Woman with a Gun: A Novel (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

An arresting photograph of a woman in a white wedding dress
on a moonlit night at the edge of the sea holding a gun inspired Phillip
Margolin to write this page turning mystery.  It is a compelling picture;
the reader will see it on the dust jacket of the book.  As Margolin says,
it does make you wonder what a woman would be doing at the water’s edge in a
wedding gown with a weapon. He has a bit of fun with making one of his
characters an aspiring young writer, Stacey Kim, who sees this picture in a
museum and is inspired to write a mystery.  Her sleuthing takes her back a
decade to the Oregon Coast where the photographer, Kathy Moran, was getting her
life back together after beating a drug habit that cost her a career as a
Portland Oregon attorney.  It turns out the wedding night picture was
taken shortly after the wealthy groom was murdered.  Of course with juicy
details like this, Stacey is off and running.  She quickly sheds her day
job as a receptionist at a New York law firm and heads west to Portland Oregon,
then on to the Oregon Coast.  The murder of the wealthy groom has never
been solved; suspicion still falls on his gorgeous bride found in the
aforementioned gown toting a gun.  As Stacey starts probing, asking
questions around the small coastal town, interviewing the lawyers involved, it
raises the hackles of a killer that might best be left undisturbed.  More
bodies follow and soon Stacey is in the killer’s sites too. There are many
likeable characters from the small town denizens, to the attorneys involved,
and an interesting array of potential killers. The story is set in three time
frames, current day when Stacey is writing her novel, the time of the wedding
night murder, and a few years earlier in 2000 when attorney Jack Booth meets
Kathy Moran. Margolin keeps the action moving, uses the northwestern setting
beautifully, and crafts a devious mystery that will keep you turning pages.

— Deon Stonehouse


New York Times Bestselling Author
New York Times bestselling master of mystery Phillip Margolin transcends his traditional territory in this new and different book, a haunting thriller inspired by an unforgettable photograph

At a retrospective on the work of acclaimed photographer Kathy Moran, aspiring novelist Stacey Kim is fascinated by the exhibition’s centerpiece: the famous Woman with a Gun, which launched the artist’s career. Shot from behind, the enigmatic black-and-white image depicts a woman in a wedding dress standing on the shore at night, facing the sea. But this is no serene, romantic portrait. In her right hand, which is hidden behind her back, she holds a six-shooter.

The picture captures Stacey’s imagination and raises a host of compelling questions: Who is this woman? Is this a photograph of her on her wedding day? Does she plan to kill herself or someone else? Obsessed with finding answers, she soon discovers the identity of the woman: a suspect in a ten-year-old murder investigation. Convinced that proof of the woman’s guilt, or innocence, is somehow connected to the photograph, Stacey embarks on a relentless investigation.

Drawn deeper into the case, Stacey finds that everyone involved has a different opinion of the woman’s culpability. But the one person who may know the whole story—Kathy Moran—isn’t talking. Stacey must find a way to get to the reclusive photographer, and get her to talk, or the truth about what happened that day will stay forever hidden in the shadows.

About the Author

Phillip Margolin has written nineteen novels, many of them New York Times bestsellers, including his latest novels Woman with a Gun, Worthy Brown’s Daughter, Sleight of Hand, and the Washington trilogy. Each displays a unique, compelling insider’s view of criminal behavior, which comes from his long background as a criminal defense attorney who has handled thirty murder cases. Winner of the Distinguished Northwest Writer Award, he lives in Portland, Oregon.

Praise For…

Praise for Phillip Margolin: “It takes a really crafty storyteller to put people on the edge of their seats and keep them there. Phillip Margolin does just that.” — Chicago Tribune

“A master of plot and pacing-and one of those rare authors who can create a genuinely surprising ending.” — Lisa Scottoline

“In the hands of Phillip Margolin, nothing is ever simple and no one is really safe. He is the master of suspense mystery.” — Lisa Ko, author of The Leavers

“Margolin knows how to pack in the thrills.” — Tess Gerritsen

“…. Margolin deliver[s] one of his cleverest cases.” — Kirkus Reviews

“This is hands down the best thing Margolin has written in years… In terms of storytelling skill, the book hearkens back to Margolin’s early, topnotch novels like After Dark (1995) and The Last Innocent Man (1981). It’s a welcome return to form.” — Booklist

“Margolin is in his element with this crime thriller.” — Statesman Journal (Oregon)

Woman with a Gun is instantly engaging from page one and thoroughly entertaining…. [T]here’s the stunning Oregon coast as the setting, a baffling murder, a cunning killer and some romance thrown in for added dimension.” — Bookreporter

“Margolin…knows how to entertain. Like his inspirations, he gives us plenty of gems: shocking situations met with clever wisecracks; sordid personal histories that tumble out in a moment of panic; broken souls who confess their love only when it’s all too late.” — The Oregonian (Portland)

“Margolin sets up Woman With a Gun in such a compelling way that it’s vital to find how what actually did happen in the Cahill home.” — South Florida Sun Sentinel

“With such a fascinating picture to work from, the talented novelist has written a riveting story reminiscent of the classic detective stories of the 1930s… Phillip Margolin’s Woman With a Gun shows that the classic mystery never goes out of style.” — Iron Mountain Daily News

Woman with a Gun is an unrelenting story of suspense, as it moves back and forth between the past and the present. Author Margolin skillfully links the art of photography with fiction writing to create a masterful story of his own.” — Suspense Review

“Authors gather inspiration from everything. It can be a picture, a newspaper story, memories or personal experiences. The black and white photograph on the cover compelled author Phillip Margolin to create this thriller and also drew me in.” — Entertainment Realm

Woman With A Gun is fueled by a very intriguing picture and well developed characters.… [A] page-turner story.” — Military Press

“For fans of contemporary thrillers and mysteries, give Woman With A Gun a read.” — Daily Dosage

Woman with a Gun is fueled by a very intriguing picture and well developed characters.… Readers are kept off balance, suspecting many different characters as the killer, as they engage in this page-turner story.” — MyShelf.com

Praise for Worthy Brown’s Daughter: “This departure for best-selling thriller writer Margolin might appeal to fans of the acclaimed movie 12 Years a Slave.” — USA Today

“Worthy Brown’s Daughter is a fast and absorbing read, and Margolin’s law expertise makes the book’s climax…an exciting moment indeed.” — Seattle Times

“[A] compelling tale of justice for sale… vibrant characters…bring the West to life…. If you like westerns or legal thrillers you will get both in Worthy Brown’s Daughter.” — Huffington Post

“The Old West comes alive in heart-wrenching, violent, and wicked racist color…. Legal thriller and western fans will stay with it to the last page. . . . Margolin’s novel offers a compelling portrait of small town justice done right.” — Booklist on Worthy Brown's Daughter

Product Details
ISBN: 9780062399588
ISBN-10: 0062399586
Publisher: Harper Paperbacks
Publication Date: August 25th, 2015
Pages: 304
Language: English