Kate Wilhelm has the ability to create characters that the reader cares about. In this book Barbara Holloway, Oregon lawyer, defends a battered woman, who took her baby to a home providing shelter to such women. The home is burned down, and the woman is labeled a "Baby Killer." Barbara, her lawyer-father Frank, and their investigator, Bailey, find neighbors who think women should be subservient to their husbands, and another who has a gun testing range. An excellent read.
From back cover:
The neighborhood in Eugene, Oregon, is blue-collar; the cafe holds only three tables and four booths. But it's the only place attorney Barbara Holloway feels both productive and peaceful. Laptop computer on the table, coffee refilled regularly by the cook, Barbara gets her work done and wants for nothing more...certainly not another explosive, emotionally devastating courtroom case.
Until a woman comes to Barbara with a case she cannot refuse. The sister of "Baby Killer" Kennerman, the tale she tells is so terrifying that Barbara must act. What she unearths is a corrupt conspiracy that will allow a killer to walk away free. And when she finds herself up against a smear campaign of unimaginable proportions, Barbara Holloway realizes that even the best defense may not be enough....
This is a great courtroom drama, riveting to the last page~!
This book was a little slow to start up but really picked up speed and became a run-away train of action and suspense. The defendent & Barbara Holloway's client is accused of killing her young daughter but there is so much else going on that quickly the case becomes much bigger. Paula and her young daughter had gotten in the way of some very scary people.
Barbara solves this one in spite of her dad! Very well written
A conspiracy that could lead to a killer of babies walking away free is the central theme of this court room thriller. Barbara Holloway is one of four attorneys in a small town in Oregon.
From Publishers Weekly: "With this engrossing sequel to Death Qualified , prolific Wilhelm claims a leading place in the ranks of trial suspense writers. At a restaurant in Eugene, Ore., attorney Barbara Holloway regularly holds office hours for those who can't afford downtown representation. Lucille Reiner meets her there to complain about the court-appointed attorney defending her sister, Paula Kennerman. Dubbed the "Baby Killer" by the press, Paula is accused of murdering her young daughter before setting afire the home for abused women to which she and the child had recently fled. Lucille says her sister is innocent but has become withdrawn and uncommunicative and is giving in to the public defender's pressure to plead guilty. Barbara, still emotionally shaken by her fiance's recent death, meets Paula and breaks through her defenses, but then the public defender has his client severely sedated and bars Barbara from seeing her. Despite her reluctance to take on another high-profile case, Barbara becomes drawn into Paula's story and intrigued by suspected legal wrongdoings. Wilhelm provides suspense and excitement while adeptly portraying Barbara as a wily and sympathetic heroine." Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From School Library Journal: "The murder trial of "Baby Killer" Paula Kennerman seems like an open-and-shut case. After taking refuge at a safe house for battered women, the defendent alledgedly set it afire, fatally burning her child. The plot twists with steadily mounting danger and tension as defense attorney Barbara Holloway sets out to prove her client's innocence. The characterizations and courtroom atmosphere are especially well done. Relevant social issues involving battered wives, the power of the media to influence opinion, and illegal business dealings that operate under a cover of sanctimony are smoothly woven into the story. This cleverly crafted page-turner proves that indeed the best defense is a good offense."
Judy Sokoll, Fairfax County Public Library, VA
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.