Woman with a Gun by Phillip Margolin

Woman with a Gun by Phillip Margolin
Publication Date:  December 2, 2014
Date Read:  November 25, 2014

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I received an advance reader edition of this book from Harper via Edelweiss for the purpose of providing an honest review.

3 Stars

When I saw that I had a chance to read Phillip Margolin's newest book prior to its official release, I jumped at the chance.  I have read several books by Phillip Margolin and have really enjoyed every one of them.  I liked this book but found myself feeling somewhat underwhelmed by the story.  I think this book had an excellent mystery at its core but the manner in which it was told took away from the story.  Don't get me wrong, I still enjoyed this book and 3 stars is a good rating.

I think my biggest problem with this book was the way it jumped around in time and the change in focus of the story.  The story is told in parts all focused on the photograph seen on the cover of this book - Woman with a Gun.  Parts of the book are told from the perspective of an aspiring writer who decides to write a novel based on this photo.  Then the book jumps to the time period when the photo was taken which happens to be the night the woman's husband was murdered.  Then the book jumps further back in time to show some history between the photographer and the Attorney General on the case.  The last parts of the book are set in the present when everything comes together.

I really liked the two sections of the book that were set in the past the best.  Those parts of the book focused mainly on Jack Booth's point of view, the Attorney General who I was able to connect with more than anyone else in the book.  The sections that focused mainly on Stacey Kim, the writer just did not connect with me as much until the action picked up.  To be honest, I can't remember reading a book that talks about writing a book as a focus that has ever completely pulled me in.  The writing in the book seemed somewhat awkward at times and I felt the author told me things instead of showing me.

I did really enjoy the underlying mystery in the book and felt the complexity surrounding that mystery was the major strength in the book.  I did guess some of the big reveal before the end of the story but the plotting was done you only learned a small piece at a time which kept me guessing for most of the book.  I would recommend this book to mystery lovers and I plan to continue to look for works by Phillip Margolin.


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