Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Book review - catching up #3

After this post, I will be all caught up! And the Book Review Thursday posts will begin again on Thursday. :)

 The Best Defense by Kate Wilhelm begins shortly after Death Qualified ended. Barbara is trying to survive losing her fiancé at the end of the previous book, but instead of running out of state and away from her father, she begins holding office hours in a restaurant for those who can’t afford the high priced, “downtown” lawyers. One day during the office hours, Lucille comes to Barbara for advice on the court appointed attorney assigned to her sister, Paula. Barbara realizes that Paula is being tried for murdering her own child and tries to help Lucille and Paula while staying as far from the case as she can. It isn’t long before Barbara is crossing the judge, the defense attorney and the local liberal newspaper as she tries to find the truth.

I enjoy the way that Barbara and her father Frank interact in the book. Frank doesn’t want Barbara to get involved in Paula’s case at all, but once she is involved and receiving threats, Frank is right beside her protecting her as best he can and helping out with the expenses that Barbara’s ‘restaurant hours’ don’t cover. I like that the fiancé from the first book is mentioned and that Barbara seems to be in mourning instead of just glossing over the fact that he is gone and having her jump back into the dating pool.

There is also a good amount of suspense in this book and none of the science fiction that was prevalent in Death Qualified which I was very happy about. The story seemed very plausible and realistic instead of needing to take a lot it with a grain of salt like I had to in the first book. And there was a good amount of courtroom drama where I spent a lot of time thinking, “Go, Barbara!!”

I thoroughly enjoyed The Best Defense and jumped quite quickly into the third book in the series.
In Malice Prepense, Barbara and Frank are hired to defend Teddy Wendover who is being investigated for 3 murders - one of which is a congressman. Only Teddy is mentally handicapped and living life as an 8 year old boy in a 28 year old man’s body. When the investigation proves that Teddy had an alibi for the congressman’s murder, police charge Teddy’s father, Ted, with the congressman’s murder. Both Barbara and Frank believe that all of the murders are linked and believe that Ted is innocent. The murders seem to involve land purchases, mines and gold mining in Oregon. Unfortunately, a surly judge refuses to allow most of the evidence into the trial which greatly hinders Barbara’s defense case.

I enjoyed the relationship between Barbara and Frank in this book as well because the relationship is a significant part of the story. The pair plays off of one another’s strengths and know each other so well that they make quite the legal team. This books also has a lot of suspense in it and a fair amount of courtroom drama.

After finishing both of these books, I am thinking that Kate Wilhelm is the newest addition to my Favorite Authors List!

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