Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Woman With a Gun by Phillip Margolin

Good morning, readers! Today I'm a stop on the TLC book tour for Phillip Margolin's latest, Woman With a Gun.

Stacey Kim is floundering. A recent MFA grad, she's taken a job as a receptionist in a New York City law firm. She's supposed to be working on a novel but hasn't even been able to start. 

When she stumbles on a photography exhibit featuring a captivating image of a woman holding a gun behind her back, Stacey knows she's finally found the inspiration she needs. As she begins to plot and outline, she researches the image in question and discovers that it's tied to a ten-year-old homicide that's never been solved. As Stacey digs into the case further, she realizes that the pieces of the original investigation don't quite fit. Could she be onto something? But as Stacey grows closer to solving the cold case, someone else begins to take notice of her. 

The Woman With a Gun is essentially told in three parts: first, Stacey's story. Stacey's part is set in 2015, ten years after the infamous and unsolved Cahill murder. Flash back to 2005 when the case actually took place. Jack Booth has been asked to assist in investigating and potentially prosecuting the Cahill murder. While on the case, Jack meets the crime's only witness - Kathy Moran. But Jack and Kathy actually know each other from a prior case. Flash back once more to 2000 and the Kilbride case. Jack, an up an comer in the DA's office thinks he has an open and shut case against a notorious drug runner. But the perp's young lawyer, Kathy Moran, is more clever than Jack gives her credit for.

There's a lot of great backstory here and a lot of excellent build in the various facets of the plot. Unfortunately the characters themselves are a bit shaky. I got a good feel for Jack and something of a good feel for Stacey, but the others are very wooden and thin: they felt like stand ins meant to flesh out the story. Stacey's relationship, for example, builds pretty predictably but never feels truly convincing. To that end, Jack's womanizing and his feelings for Kathy felt pretty thrown in there as well.

The Woman With the Gun wasn't bad but it didn't blow me away. I thought it had great potential but fell somewhat short.

Rating: 3/5

To see more stops on the tour be sure to check out the official TLC tour page here.

For more on Phillip Margolin and his work, you can visit his website here. You can also like him on Facebook.

1 comment:

Heather J @ TLC Book Tours said...

The photo is definitely intriguing - I can understand wanting to know the story behind it.

Thanks for being a part of the tour.