Worthy Brown’s Daughter is a fast and absorbing read, and Margolin’s law expertise makes the book’s climax…an exciting moment indeed.
It is rare that we get a good western adventure but Margolin has the right stuff to make this one a classic. He takes us back to that time in our country's history when men were quick to fight for the dreams of wealth, a woman's love, or a matter of honor. If you like westerns or legal thrillers you will get both in Worthy Brown's Daughter.
He captures both the haphazard legal theater—when judges ride the circuit, Portland’s "courthouse" is a loft on the third floor of the Coleman Barrel Company—and the daunting racism of the times.
The author has done some homework when it comes to recreating 19th century scenes, from the informal courtrooms to the makeshift jail to the streets of Portland and San Francisco. Still, Margolin apparently has never met an adjective he didn't love and want to bring home. One of the most striking examples from this book is his description of Matthew as—"gaunt," "unwell," "always exhausted" and "morose"—all in one sentence! [Despite a] careless use of language...this energetic tale does cover interesting regional history.
Worthy Brown’s Daughter reads something like Deadwood meets Twelve Years a Slave. The finale in the courtroom is as brilliant and exciting as any great legal drama…. [A] beautifully written story rooted in America’s brutal history of slavery and racism.
Iron Mountain News
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.
Portland, Ore., in the 1860s...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.... On the courtroom floor...the stock characters adopt roles, albeit briefly, in a satisfying, white-knuckle climax.
[I]nspired by a case from the 1800s in which Col. Nathaniel Ford brought a slave family from Missouri to Oregon to help him start up his farm on the condition they would be freed after it was up and running. Colonel Ford freed the parents but kept the children as indentured servants.... With plenty of action and short chapters, this historical legal thriller is a quick read. Some...plotlines are too easily and quickly tied up. ...but the lively narrative will keep readers engrossed. —Brooke Bolton, North Manchester P.L., IN
Legal thriller writer Margolin turns back the clock to confront murder, deceit and slavery in frontier Oregon. It's 1860... [T]here's legal wrangling, murder and romance, set against the backdrop of race and frontier life. Margolin's dialogue is sometimes affected, sometimes faintly anachronistic, but his scene-setting, knowledge of the frontier and relating of the hard task of the law make for an appealing read that, the author says, took 30 years to write.
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