Magic and creating an illusion in front of a packed audience is at the heart of this novel. How does a magician snap his/ her fingers and make objects appear or disappear? Magic allows the audience to experience the impossible. What is real and what do we really visualize and perceive?
Within this multiple plot novel, we meet Robin Lockwood a notes criminal defense attorney who witnesses the grandest illusion that one magician preforms in front of an audience staged in his mansion. The Chamber of Death is based on and is a sarcophagus like the Egyptians used to bury the dead and this one was filled with venous snakes of various degrees of poison. But first let’s get to know this magician in the past and how he managed to amass great wealth and at whose expense?
Robin Lockwood goes to the source ,Regina Barrister who was the lawyer who defended this magician accused of two murders and then the accident that supposedly led to his wife’s death. Robert Chesterfield is a slick and cunning man who was accused of cheating at cards, coming on to women and staff at his exclusive club and then demanded that the manager, Sam Moser be fired for accusing him of theses wrong doings and more. But that didn’t happen, so he convinced his rich wife Lily Dowd to withdraw or resign from the club because she believed that he was innocent.
Things heat up when chesterfield is threatened by backers that claim he owes them money and the threats are real. The performance is starling and the result he vanished, and his assistants won’t divulge the secret behind the illusion. The guests are angry, and Robin is caught in the middle and his wife Claire could care less she has his replacement in more than hand. As they realize he’s gone, and they know where his late wife was found Robin uncovers something that alerts, they police that he might have been met with foul play.
Things take on a dangerous turn when Chesterfield is threatened by several backers and one sends two henchmen to take him out but what looks like an attack turns into something else.
Peter Ragland is the assistant District Attorney and wants to arrest Chesterfield for the two murders in the past and one in the present, but things change rapidly. Robin is enlisted to get someone out of jail who Ragland had arrested for attempted murder, but the victim says he was not shot at and things get stranger by the minute.
A special first performance of his master illusion the Chamber if Death is about to be presented and the three assistants take the sarcophagus on stage, a person from the audience is called to check the sarcophagus and he gets into it. Locked in and everything in place the final revelation is shock and a murder happened in front of a live audience but how?
When David Turner is arrested for the murder because of something he did during the show, Carrie Anders and Roger Dillon are the detectives handling the case and something about Turner is odd, but she has an odd feeling that he’s the wrong guy. Tamara Robinson is the officer working the case, but Ragland is bent on getting the win and the revenge for losing the three cases before. Joe Samuels, Rafael Crete plus David Turner and even his wife Claire all had a reason to want him gone including his wife Lily’s children too. The list is growing but will the solution come out soon and how many suspects will Ragland arrest before Robin or maybe even Regina if she’s lucid prove him wrong again.
Lies, betrayals and deceptions and an illusion you won’t see coming as author Philip Margolin takes us deep inside the world of magic, illusionists, magicians and mystifies readers with an ending that you won’t see coming, a master of illusions that falls prey to a master killer.
With Turner in jail Robin had to find a way to get him bail and even though Regina has dementia Alzheimer’s , her quick thinking and reading the discovery solved the bail question but someone wanted her out if the way as once again chocolate would be the murder weapon.
Questions asked if the assistants, one looking like she might have had a. grudge against Robert, an ex-detective killed because he might have learned too much healing to investigate the murder but what does this murder of Morris Quinlan have to do with Sophia Russell, Chesterfield and Arthur Gentry? Someone close is hiding in plain sight and Ragland thinks he has the right guy.
A simple note, a man’s murder, reading the past cases and making a startling connection as a killer hiding in plain sight rationalizes the reasons behind the murders , no remorse but first Robin has to face off with this killer but will her skills as an MMA fighter help her against this dangerous killer? An ending that could severe a relationship that she worked hard to cement, a killer devoted to taking down so many for a murder that happened in the past . Author Phillip Margolin teaches readers and Ragland the true definition of the term: reasonable Doubt.
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