Capitol Murder – Phillip Margolin

I’ve been away from fiction for almost a couple of months. First, because I am reading a major military history series. Second, because I am trying (but probably failing) to do more Hebrew reading. However, before Shabbat I got to breaking point, and just had to have something by way of good old fashioned fiction. Thus Capitol Murder was it.

The good news is that Margolin can construct a plot that hangs together well, and delivers genuine reader interest. The bad news is that whatever characterization skills Margolin has, were obviously on holiday while he wrote this. Can you say “cardboard”? Can you say “cut-out”? Can you say “one dimensional”? And that’s being generous.

The story involves a terrorist plot and the connections with a philandering Senator and a convicted serial killer. I will say that after reading the back page blurb, I was expecting a formulaic tale. What Margolin wrote was different, and that was a pleasant surprise, despite the woeful characterization.

So, there’s a decent plot, a chunk of action, and one or two genuinely interesting patches of writing. The story fairly rattles along, and there are some surprises, and it therefore fulfilled the mission of keeping me entertained over Shabbat. But it’s lightweight and difficult to recommend other than as a “check your brain out at the door” diversion.

Score: 4.5/10