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Worthy Brown's Daughter

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Known for his critically acclaimed contemporary thrillers, New York Times bestselling author Phillip Margolin explores intriguing new territory in Worthy Brown's Daughter, a compelling historical drama, set in nineteenth-century Oregon, that combines a heartbreaking story of slavery and murder with classic Margolin plot twists.

One of a handful of lawyers in the new state of Oregon, recently widowed Matthew Penny agrees to help Worthy Brown, a newly freed slave, rescue his fifteen year old daughter, Roxanne, from their former master, a powerful Portland lawyer. Worthy's lawsuit sets in motion events that lead to Worthy's arrest for murder and create an agonizing moral dilemma that could send either Worthy or Matthew to the hangman.

At the same time, hanging judge Jed Tyler, a powerful politician with a barren personal life, becomes infatuated with a beautiful gold-digger who is scheming to murder Benjamin Gillette, Oregon's wealthiest businessman. When Gillette appears to die from natural causes, Sharon Hill produces a forged contract of marriage and Tyler must decide if he will sacrifice his reputation to defend that of the woman who inspired his irrational obsession.

At Worthy's trial, Matthew saves Worthy by producing a stunning courtroom surprise and his attempt to stop the deadly fortune hunter ends in a violent climax.

From Publishers Weekly

Sep 02, 2013 – Based loosely on true events, the latest legal thriller from criminal defense attorney turned bestseller Margolin (Lost Lake) follows Matthew Penny, a pistol-bearing lawyer guided by his own moral compass. Portland, Ore., in the 1860s is a nest of conflict: property lawsuits stall the inevitable construction of a railroad, and a black man on trial expects a racist jury. Here, the innocent is Worthy Brown, a freed black man who asks Matthew to rescue his daughter, Roxanne, from Caleb Barbour, a crooked lawyer who illegally holds her in servitude. When Worthy is discovered standing over Caleb s dead body, and only he and Matthew know the truth, justice seems unlikely. Around this central drama, Margolin establishes characters that might have stepped out of a grainy Western, among them the evil siren Sharon Hill a full-figured woman whose oval face was framed by ebony ringlets that were in sharp contrast to her milk-white complexion. Margolin allows passions to sway his heroes, and generates empathy toward his crooks. If only the black characters worshipped their white benefactors less, or if one female character was spared a derogatory physical description. The plot is at times frustratingly one-dimensional, but Matthew is ultimately forced to distinguish truth from justice. On the courtroom floor, where Margolin is clearly at home, the stock characters adopt roles, albeit briefly, in a satisfying, white-knuckle climax.

Customer Reviews

Intriguing Story But Written Like A Soap Opera

I ordered the book to read something new during a wintry weather week. I like historical based fiction but this was written in the style of a romance paper book in my opinion. Come on, the featured young attorney in the tale came across as too stalwart and true to his dead wife, always above reproach. Really a silly tale when it could have been a really great novel, what a shame. Had never read any books by this author and do not plan to in the future. Why are so many authors now"dumbing down" books which are a disappointment to avid readers in search of a great story, not silly entertainment.

A moving departure

I have been a long time fan of Mr. Margolin. At the outset of the book I did not know if I was going to finish it; if it would interest me as his others had. Shortly I was captivated by the plot, the characters and the richness of the work. If anything this book painted a canvas much bigger and with greater depth than his others (and I certainly am not detracting from them.) By the end I could only describe it as a moving narrative that combines the drama or the law with compelling issues of the time - and this time. As a senior citizen and life long resident of the South, I have seen the fact of prejudice and witnessed the rise toward rightful value of all men. That journey is not over, but narratives like this one will help us all strive to stay true to the course. So this is more than just an enthralling read or a pleasant pastime. Thanks for what you have done, Phillip.

Misleading title!

I wanted to like this book, but did not. I have never read other books by this author. I guess he is more into a legal thriller, which is what this book was. I was expecting a deeper, more historical novel. Instead, it consisted of so many plots that the main title's storyline and characters you would expect to be associates with it as the book opens becomes tossed aside to secondary characters and plots. If it was going to be a legal novel, it would have been nice to have focused on the legal proceedings that revolved around Worthy, his daughter, the lawyer. Instead, none of that happened and we get to a novel that focused on a judge who played a minor role in the book's beginning and litigants who had no bearings to Worthy, his daughter or their circumstances. What could have been a great legal and historical novel that dealt with slavery, treatment, ownership, etc in the 1800s simply became a legal novel about other characters that were originally secondary to the initial (seemingly) focus of the very early portion of the novel and focusing on legal matters that felt like those cases you can read about in today's tabloid papers...

Worthy Brown's Daughter
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  • $9.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Mysteries & Thrillers
  • Published: Jan 21, 2014
  • Publisher: Harper
  • Print Length: 384 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings