Monday, January 4, 2010

Defense for the Devil

Defense for the Devil by Kate Wilhelm
Barbara Holloway Series #4
Mass Market Paperback, 443 pages
Mira, 1999
ISBN-13: 9781551666280
highly recommended

Attorney Barbara Holloway has taken on the sort of cases no one else wants - hopeless messes, all of them - and with the help of her father, Frank, she has pulled through each time. But even from the start, this new case is different. Mitch Arno always meant bad news for the coastal town of Folsum, Oregon. When they ran him out of town seventeen years ago, he left behind a wife with two daughters and a family that never wanted to see him again. When he returns, he brings trouble in the form of a lot of suspicious money. As Barbara attempts to counsel Mitch's wife about the money, a second form of trouble arrives: a corpse, Mitch's. And now Barbara is in a morass of conflicting interests, and the only way out could lead her straight into the arms of the devil.
My Thoughts:

This was a very satisfying legal thriller and, to my knowledge, my first Kate Wilhelm novel, or the first after many years. I'm looking forward to the next three Wilhelm books I have. (I designated January as the month to keep working through the stacks of mysteries given to me.) There were plenty of twists and turns and the plot was fairly complicated. Wilhelm is a skilled writer and I have no major quibbles there. There were a few minor details I could complain about but they hardly impacted the novel in any serious way. I would say this could be a great vacation book except the plot is full of details and people to keep track of so it's probably best read when you don't expect a lot of distractions. highly recommended


Eddie carries, you handle the paperwork. Have a shower, eat something, relax, just be sure to call this number exactly at one.
Using the name on the credit card and driver's license - R.M.Palmer - Mitch signed for two steaks, fries, beer. opening

It was four in the afternoon, muggy outside, and Barbara Holloway had been rushing for an hour and a half by the time she rang the bell at Martin's restaurant. pg. 19

"Thank you for seeing me on such short notice," the woman said. "I'm Maggie Folsum." She held out her hand. "And this is Laurence Thielman."
"Barbara Holloway," Barbara said, shaking hands first with her, then with him. pg. 21

Not hysterical, Barbara decided, studying Maggie Folsum, but either exhausted or ill. She had deep shadows under her eyes and the drawn appearance that came with sleeplessness. pg. 21

"....My house had been torn apart.
"He had ripped open mattresses, chairs, couches, dumped things out of drawers, torn clothes out of closets, broken things. Every room was a disaster." Her hands were clenched hard and her voice was vehement now. "That bastard destroyed everything he could get his hands on." pg. 25

"....When he didn't show on Monday, the company sent Trassi, the company lawyer, to get the papers and find out what was happening." pg. 27


Jeanne said...

I've liked these Barbara H mysteries. I'd only read Wilhelm's old SF before.

Lori L said...

I don't think I've read any of her SF... I should check and see if we have any of her early SF books or stories.