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December 4, 2014 / Leslie

Review: Woman With A Gun by Phillip Margolin

WomanWithAGunWoman With A Gun
by Phillip Margolin

Genre: Mystery / Suspense
Publisher: Harper
Publish Date: December 2014
Format: Hardcover | 320 pages
Rating: 5 of 5

About the Story

I usually quote a portion of the publisher’s blurb for a quick synopsis, but this one reads as if the story takes place in the present, and in a way it does by beginning and ending there, but in between are several time lines where the bulk of the story actually occurs and focus shifts to a different primary character…

We begin, briefly, in 2015…
When Stacey, an aspiring writer, decided to spend her lunch hour relaxing at an art exhibit, she never dreamed it would completely change her life. She had moved to New York thinking just being in the Big Apple would spur her creativity, but so far it was one boring day after another, toiling away at a dreary job as a receptionist to pay the bills. Everything changed when she saw a prize-winning photo of a woman on a beach holding a gun – there was a story behind that photo, and that would be her novel.

We jump back in time to 2005 and later to 2000 to learn the story behind the photo…
Photographer Kathy Moran is walking on the beach when she see a woman, wearing a white dress gazing, out over the water and holding a gun behind her back. She takes a photo and then offers help to the woman who appears dazed and in shock. We learn it was her wedding night and in a robbery at their home she was attacked and knocked unconscious. When she woke she found her husband dead. There are several suspects but the murder is never solved despite the efforts of prosecutor Jack Booth, who we will learn has a prior history with the photographer, Kathy, in the jump back to 2000.


It sounds complicated, but once the characters are established, the non-linear story line works well. We spend enough time in each period to understand the plot, develop the characters and pick up a few clues.

The mystery was compelling and the jumps in time felt seamless. The shifting points of view – Stacy in the present and Jack in the past – provided plenty of insight and revealed bits and pieces of the story. Photographer Kathy Moran and prosecutor Jack Booth are present throughout and tie the stories together with an eventual resolution of the mystery in the present time line.

I didn’t figure out who the killer was until the end, when enough information was revealed to understand the motive. Now, looking back and thinking about it – revenge, anger, greed – it all falls together. If you like a compelling mystery that keeps you guessing, this is a good choice.

For More Info

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Source: Review copy provided by TLC Book Tours.
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Leave a Comment
  1. BermudaOnion / Dec 4 2014 9:44 am

    You’ve made this sound like a must read!


  2. Lloyd Russell / Dec 4 2014 6:56 pm

    I also read this and liked it. But I gave it a 2.5/4. You obviously liked it a lot more than I did.


    • Leslie / Dec 4 2014 7:26 pm

      I did! And I rarely give 5 stars. I like the multiple time lines… and it did have me fooled… I thought someone else was the killer until the end when the motive was revealed.


      • Lloyd Russell / Dec 4 2014 7:30 pm

        I definitely agree that the killer was a surprise.


  3. Suko / Dec 5 2014 11:31 am

    Leslie, I’m glad you enjoyed this one enough to give it 5 stars. It does sound like a compelling mystery.


  4. Heather J. @ TLC / Dec 5 2014 11:46 am

    I tend to like complicated stories so you definitely have me intrigued!

    Thanks for being a part of the tour.



  1. Woman with a Gun, by Phillip Margolin – Review | Bibliotica
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  3. Phillip Margolin, author of Woman with a Gun, on tour December 2014 | TLC Book Tours
  4. TLC Book Tour: "Woman with a Gun" by Phillip Margolin Review & Giveaway[closed] -

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