When Vanessa Kohler, a Washington, D.C., tabloid journalist, sees a story on the evening news of a Congressman having been brutally murdered in Oregon, she believes that her fears have been realized: there really is a vast military conspiracy threatening the well-being of every American. Dismissed as a “nutcase,” Kohler has never been able to convince anyone that she was anything other than crazy. Now she believes that she can make people listen before it is too late.
Phillip Margolin's Lost Lake revolves around a man posed to run for president, General Morris Wingate, who is at the heart of the conspiracy Vanessa has been tracking. However, Dan Morelli—the man who can help Vanessa unmask Wingate—is a suspect in multiple murders, including that of a young Oregon Congressman. Vanessa turns to a Portland, Oregon, attorney, single mom Ami Vergano, for help in defending Morelli, a woman who also happens to be Morelli's landlord. Both women must try to come to terms with a world that is not as it seems: for Ami, who is this man she knew as Morelli and how is he connected to the shadow world represented by General Wingate? For Vanessa, what is the truth about Wingate and who will believe her?
The story is violent; those who are associated with Morelli, a.k.a. Carl Price, suffer horrible consequences as a result of their association. Margolin's writing is tense and suspenseful, raising unsettling questions as to what really happens at the higher echelons of government and the military.