Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Unbidden Truth

The Unbidden Truth by Kate Wilhelm
Barbara Holloway Series #8
Hardcover, 366 pages
Mira, 2004
ISBN-13: 9780778320814
highly recommended

Oregon lawyer Barbara Holloway has a reputation for taking on the most difficult cases--and winning them. But even she can't begin to anticipate the bizarre twists waiting ahead.
The large retainer offered by a client who asks for complete anonymity is not the only thing that intrigues Barbara Holloway. The defendant, Carol Fredricks, is a gifted young pianist charged with killing the manager of a piano bar. But Carol is as much of a mystery as the details of the murder for which she is accused. She can't remember anything about her life before the age of eight, and she has been having haunting nightmares about a woman she cannot identify.
Before long Barbara becomes convinced that her client is not only innocent, but is being framed by an enemy who will stop at nothing to keep the past buried. And as she unravels the stunning trail of deception, hatred and a remarkable abiding love that holds the key to the mystery of Carol Fredricks, Barbara discovers that the unbidden truth may just damn them both.

My Thoughts:

The Unbidden Truth was another excellent Wilhelm novel. This time Barbara Holloway has lost the annoying boyfriend. found in Defense for the Devil. That's a good thing. The writing is excellent and the story glides along as we follow the investigation. There are a few drawbacks to reading just two books in the series (number 4 and 8) because I can tell I'm missing some backstory that could have been helpful in puzzling out a couple relationships and characters, but that wasn't a huge speed bump because I had already been introduced to many of the main characters and it was easy to figure out the rest. While the plot had some twists, it wasn't too complex. Another great novel and a perfect book for a miserable, cold winter. I'm enjoying Wilhelm and regretting that I only have one left in my TBR stack. Highly Recommended


It was a lazy Friday afternoon, the kind of day that leads thoughts to hammocks and shade trees. Barbara Holloway stifled a yawn as she escorted her last client of the day at Martin's Restaurant to the door. August was always slow, and she had taken notes of four clients' complaints about neighbors, evil debt collectors, recalcitrant landlords. opening

Then, as Martin walked back to the kitchen, she turned to Barbara. "I know it's late and I'll be as succinct as I can. My name is Louise Braniff. I'm in the music department at the U of O, and I give private piano lessons to a few students. Also, I'm a member of a society of women. We call ourselves the Crones' Club, but officially we're the Benevolent Ladies Club. We sponsor various causes that we consider worthy. Sometimes surgery, sometimes a scholarship, or helping someone get a start in business, various things. All directed at girls or women. We want to retain you."
"To do what?"
"Defend Carol Frederick, who is accused of murdering Joe Wenzel." pg. 10

I don't think any of our group ever met Joe Wenzel. I don't know whether she killed him, but that's beside the point. She needs the best defense possible and we agreed that you could provide it, not a public defender, who is overworked and understaffed. She, of course, has no money." pg. 11

Tried and convicted by leaks, Barbara thought then. But any public defender, with a minimum of bargaining, would get her off with no more than involuntary manslaughter. And that would result in prison. Barbara shuddered to think of that magical piano player in prison, but she doubted very much if she or anyone else could do any better for her than that. pg 17

"I told them I'm your new defense attorney." She pointed to her briefcase, which had been searched. "My credentials," she said with a smile. "Of course, that can change if you kick me out, but as it stands now, that's why." pg 18

"Sure. But I have to tell you up front that I don't have any memories that go earlier than before age eight and a half...." pg. 27

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