“A Matter of Life and Death” is the fourth book in the Robin Lockwood series, but it is not necessary to have read the other books to appreciate this one. Joe Lattimore is a young fighter trying to provide for his family. Through an unusual set of circumstances he finds himself in trouble, big trouble, life and death trouble. Robin Lockwood, a prominent attorney and former MMA fighter, agrees to take his case. She soon finds that Lattimore is guilty of a lot of things but is he guilty of murder? The evidence against Lattimore is almost insurmountable. In fact, the prosecution’s case seems almost too perfect.
Margolin created a compelling scenario where readers know who is innocent and who is guilty. The suspense comes in the unraveling of the truth and in the race against time to actually prove that truth. The cast of characters is diverse, and each character is presented in detail. Readers get to know them well through their actions, their reactions, their plans, and their strategies. Some people are exactly as they appear, but others have hidden agendas and concealed motives.
“A Matter of Life and Death” is not a usual legal procedure book. The characters are heart of the narrative not the crime. The crime is the result of flawed personalities living in an imperfect society. The story is not just about the end, it is about the trip and this specific trip with these specific people. I received a review copy of “A Matter of Life and Death” from Phillip Margolin, St. Martin’s Press, and Minotaur Books. I found it compelling in a very different and refreshing way.