Wednesday, March 18, 2020

"A Reasonable Doubt"

Phillip Margolin has written over twenty novels, most of them New York Times bestsellers, including Gone But Not Forgotten, Lost Lake, and Violent Crimes. In addition to being a novelist, he was a long time criminal defense attorney with decades of trial experience, including a large number of capital cases.

Margolin applied the Page 69 Test to A Reasonable Doubt, his third novel in the series featuring Robin Lockwood, ex-MMA fighter and Yale law school graduate, and reported the following:
In A Reasonable Doubt, Robert Chesterfield, a magician, is murdered on stage before a packed house in 2020 and no one knows who killed him. I had a ball figuring out how to commit the murder and I also learned how to create The Chamber of Death, Chesterfield's greatest magic trick, with the help of lawyer/magicians Marshall Amiton and Robert Kabacy. Page 69 is set in 1997. Overzealous deputy district attorney Peter Ragland arrests Chesterfield for two murders and an attempted murder. This is part of the back story and is told by retired attorney Regina Barrister, who represented Chesterfield twenty years before he was murdered. The scene on pages 69-70 shows the battle of wits between the DA and the brilliant magician.

If you were browsing in a bookstore and read page 69 you would get some idea of Chesterfield's character and Peter Ragland's lack of competence, which is a central feature of the the lengthy 1997-98 flashback. The magician is a major character in the book so reading page 69 would make you want to know more about him.
Visit Phillip Margolin's website and Facebook page.

The Page 69 Test: The Third Victim.

The Page 69 Test: The Perfect Alibi.

--Marshal Zeringue