwood legal thriller series—bestselling author Phillip Margolin combines a story of abuse and revenge with a mother’s obsession to reclaim the child she gave away.

The Plot:

Robin Lockwood is a gifted defense attorney and partner in her Portland, Oregon, law firm. That’s the reason Judge Harold Wright asks her for the favor of representing accused rapist Lloyd Arness as his court-appointed attorney. Well, that and the fact that no one else would—Arness is a sociopathic sadist.

Because Robin worked her way through Yale Law by fighting in mixed martial arts pay-per-view events, she has a powerful urge to pummel her client. But that can’t happen. What Robin doesn’t know is that his trial will change her life forever.

After the Arness trial, Robin moves back to her Midwest hometown of Elk Grove. It’s there a local public defender recruits her to help represent a surrogate who carried and birthed a child for Elk Grove couple Caleb and Emily Lindstrom. She then kidnapped the baby and assaulted the Lindstroms. Robin learns that the surrogate, who is known as Ruth Larson, is really Marjorie Loman, a cop from the small town of Profit, Oregon, who fled after someone killed her estranged husband.

As Robin defends Marjorie, it becomes clear there’s more to Marjorie’s story than she’s admitted. Robin is a Perry Mason enthusiast and asks herself, “What would Perry do?” Marjorie Loman’s fate takes a dangerous twist that Robin might not get her out of. Can Robin secure an acquittal for Marjorie? And in the end, does she want to?

The Vibe and The Art of Storytelling:

The story has many moving parts that include the main plot and several sub-plots. Readers have fun trying to fit the pieces together to complete the puzzle, but just when we think we know the ending, we find we don’t.

The Author:

Margolin’s writing is informed by his former profession as a criminal defense attorney who represented at least 30 people charged with homicide. Since 1996, he’s been writing full time. He’s written over 20 novels.

From 1996 to 2009, he was the President and Chairman of the Board for Chess for Success, and is still heavily involved in the non-profit charity that teaches kids study skills by playing chess. Margolin was also on the Board of Literary Arts from 2007 to 2013.

What I Like Best:

My favorite part of the novel is the surprise twist at the end that I never saw coming.


Fans of legal thrillers, especially those with whip-smart female characters, will lose themselves in this multi-faceted tale of altered truths and hidden agendas.