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The Associate

Cover of The Associate

The Associate

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A mesmerizing tale of deceit and criminal stealth in the high-stakes world of pharmaceutical research from Phillip Margolin, the New York Times bestselling master of the courtroom thriller.

Daniel Ames is living the American dream. Though born into poverty and living on the streets by the age of fifteen, Daniel has overcome every obstacle -- and now is an associate at Reed, Briggs, Portland's most prestigious law firm, earning more money than he ever imagined possible.

But when Aaron Flynn enters his life, Daniel finds himself caught between his towering ambition and his bedrock idealism. Flynn, a charismatic civil litigator, sues Geller Pharmaceuticals -- Reed, Briggs's biggest client -- for manufacturing a drug that he claims causes unspeakable birth defects. Daniel is certain the claim has no merit -- until a memo written by a Geller scientist is found, detailing the shocking results of a study that implicates the company in a horrific lie.

Could Daniel unwittingly be helping Geller cover up a dark secret? As he begins to investigate, his world comes tumbling down around him. His work is sabotaged, he's accused of professional incompetence, and he's fired. Twelve hours later the man who fired him is murdered. Daniel is arrested.

With help from two women, including lawyer Amanda Jaffe (whom we met in Wild Justice), Daniel scrambles to clear his name and save his reputation -- and in the process unearths a trail of deceit that leads back to a series of unsolved kidnappings seven years earlier. But someone doesn't want this trail explored, and Daniel becomes the target of a vicious killer who will stop at nothing to prevent the truth from being revealed.

A mesmerizing tale of deceit and criminal stealth in the high-stakes world of pharmaceutical research from Phillip Margolin, the New York Times bestselling master of the courtroom thriller.

Daniel Ames is living the American dream. Though born into poverty and living on the streets by the age of fifteen, Daniel has overcome every obstacle -- and now is an associate at Reed, Briggs, Portland's most prestigious law firm, earning more money than he ever imagined possible.

But when Aaron Flynn enters his life, Daniel finds himself caught between his towering ambition and his bedrock idealism. Flynn, a charismatic civil litigator, sues Geller Pharmaceuticals -- Reed, Briggs's biggest client -- for manufacturing a drug that he claims causes unspeakable birth defects. Daniel is certain the claim has no merit -- until a memo written by a Geller scientist is found, detailing the shocking results of a study that implicates the company in a horrific lie.

Could Daniel unwittingly be helping Geller cover up a dark secret? As he begins to investigate, his world comes tumbling down around him. His work is sabotaged, he's accused of professional incompetence, and he's fired. Twelve hours later the man who fired him is murdered. Daniel is arrested.

With help from two women, including lawyer Amanda Jaffe (whom we met in Wild Justice), Daniel scrambles to clear his name and save his reputation -- and in the process unearths a trail of deceit that leads back to a series of unsolved kidnappings seven years earlier. But someone doesn't want this trail explored, and Daniel becomes the target of a vicious killer who will stop at nothing to prevent the truth from being revealed.

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  • Chapter One

    The headlight beams of Dr. Sergey Kaidanov's battered SAAB bounced off a stand of Douglas firs then came to rest on the unpainted wall of a one-story, cinderblock building buried in the woods several miles from downtown Portland. As soon as Kaidanov unlocked the front door of the building the rhesus monkeys started making that half-cooing, half-barking sound that set his nerves on edge. The volume of noise increased when Kaidanov flipped on the lights.

    Most of the monkeys were housed in two rooms at the back of the building. Kaidanov walked down a narrow hall and stood in front of a thick metal door that sealed off one of the rooms. He slid back a metal sheet and studied the animals through the window it concealed. There were sixteen rhesus monkeys in each room. Each monkey was in its own steel mesh cage. The cages were stacked two high and two across on a flatcar with rollers. Kaidanov hated everything about the monkeys -- their sour, unwashed smell, the noises they made, the unnerving way they followed his every move.

    As soon as Kaidanov's face was framed in the window, the monkey two from the door in the top cage leaped toward him and stared him down. Its fur was brownish gray and it gripped the mesh with hands containing opposable thumbs on both arms and legs. This was the dominant monkey in the room and it had established its dominance within three weeks even though there was no way it could get at the others.

    Rhesus monkeys were very aggressive, very nervous, and always alert. It was bad etiquette to look one in the eye, but Kaidanov did it just to show the little bastard who was the boss. The monkey didn't blink. It stretched its doglike muzzle through the mesh as far as it could, baring a set of vicious canines. At two feet tall and forty pounds, the monkey didn't look like it could do much damage to a one-hundred-and-ninety-pound, five-foot-eight male human, but it was much stronger than it looked.

    Kaidanov checked his watch. it was three in the morning. He couldn't imagine what was so important that he had to meet here at this hour, but the person whose call had dragged him from a deep sleep paid Kaidanov to do as he was told, no questions asked.

    Kaidanov needed caffeine. He was about to go to his office to brew a pot of coffee when he noticed that the padlock on the dominant monkey's cage was open. He must have forgotten to close it after the last feeding. The scientist started to open the door but stopped when he remembered that the key to the monkey rooms was in his office.

    Kaidanov returned to the front of the building. His office was twelve by fifteen and stuffed with lab equipment. A small desk on casters stood just inside the door. it was covered by a phone book, articles from research journals, and printouts of contractions that the monkeys experienced during pregnancy. Behind the table was a cheap office chair. Along the walls were metal filing cabinets, a sink, and a paper towel dispenser.

    Kaidanov walked around the desk. The coffeepot was sitting on a table alongside a centrifuge, scales, a rack of test rubes, and a Pokémon mug filled with Magic Markers, pens, and pencils. Above the table was a television screen attached to a security camera that showed the front of the building.

    The pot of coffee was almost brewed when Kaidanov heard a car pull up and a door slam. On the television a figure in a hooded windbreaker ran toward the lab. Kaidanov left his office and opened the front door. The scientist peered at the...

About the Author-
  • Phillip Margolin has written eighteen novels, many of them New York Times bestsellers, including the recent Worthy Brown's Daughter, Sleight of Hand, and the Washington Trilogy. Each displays a unique, compelling insider's view of criminal behavior, which comes from his long background as a criminal defense attorney who has handled thirty murder cases. Winner of the Distinguished Northwest Writer Award, he lives in Portland, Oregon.

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  • Copyright Protection (DRM) required by the Publisher may be applied to this title to limit or prohibit printing or copying. File sharing or redistribution is prohibited. Your rights to access this material expire at the end of the lending period. Please see Important Notice about Copyrighted Materials for terms applicable to this content.

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