Sarah Woodruff, on death row in Oregon for murdering her lover, John Finley, has appealed her case to the Supreme Court just when a prominent justice resigns, leaving a vacancy.
Then, for no apparent reason, another justice is mysteriously attacked. Dana Cutler—one of the heroes from Margolin's bestselling Executive Privilege—is quietly called in to investigate. She looks for links between the Woodruff appeal and the ominous incidents in the justices' chambers, which eventually lead her to a shoot-out that took place years ago on a small freighter docked upriver in Shelby, Oregon, containing a dead crew and illegal drugs. The only survivor on board? John Finley.
With the help of Brad Miller and Keith Evans, Dana uncovers a plot by a rogue element in the American intelligence community involving the president's nominee to the Supreme Court, and soon the trio is thrown back into the grips of a deadly, executive danger.
With nonstop action, Supreme Justice picks up where Executive Privilege left off, putting readers right back where they were—on the edge of their seats.-- Harper
Supreme Justice is Philip Margolin’s latest suspense thriller. The novel starts in 2006 with multiple murders aboard a ship docked in the Columbia River in Shelby Oregon. It then moves forward to the Supreme Court in 2012 where the justices are reviewing an appeal on a five year old case involving a policewoman, Sarah Woodruff, who was found guilty of murdering her lover, John Finley.
As the case is under review a murder attempt is made on one of the justices. Dana Cutler, a private investigator, is quietly called in to investigate the attack along with law clerk Brad Miller and FBI agent Keith Evans. These are the same characters Margolin used to solve the crime in his suspense thriller, Executive Privilege. Cutler, Miller and Evans soon discover a link between the ship murders, the Woodruff case and the strange goings-on in the Supreme Court that puts them and their loved ones in imminent danger.
Margolin uses the technique of going back and forth in time to set up the novel and in some cases allows the readers to know information sooner than the crime solving trio.
The author introduces many characters with prominent roles in the novel. This sometimes required me to go back and refresh my memory as to their roles. The novel’s list of significant characters includes, among others, Supreme Court justices and clerks, several attorneys, several local police officers, a former head of the CIA, several FBI agents, a private investigator, and a District Attorney. In general, the characters are not well developed and the novel relies mainly on the plot to drive the story.
The author develops several interesting subplots throughout the novel that, except for one, neatly come together at the end. Some of these story lines include the 2006 ship murders, the appointment process of a new Supreme Court justice, the murder of John Finley, the Woodruff appeal, a sinister plot at the Supreme Court and a seemingly unrelated murder in Inverness, Wisconsin.
Supreme Justice is an easy, quick and entertaining read. I would recommend it as a good book to read at the beach.
Thanks to the publisher for sending me a copy of this book and to Booking Pap Pap for his great review.