Cover image for No defense
Title:
No defense
Author:
Wilhelm, Kate.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First U.S. edition.
Publication Information:
New York : St. Martin's Minotaur, 2000.
Physical Description:
376 pages ; 25 cm
Language:
English
Geographic Term:
ISBN:
9780312209537
Format :
Book

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X Adult Fiction Open Shelf
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X Adult Fiction Popular Materials-Mystery
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X Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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X Adult Fiction Open Shelf
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X Adult Fiction Open Shelf
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X Adult Fiction Open Shelf
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X Adult Fiction Mystery/Suspense
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Summary

Summary

Barbara Holloway's a trial lawyer who tends to take on difficult cases.One involved a woman accused of killing her own child, another involved a mentally handicapped man, and her last one found her entangled in such a mess that it's a wonder she lived through it at all.But in every previous case she has had some fragment with which she could build an argument.This time out, it seems there's no defense at all.Lara and Vinny Jessup had a lovely May-December marriage.It renewed his lease on life after a battle with cancer, and it rescued her from a bad first marriage.Initially, the sheriff out in Loomis County thinks that Vinny died when his car rolled over on a bad curve on Lookout Mountain.Then he finds the 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 finds herself drawn to the Oregon desert to take on this case, accompanied by her associates: her colleague Shelley with her Barbie-doll looks, the inimitable detective Bailey Novell, and her father Frank (who's soon to be a published writer!).But the case itself is as dead as the desert.Is there any defense at all?Compelling and distinctive, this drama demonstrates anew why Kate Wilhelm is considered a master of the form.


Author Notes

Kate Wilhelm was born Katie Gertrude Meredith in Dayton, Ohio on June 8, 1928. Her first book, More Bitter Than Death, was published in 1963. She wrote over 75 books in many genres including science fiction, mystery, and fantasy. Her books included The Clone, the Barbara Holloway mystery series, and Welcome, Chaos. Her short stories and novellas won several Nebula Awards. Her novel Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang and her how-to book Storyteller: Writing Lessons and More From 27 Years of the Clarion Writers' Workshop won Hugo Awards.

She and her husband, author and editor Damon Knight, trained numerous writers through their Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers' Workshop and the annual Milford Writers' Conference. She died from respiratory failure on March 8, 2018 at the age of 89.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Wilhelm is a master of several genres. A Nebula Award winner for her sf/fantasy, she is equally at home with mysteries. In her fifth Barbara Holloway novel, she demonstrates her multiple skills: outstanding characterization, a keen ear for dialogue, and expert plot construction. Attorney Holloway is defending Lara Jessup, a young widow accused of murdering her much older husband, Vinny, a man with a large insurance policy, a terminal case of cancer, and some very powerful enemies. Jessup's alibi begins to evaporate when her adolescent son contradicts her story, and Holloway is left with no way to defend her except to expose those powerful enemies. Wilhelm effectively employs the multiple environments of Oregon as a key supporting character in the novel, using the harsh beauty and sudden weather reversals of the eastern desert to symbolize the variable fortunes of Holloway's case. Although there is nothing particularly original or surprising here, this well-written novel skillfully captures small-town life in a rural western community with all its benefits and drawbacks. --George Needham


Publisher's Weekly Review

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. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved


Library Journal Review

Prominent Oregon attorney Vinny Jessup is found dead in his truck at the foot of a cliff near his home in Bend, and Lara, his young wife, is promptly indicted for murder. Could this have been a suicide, or was Lara out to collect on Vinny's insurance? Enter Barbara and Frank Holloway, Wilhelm's (Defense for the Devil) popular father-daughter legal team. Lara swears she's being framed by a big rancher with Supreme Court aspirations, and when she produces a puzzling dossier on the good Judge McReady, the Holloways are truly stumped. McReady and the other big money ranchers are an intimidating, tight-mouthed bunch, but their stories are fundamentally credible. No one can vouch for Lara's actions on the night in question except for her young son. Typical of Wilhelm's many other excellent legal thrillers, a riveting story ensues as Barbara threads her way through a labyrinth of legal intricacies and tiny shreds of evidence. Throughout, Wilhelm's characters are believable, the setting attractively portrayed, and each subplot perfectly crafted and intertwined. This is her best work to date, superb enough to stand with the best of the genre. Highly recommended.--Susan Gene Clifford Braun, The Aerospace Corporation, El Segundo, CA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.