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No Defense

Cover of No Defense

No Defense

Barbara Holloway Series, Book 5
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Lara and Vinny Jessup had a lovely May-December marriage—until the day Vinny was found dead. Initially, the sheriff in Loomis County thinks that Vinny died when his car rolled over on a bad curve on Lookout Mountain. But then he finds a gunshot wound. Was it suicide, or was it murder? With a large insurance policy as her motive, Lara could have staged the death ... or so it appears to the sheriff.

Barbara Holloway is a trial lawyer who tends to take on difficult cases, but in every previous case she has had some fragment with which she could build an argument. She finds herself drawn to the Oregon desert to take on this case, accompanied by her associates: her colleague Shelley and the detective Bailey Novell, along with her father, Frank. But the case itself is as dead as the desert. Is there any defense at all?

Lara and Vinny Jessup had a lovely May-December marriage—until the day Vinny was found dead. Initially, the sheriff in Loomis County thinks that Vinny died when his car rolled over on a bad curve on Lookout Mountain. But then he finds a gunshot wound. Was it suicide, or was it murder? With a large insurance policy as her motive, Lara could have staged the death ... or so it appears to the sheriff.

Barbara Holloway is a trial lawyer who tends to take on difficult cases, but in every previous case she has had some fragment with which she could build an argument. She finds herself drawn to the Oregon desert to take on this case, accompanied by her associates: her colleague Shelley and the detective Bailey Novell, along with her father, Frank. But the case itself is as dead as the desert. Is there any defense at all?

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  • Kate Wilhelm is the bestselling author of dozens of novels and short-story collections. Among her novels are the popular courtroom thrillers featuring attorney Barbara Holloway. Her other works include the science fiction classic Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang.

Reviews-
  • AudioFile Magazine Lara Jessup is accused of killing her husband or of covering up his suicide. Barbara Holloway, an extraordinary trial lawyer and her father, Frank Holloway, an even sharper lawyer, come up against the local land baron. Marguerite Gavin takes the listener through Barbara Holloway's intricate task of sifting through facts, rumor, innuendo, and the tangled web of the past. Gavin's steady narration slowly gains connection, momentum, and character as she fleshes out each person and event. Wilhelm's twisted tale, never quite gets going toward the anticipated conclusion, even to the very last word. As the lawyers uncover more information, the tension grows as the listener learns the underlying causes for murder, cover-up, and power in the Oregon desert country. M.B.K. (c) AudioFile 2001, Portland, Maine
  • Publisher's Weekly

    January 3, 2000
    The murder case against young widow Lara Jessup appears airtight after her wealthy, much older, and terminally ill husband Vinny is shot on a twisting Oregon mountain road, and legal eagle Barbara Holloway struggles mightily to construct a defense for Lara in the first half of Wilhelm's latest legal thriller. Holloway is certain that the mountain of evidence indicating that Lara shot Vinny and then tried to make it look like a suicide is part of a setup by Harris McReady, an ambitious candidate for the Oregon Supreme Court who was also involved in an earlier "accident" in which Vinny's son from a previous marriage was shot. But Holloway travels down a series of dead ends in her efforts to unearth clues in the Oregon desert town where McReady is using his ties with a powerful rancher, Thomas Lynch, to press his case, and a conviction seems imminent as depositions are taken before the trial. The resourceful lawyer hits pay dirt, though, when the final leg of the investigation leads to McReady's gorgeous but damaged wife, who is also Lynch's daughter, and the pace picks up considerably as she dissects her opponent's marriage of convenience and the Lynch family history, revealing a hornet's nest of shady deals and coverups. Wilhelm spends considerable prose developing her quirky cast of characters, using the eerie milieu of the Oregon high desert to set off the oddness of this likable group. The attention to detail slows things up a bit, but once the depositions start, the action turns electric as the story races to an intriguing ending. Her carefully crafted approach to the legal thriller continues to separate Wilhelm from the competition, and those who prefer both style and substance in their courtroom dramas will find this a satisfying read.

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No Defense
No Defense
Barbara Holloway Series, Book 5
Kate Wilhelm
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