Book Review: Supreme Justice, by Phillip Margolin

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From Oregon,  Phillip Margolin

Phillip Margolin is another of our Pacific Northwest Authors, one well recognized.  An attorney himself, he has not only worked in the Oregon courts, but has handled all sorts of criminal cases, including over thirty homicides.  With a background like that, you can see why he is so able to provide the vivid detail of what goes on behind the scenes.

It is always a pleasure to begin a book by an accomplished author.  We are so fortunate to have so many to choose from.  Phillip Margolin is just such as author.  I was hopeful when I picked up a copy of Supreme Justice, and was not disappointed.

Right from the beginning, the story line drew me in.  It was rather sneaky about it.  After reading along for a chapter or two it occurred to me that I was hooked.  The detail of it is very appealing, the characters well pictured.

The Supreme Court with its inner workings, an year old murder case, a clandestine operation within the government, all are a part of this compelling story.  With plenty of twists and a surprising conclusion, it is sure to keep you reading late.

The Story

The Supreme Court Justices were in the middle of a difficult decision when one of them suddenly resigns.  When it leaves a case pending, anger flares between judges.

The case in question?  A woman charged with killing her lover—twice.  Convicted the second time, she is in prison on death row in Oregon.  Her case reaching to the Supreme Court, on the basis that the government was permitted to keep exculpatory evidence out of the trial.

Soon after, someone attempts to kill a Supreme Court justice.

Justice Moss’ court clerk Brad Miller is determined to find out what is behind it, but it seems unlikely, perhaps impossible, that it is related to the murder appeal.


Next, flash back several years to the murder investigation.  Sarah Woodruff a policewoman offended a D.A. recently.  Now it appears he will stop at nothing to convict her of the crime, even without any body.

I don’t want to give the story away, so I won’t tell you more about the plot.  It’s engrossing, exciting, and puzzling.  You will find yourself swept along with the victims, the attorneys, the investigators, all trying to put the pieces together in a complicated story.

It’s a combination of police procedural, private detective investigation, and the law, all so well put together. Not so much within a courtroom as out checking clue by clue.  So many details are brought together.

Supreme Justice’s convoluted plot was a treat.  It is a pleasure to see the detail and the many connections  put together as well as this one.  You’ll enjoy it.

This was the second book in the Dana Cutler series. Several characters in this book were introduced in the first of the series, Executive Privilege, including now clerk, Brad Miller.  I’m going back to read it next, then will read the others.  So far there are four featuring Dana Cutler.  It should be exciting to see what happens next.  Let me know if you’ve read them too.


Merry Citarella, often writing as Merrci, writes on a wide range of topics. Recently relocated to the Oregon Coast in the northwest United States, she frequently writes travel features on the beautiful Pacific Northwest. She specializes in health and aging, Alzheimer’s Disease, food, lifestyle, and book reviews. For more information you can see her on The Writers’Door. You can read more articles here or at her websites Mystery Suspense Reviews .

Author: Merry Citarella

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