Wild Justice (Amanda Jaffe Series)

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9780061030635: Wild Justice (Amanda Jaffe Series)
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Seven years ago, Phillip Margolin seized the imagination of thriller readers everywhere with his chilling breakout bestseller, Gone, but Not Forgotten. After five subsequent New York Times bestsellers, Margolin now returns to the haunting terrain of Gone, but Not Forgotten with a mesmerizing tour de force of psychological suspense, an electrifying tale of revenge and retribution that shows a master storyteller at the very peak of his craft.

Thursday: Subject is still combative after four days of applied pain, sleep deprivation and minimal food.

Vice squad detective Bobby Vasquez, for months on the trail of a slippery underworld figure, receives an anonymous tip that directs him to a mountain cabin. He races through the idyllic Oregon woods, expecting to close the book on a long-standing vendetta. What he finds instead opens a Pandora's box of horror that will haunt him to his dying day.

8:10: Subject bound and gaffed and placed in upstairs closet at end of hall. Turned out lights in house, drove off, then parked and doubled back. Watched from woods.

Within hours, Vincent Cordoni -- a brilliant surgeon with a history of violence and drug abuse -- is arrested for a heinous crime. Facing a seemingly insurmountable wall of evidence, he turns to Portland's top criminal defense attorney, Frank Jaffe-who, along with his ambitious daughter, Amanda, must put on an inspired defense. Amanda's first taste of criminal defense work is as intoxicating as it is chilling, but it raises moral questions she's loath to address. Is she defending an innocent man? Or is she using her considerable skills to set a monster free? Then Cardoni disappears under bizarre circumstances. Four years later, a second set of murders has begun ....

8:55: Subject exits house, naked and barefoot, armed with kitchen knife. Remarkable strength of character. Breaking her will be a challenge.

Has Cardoni resurfaced to ply his deadly trade anew? Is there a copycat killer? Or has the real killer been someone else all along? The police will do everything they can to stop Cardoni -- but they have to find him first.

Following a twisting trail of clues, including a harrowing diary that clinically records the killer's horrible deeds, Amanda Jaffe and Bobby Vasquez join the hunt-and themselves become targets of the twenty-first century's first genuinely monstrous psychopath.

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Review:

When a killing field is unearthed in the Oregon woods, it's linked to a Portland surgeon whose increasingly aggressive behavior and explosive temper have already drawn the attention of his colleagues. Neophyte attorney Amanda Jaffe takes second chair to her father, a successful criminal lawyer retained by Dr. Vincent Cardoni when he is charged with multiple counts of murder. The victims have one thing in common: they are missing vital organs, which were clearly harvested by an expert surgeon. In this explosive and fast-paced suspense thriller, the forensic evidence against Cardoni is so convincing that even after his acquittal on a technicality, the reader, like Amanda, is sure of his guilt. And when a similar field of mutilated bodies turns up years later, Cardoni is again the primary suspect. But Cardoni has disappeared, and this time it's his former wife, Justine Castle, who's implicated in the new crimes, and Amanda who's retained as the lead attorney in the case.

The particulars of the killings are so similar to the first set of murders that Amanda is convinced Cardoni is involved. When he is found to be working at the same hospital where he was once a promising surgeon (this time as a custodian and under an assumed name), she draws the logical conclusion. But when she finds Cardoni's severed hand at the scene of the crimes, she is forced to rethink the assumptions on which her defense of the doctor's ex-wife is based. Could Justine, in fact, be the killer? Author Phillip Margolin's newest book moves at an almost frantic pace. Bodies pile up, evidence mounts, and everything points to Cardoni's guilt until the end, a stunner that surprises Amanda as well as the reader. This chilling, deftly crafted novel will hold the reader's attention to the last page. --Jane Adams

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