Cover Image: Betrayal


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Making the decision to defend her former MMA opponent was not an easy one for Robin Lockwood.  The clues point the finger at her client and the prosecuting attorney is her new dating interest.  But the victims have left a long list of potential suspects and Robin is determined to prove her client innocent.  Phillip Margolin is an accomplished author who gives his fans exactly what they want.  Well built plot lines, excellent cast of characters and lots and lots of twists and turns to keep us guessing.
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Betrayal is book 7 in the Robin Lockwood series by Phillip Margolin. I absolutely devoured this book and read it in one day. I rarely do this and if I do it means the book was fantastic! This series is fantastic and Betrayal will keep you guessing until the very end. Attorney Robin Lockwood used to be a ranked MMA fighter when she was just starting out in law school. She got a big opportunity to fight a prized fighter in Vegas when that fighter's opponent broke her ankle. Robin wasn't ready for this level of fighting even though she was making her way up the rankings. The fighter she faced was Mandy Kerrigan and the fight was over quickly with Robin ending up in the hospital. It was that fight that made Robin realize she was meant to be a lawyer, not an MMA fighter.

Ten years later, Mandy Kerrigan is still fighting, but is much older and slower. She's had many injuries and has slowed down significantly. Robin sees that Mandy will be in town for an MMA fight and asks her boyfriend if he'd like to go? They decide to go and once the fight is over with Mandy losing, Robin decides to check on her in the locker room. Mandy doesn't remember her at first, but Robin reminds her how she filled in at the last minute and was knocked out quickly. Robin tells Mandy that she became a lawyer because of that fight and she has no regrets. A short time later, Mandy reaches out to Robin as she's been arrested for murdering a family of four. Mandy insists she's innocent and could never kill someone. Robin decides to take the case.

Mandy admits to going to the Finch home the night of the murder and a neighbor saw her knocking on their door. She had bought PED's from the Finch son and was told they were undetectable in testing. They weren't and Mandy lost her pay for the fight and got suspended from MMA. She was furious and went to the Finch house to tell her supplier so. When she got there, no one answered, and the door was locked. She screamed through the door and left. Later, a teacher at their daughter's school arrived, knocked on the door, and went inside as the door was unlocked. He found a gruesome scene. The entire family had been shot and killed. 

Will Robin be able to help Mandy when she's arrested for the murders? When Robin looks deeper into the family, will she find other suspects who would want the family dead? The father had a huge gambling debt, the son was a drug dealer, the mother was a lawyer working for the Russian mob, and the daughter was cyberbullying a girl at school who killed herself. That's a lot to work with when trying to clear your client. This book is a quick read that you won't be able to put down. I thought I had it figured out, but I was wrong! I love this series and look forward to the next book! I'd like to thank NetGalley and Minotaur Books/St. Martin's Press for an advanced copy of Betrayal in exchange for a fair review. #Betrayal
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Important things you need to know about the book:

Pace: The pacing of Betrayal was medium. The author did pick up the pace toward the end of the book when the big reveal happened.

Series: Betrayal is book 7 in the Robin Lockwood series. While you can read this as a standalone book, I recommend reading the series’s previous six books. I was confused when the author brought up past cases and events because I went into this book cold.

Trigger/Content Warning: There are content and trigger warnings in Betrayal. If any of these trigger you, I suggest not reading the book. They are:

Bullying (off-page and told by friends of one of the deceased)
Cyberbullying (off-page and told by the victim’s parents and friends)
Adult-minor relationships (off-page)
Drug Addiction (mostly off-page)
Gambling Addiction (off and on page)
Suicide (off-page)
Drug dealing (some on-page but mostly off-page)
Blood (on page)
Gore (on page)
Dead bodies (on page)
Car accident (off-page)
Garroting (on-page)
Gun Violence (off and on page)
Murder (off and on page)
Organized Crime (on page)
Physical Assualt (on page)
Torture (off-page)
Violence (off and on page)
Sexual Content: There are sexual situations in Betrayal. They are not graphic.

Language: There is swearing and offensive language in Betrayal.

Setting: Betrayal is set entirely in Portland, Oregon.

Tropes: Red Herring, Dysfunctional Family, Mafia, Plot Twists, The Unlikable Victim, The Dramatic Reveal, High Stakes

Age Range: I recommend Betrayal to anyone over 21.

Plot Synopsis (as spoiler-free as I can get):

In her former life as a rising MMA fighter, Robin had fought and lost to Mandy Kerrigan. The injury she got in that match made Robin quit and take her studies as a criminal defense attorney seriously. Years later, Robin meets Mandy again, except Mandy is being accused of murdering an entire family-something that she vehemently denies. Taking her case, Robin sees that there are other people with the motive and means to kill the Finch family. But with the evidence pointing at Mandy, it will take everything that Robin knows to acquire her client. Can Robin and her team find evidence to free Mandy? Or will she go to jail for a crime she swore she didn’t commit?

Main Characters

There were a lot of characters in this book, and each contributed to the plotline in their own way. But for this section, I will focus on the two main characters. If I listed all of the secondary characters in this review, it would take forever for you to read and for me to write.

Robin Lockwood: I liked Robin. I liked that she wasn’t afraid to poke at people to get answers (the meeting with the mob boss and his enforcer stood out to me). I also liked that she was fair. Most criminal defense attorneys (at least in the books) are written as slimy and out for themselves. So, it was refreshing to see one who worked with the prosecutor and did things correctly. There wasn’t anything deceptive about her. She even came clean about her blossoming relationship with the prosecuting attorney when she was assigned to Mandy’s case.

Mandy Kerrigan: I didn’t like her, but I did pity her. The author did get into her background and why she got into MMA. It was heartbreaking. But also heartbreaking was her fall from the top. She did hit rock bottom during this book (with the suspension/drugging and the murder trial). She felt that Robin owed it to her to get her acquitted. The scene towards the end of the book, when she exploded at Robin, sealed that notion for me.

My review:

Reading an excellent legal thriller is one of my favorite pastimes. I love seeing how the law works and figuring out if the defendant (or plaintiff) will be found guilty/not guilty. So, I was happy to read Betrayal. I was thrilled when I found out it was from a criminal defense attorney’s side (instead of the DA). As I mentioned above, the criminal defense attorney rubs me the wrong way in most books I have read. Thankfully, this book is different.

The Finch family was one of the most dysfunctional families I have read. Anyone that they came in contact with could have killed them. The mother was a lawyer for the Russian mob, the father created designer drugs at his workplace, the son dealt the drugs his father made, and the daughter bullied a girl into committing suicide. I think the author could have just written a book about each of them instead of having them all killed off. But, it made for a good read and a good who-dun it. Why? Because this family pissed off a whole bunch of people over the past year, and any one of those people could have killed them. Mandy was only arrested because the neighbor saw her at the house right before the bodies were found.

The mystery angle of this book was perfect. Usually, I can figure out who did it and the reason reasonably early in the book. Well, not in this case. I thought I had figured out who did it and was stunned by how the murderer was revealed and why that person killed the family. It was a huge twist, and I didn’t see it coming. I sat there with my mouth open and kept saying, “No freaking way,” over and over again.

The end of Betrayal was a huge twist (see above). I liked that the author wrapped everything up but left enough room for a book 8.

Many thanks to St. Martin’s Press, Minotaur Books, NetGalley, and Phillip Margolin for allowing me to read and review this ARC of Betrayal. All opinions stated in this review are mine.
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This courtroom drama had too many suspects, and the resolution came out of left field. I could have done without the romance and I hated the description of the MMA match. In general, I have liked the author’s non-series books more than I have enjoyed the Robin Lockwood series. 3.5 stars

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.
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I've been following this series from the start so I, of course, had to grab this one.  This is the seventh book in the Robin Lockwood series.

In Phillip Margolin's Betrayal , attorney Robin Lockwood finds herself defending her old nemesis in a multiple murder case with too many suspects, where success might cost her own life.

Robin Lockwood is now a prominent defense attorney in Portland, Oregon but a decade ago, she was a ranked and rising MMA fighter. Her career came to a quick end when she was knocked out and concussed in the first round by Mandy Kerrigan, a much more talented fighter.

Now the situation couldn't be more different, with Kerrigan on her last legs, her career nearly over, arrested for the quadruple murder of the entire Finch family...and Kerrigan's only possible friend is the attorney she beat so many years ago.

For Robin, it's no simple Margaret Finch was a lawyer working for vicious Russian mobsters, and was in the cross-hairs of both the mobsters and the widower of a woman a client killed; her husband Nathan Finch was deeply in debt to a bookie who threatened his life; her son Ryan was the one who sold Kerrigan illegal performance enhancing drugs and was beaten severely by her when Kerrigan failed her drug test. To complicate matters further, the DA that Robin is facing is the man she's just started dating, the first person she's begun seeing seriously after her husband was killed.

In a case where the stakes are high and the truth is elusive, where each new fact twists the case in a new direction, there is seemingly no way to win or direction to turn that will leave Robin Lockwood unscathed.

My Thoughts:
Phillip Margolin has been one of my favorite authors for years now, so I always look forward to his new books.  Robin Lockwood is a great character and I've enjoyed this series.  Great twists and turns in this one.  And there are so many suspects.  This is a complex situation and the history with Robin and Kerrigan adds a hurdle to the attorney-client relationship here.  I liked that Robin finally decided to date again after losing her husband in such a devastatingly traumatic way.  The plot is well done and the book is fast-paced and kept my attention throughout.  

Thanks to St. Martin's Press, Minotaur Books through Netgalley for an advance copy.
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I did not realize when I started BETRAYAL that it was the seventh book in a series. I worried that I would not be able to follow Margolin. No worries! This book can be read as a stand alone or part of the series. The opening third of the book is fast-paced and had me turning pages! A family is murdered, and I felt like I was on the scene! I loved getting to know Robin Lockwood, the defense lawyer. Toward the second third of the book, it slowed down for me. So many characters to remember who was who. I needed to jot down names and look at my chart many times, The book picked up for me when the trial started which I thoroughly enjoyed. Many surprises. I also enjoyed the budding romance. I have added the first six books to my TBR pile. My thanks to St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley for an ARC of this book. The opinions in this review are my own.
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When Mandy Kerrigan, the woman who ended Robins MMA career, comes back into her life she is a very different person.  Her career is pretty much dead and she has been accused of killing all four members of the Finch family.  Robin hates seeing her client as she is now and hopes that she can not only help her but get her life back on track.  One huge problem is that Margaret Finch the woman who was murdered was a lawyer for the Russian mob so it makes digging I to her life unsafe for everyone.  Her husband and children held their own secrets making investigating that much harder.  Robin needs to figure out who the main target was before she can move further into her case.  Follow along and see where her investigation leads, will anyone else die before she figures out just what happened, will she herself end up in danger?  Great series with a well written plot that will have you guessing the whole way through.
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Betrayal by Phillip Margolin is part of the Robin Lockwood series. It is a fast paced legal thriller. Readers of this genre should enjoy this book. The story really started out strong and hooked my attention quickly. After that, it was not as easy to follow what was happening. I think it would have been a much better book if I had read the previous books first. I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher with no obligations. These opinions are entirely my own.
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This is another hit thriller from Phillip ! A fast paced. Novel and an easy read. There are many parts to the story but the all come together cohesively. 

Robin is defending a fellow mma fighter on a murder charge. A whole family has been killed and Mandy was seen pounding on the door not long before their bodies are discovered. Did Mandy do it? She swears she didn't. 

There is romance, mafia, murder and court room drama in this book. What more could you ask for in a thriller? 

You can job right in and read this novel even though it is not the first in the series. 

Thank you to netgalley, st martins press and Minotaur books for this arc!
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After reading one other in this series featuring former MMA fighter Robin Lockwood, I looked forward to another. And I'm happy to say this one doesn't disappoint - if anything, I enjoyed it more. This time around, Robin is a highly regarded defense attorney in Portland, Oregon. When a local family of four is murdered, the primary suspect is Mandy Kerrigan, a washed-up MMA fighter who once roundly defeated Robin, causing her to get out of the professional fight arena. Mandy, it seems, had beaten up the grown son of the murdered family and was even seen at their door not long before the bodies were discovered.

But Robin suspects the truth is more elusive, agreeing to defend her and, hopefully, identify the real killer or killers. Among the discoveries is the fact that the mother, Margaret Finch, was an attorney with a lucrative history of defending powerful mobsters, the father owed a ton of gambling debt and the aforementioned son was a drug dealer (plenty of reasons for payback, then).

The story, which employs flashbacks, follows Robin's investigation and courtroom proceedings as well as her budding romance with a colleague. There's plenty of action, all building up to a surprising end (well, sort of; fairly early on I made a deduction on my own that proved right on the money). All told, it's a very entertaining book, and I thank the publisher, via NetGalley, for the opportunity to read and review a pre-release copy.
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Robin Lockwood, former MMA fighter and now prominent defence attorney in Portland Oregon, is hired by her old fight cage nemesis, Mandy Kerrigan, who has been accused of a particularly heinous crime. A family of four has been brutally murdered and Mandy had been seen earlier fighting with the son outside a bar and, later, at the time of the murder, pounding on the door of the family’s home. Robin thinks she might be innocent but the evidence seems to be stacked against her. The only hope is to find other possible suspects and, as it turns out, every member of the family had done things to make them a target but is there enough evidence against any of these possibilities to keep Mandy off death row?

It’s been quite a while since I read a Phillip Margolin legal thriller but, after reading Betrayal, that’s an oversight I plan to rectify in the very near future. It’s  a smart, well-written, and entertaining tale that kept me guessing right up to the big reveal at the end. The characters are well-drawn and easy to like or hate and Robin makes for one bad-ass protagonist. It is also very fast-paced thanks to Margolin’s use of short chapters and dialogue. There’s plenty of action outside the courtroom but it was the action inside the courtroom I found most compelling. Although this is the seventh in the Robin Lockwood series, it can be read as a standalone.

I received an arc of this book from Netgalley and St Martin’s Press in exchange for an honest review
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Betrayal, by Phillip Margolin, is the seventh entry in the Robin Lockwood series.  Nonetheless, it is perfectly readable as a standalone.  Lockwood is a strong, smart, no-nonsense hero and lawyer, who happens to be a former professional fighter.  Most of the novel is the building of relationships and the legal case, the collection of evidence, and the preparation for trial.  While the unraveling of the mystery of who did what to whom is well-paced, there are some questions that never get resolved.  As a lawyer, I appreciate that the protagonists are both competent and ethical. This is a fun, quick read that leaves the reader satisfied and looking forward to the next installment.  Definitely recommend!  Thanks to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for the opportunity to read and digital ARC.
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Betrayal, the seventh in the Robin Lockwood series, is the first book I read by author Phillip Margolin; it will definitely not be my last. Robin Lockwood, a former MMA wrestler,  is now a prominent and formidable defense attorney in Portland,  Oregon. She takes on a challenging case defending Mandy Kerrigan, accused of killing powerhouse Attorney Margaret Finch and her family. Kerrigan is a down on her luck professional wrestler, and the person responsible for ending Robin's involvement in the sport ten years earlier. Why would Kerrigan kill an entire family? That and many other questions arise during the investigation.  Betrayal is an intriguing, compelling and fast-paced story that hooked me from the first page to the last one. I recommend this book, and look forward to discovering more books by Phillip Margolin, I was fortunate to receive an ARC through NetGalley; that in no way impacted my review.  4 stars.
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"In Phillip Margolin's Betrayal, attorney Robin Lockwood finds herself defending her old nemesis in a multiple murder case with too many suspects, where success might cost her own life."

Robin Lockwood is a bad ass and this book has all the suspense and you'll be sucked in. Robin is a favorite character of mine and newbies to her will love her too and become a series fan and can be read as stand alone.

From Russian mobsters, MMA fighting, cat and mouse, killers, whodunit, this one has it all!  I loved it.
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Betrayal is the latest in Phillip Margolin’s Robin Lockwood series. Robin is such a unique character that you not only root for but you also want to be best friends with. As a former MMA fighter turned lawyer, Robin is a tough woman with a heart of gold. In Betrayal, Robin defends a MMA fighter who assures her she is being framed. This story has so many intriguing twists and turns I couldn’t put it down.

A courtroom drama such as Law & Order mixed with your favorite thrilling mystery novel.

The horrific murder of an entire family, has the community of Portland, Oregon shocked. When Robin Lockwood, criminal defense attorney, finds her way onto the case, her biggest challenge is avoiding the death penalty for her client. Robin is a former professional MMA cage-fighter, turned lawyer has her work cut out for her.  Robin and her team are defending another MMA fighter who assures Robin that she is being framed, and she is completely innocent of the crimes. With all of this going on, Robin needs to fight her feeling for the DA she is falling for. 

For me, this one was a miss. There are different points when I wanted to root for Robin, but the fact that she was so wishy-washy it would make me cringe.  

This is a part of an ongoing series featuring the main protagonist Robin. This was my first read from this author, and is easily read as a stand-alone novel.
Thank you to NetGalley, the author, and the publisher for the opportunity to read and review an advanced reader's copy of this book
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A thriller I enjoyed from beginning to end excellent edition to the series.I really enjoyed the courtroom scenes felt like I was a juror.Great lead character former mma fighter hopefully her romance will last .#netgalley #st.martins
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Team Lockwood taking names and kicking ass once again! I love this series and love "getting to know" the characters! I can't wait to see how Robin's new relationship progresses and hope she can find love again in her life! It's going to add some fun-to-read complications to their work-life balance! Can't wait for the next installment! Write fast, Phillip Margolin!
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This is one of the best Robin Lockwood legal thrillers ever, with a complex plot and lots of possible suspects and red herrings. When Robin is called upon to defend her former MMA nemesis Mandy Kerrigan in a quadruple murder trial, the action heats up and rushes at breakneck speed all the way to the end. There are so many bad actors who could have possibly murdered the Finch family and the fact that the father was involved in making designer drugs and his wife was a lawyer for the Russian mob muddies the waters as Robin works determinedly to clear her client. I enjoyed the new characters in this book, especially the new DA, Tom McKee, a man who had just started dating Robin when they find themselves on opposite sides in the Mandy Kerrigan case. The entire book and all of its interwoven web was a fascinating read that had me engrossed in unraveling the mystery along with Robin. I was on the edge of my seat as danger got closer to Robin the closer she got to the truth, and I also feared for anyone associated with her since they were helping her with the case. What a great legal suspense thriller, with multiple layers and revelations methodically revealed at just the right time. The characterization was perfect, from the teen drug dealer to the mob bosses. The dialogue was sharp and the tension was crackling and brilliant. The intensity of the plot captivated me but the characters kept me reading. This book was so well-crafted and addictive that I could not have put it down if I tried. Phillip Margolin is one of the best in writing legal thrillers and this is one of the best I have ever read!
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review, and all opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255, “Guidelines Concerning the Use of Testimonials and Endorsements in Advertising.”
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Attorney Robin Lockwood begins her case with connections to some of the principal characters in the murder mystery Betrayal by Phillip Margolin. Ten years ago, Robin’s client knocked her out and brought an end to her career as a rising MMA fighter. Talented Mandy Kerrigan continued in the fighting world and went on to make a name for herself. Now, she is charged in the murder of an entire family. Robin’s other connection includes the man she has just started dating, the DA who is prosecuting Mandy. 

The murdered family has its own complications that cast shadows on other possible suspects. Margaret Finch, the mother, is a lawyer for Russian mobsters; Nathan Finch, the father, is deeply in debt to a bookie; Ryan Finch, the son, sold Mandy the performance-enhancing drugs that triggered her anger; and then there was something going on with the daughter Annie Finch, who has undergone an unexplained dramatic negative change in personality. After Mandy uses her fists publicly on Ryan for selling her what were supposed to be undetectable drugs, she makes an obvious choice to be the murderer. But could something else be going on?

This is a good mystery for a day when you need to reward yourself with an easy, relaxing read. It will add nothing to your IQ or to your efforts to be a better person. It will bring you pleasure if you like to spot the red herring and try to figure out the murderer ahead of the protagonist – and you just might.
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I really love how this mystery was put together. I've become a fan of Robin Lockwood.  I like her character a lot.  This author's style of writing really works for me.  This mystery had a lot of viable suspects (who knew there could be so many). There were enough that it took me a while to get to the right suspect. I loved the pace of the story. It was an easy read that I didn't want to put down. I do love the main character. I've read a couple of books in this series and have enjoyed those too. It's not necessary to read the others in the series first, but like me I suspect you will want to pick up the others. I received an advance copy and am voluntarily leaving a review.
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