Woman with a Gun–Author: Phillip Margolin 4 out of 5 Stars
Welcome to the first Review Friday.
A writer, must do just that, to hone their skills. Subject matter isn’t important, putting words on paper, in a form of a blog, keeping a journal, or working on a novel, just write every day. Another important thing for them to do, READ, somebody’s work beside your own, in all genres. Reading will improve your craft. I fell short last year in that department, reading only five books, that’s on the high side. This year I have vowed to improve on that total.
Reading takes us away, in order for new writers to accomplish this for their readers, they most learn from those who are masters at doing it. Reading is gaining knowledge of the craft. How does James Patterson set a scene, Mark Twain was a master at keeping dialogue true to his characters ethnic origins. Stephen King, how does he set the tone and pace that keeps you on the edge of your seat, how is Penelope Syn so masterful in bringing her characters to life, allowing the reader to feel their desire, pain and pleasure. How did A.N. Roquelaure (Ann Rice) in her trilogy, set the tone and era perfectly. You won’t have any idea if you don’t pick up a book and read it.
While diving into the pages of a book, as a writer, you pick up on technique, dialog, and plot structure, the way they draw the reader into the story by showing what’s happening and not telling. You feel the characters heartbreak, joy, and fear. Their words paint the picture as if you were watching it on the big screen, evoking all five senses.
A light, no brighter than sixty watts, came on, lighting up the dark empty skull where a brain should be. Read and Write, if I was going to read more I would also write a review of what I was reading, from my perspective. Don’t worry I hate spoilers and will not give away the ending, I hate when someone does that.
Woman with a Gun.
By: Phillip Margolin
I had never heard of Phillip Margolin, and I’m sure he has never heard of me. Mr. Margolin has written many a novel, eighteen to be exact when the above one was published. He has a long background as a defense attorney handling thirty murder cases. What made me pick Phillip Margolin’s book from the Inglewood branch library out of the thousands I had to choose from. The cover, that’s right, the cover art.
New authors take note to what I just typed, the COVER ART is why I chose his book. Your web site is the only place that markets your books with no competition. Book stores, libraries, and e-book retailers, carries everyone’s work. Your published work will be tossed among hundreds if not thousands of others. The cover art makes the first impression and we know what they say about first impressions, on with the review.
Woman with a Gun depicts beautiful scenery in the North West Pacific region, where a majority of the story takes place, but also gives us the hustle and bustle of life in New York. I liked the way Mr. Margolin drew a contrast between the two, you could feel the relaxation of the waves and ocean breeze brought to one’s soul versus the tension of a crowded city. Stacey, a receptionist, had been convinced by her college professor, that her short story should be expanded into a novel. Stacey moves to New York to do just that, but as with all of us life got in the way, she was getting nowhere. She needed some type of motivation to kick-start her creative juices flowing. Stacey decided that a trip to the museum at lunch, there was an exhibit she wanted to see, maybe would break the funk that had a hold on her. Her lunch relief arrived and she agreed if Stacey was late coming back she would cover the phones. Stacey had finished looking at the pieces she went to see, her eyes darted as they were drawn to a black and white photograph. You guessed it, the one Mr. Margolin used for the book cover. The photo drew Stacey in, mesmerizing her, she had questions dancing in her head. Stacey had to figure out what was behind this simple but intriguing master piece taken by Kathy Moran. This was the kick Stacey needed to get her writing back on track, this picture would be her focal point. From there Woman with a Gun explodes into action and will hold you captive till the end. The book moves along at a good pace, the characters are strong, and fit right into the story. The plot is concrete with more twist and turns than a formula one road race, with a great ending.
Let’s talk back story, this book has a lot of it, after Part One, Woman with a Gun, takes place in 2015 with Chapter One. Next Mr. Margolin takes us back to 2005 in Part Two, The Cahill Case begins in Chapter Two. Part Two leads to Part Three, The Kilbride Case, the year 2000, and begins Chapter Seven. Mr. Margolin uses Part Four, The Cahill Case to bring us back to 2005 beginning in Chapter Fourteen. Part Five, Palisades Heights brings up back to 2015 starting with Chapter Twenty Eight. Chapter Thirty Six opens Part Six, The Smoking Gun, still in the year 2015 which takes us to the end of the book in Chapter Fifty. Why did I bring this up, that’s over twenty-five chapters of back story? From the books I’ve read, classes I’ve taken, and editors who have bled on my work, that’s a no-no, if you’re new. Mr. Margolin taught me a way to bring the back story to life with action, character building, and events that tied to the main plot through sub plots. I found this to be pure genius on his part. There were other rules he broke or pushed to the edge of the proverbial envelope, hey when you got eighteen novels under your belt, instead of one, you get some lead way.
I give Woman with a Gun 4 out of 5 Stars. I read the book in a day, it was raining and cold outside, but I felt the warmth of the North Pacific sun. Thank you Phillip Margolin for a great suspense mystery, and the opportunity to learn from your writing. I look forward to reading more of your works.
Joe Clay is a new author, his works can be found at the below links. His reviews can be found on Goodreads along with what he’s reading.