Mitch Arno always meant bad news for the coastal town of Folsum, Oregon. When they ran him out of town 17 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: Mitch's corpse. Now Barbara is in a morass of conflicting interests, and the only way out could lead her straight into the arms of the devil.
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©1999 Kate Wilhelm; (P)2007 Blackstone Audio Inc.
"Wilhelm's skill in spinning out endless complications while keeping every subplot perfectly clear makes this legal thriller her best in years." (Kirkus Reviews)
Defense for the Devil is the first Wilhelm book I've listened to that wasn't read by Anna Fields. The book is pretty good (standard Wilhelm), but I kept wanting to hear Anna's voice portraying the father or Barbara. She is missed and will continue to be.
Except for the somewhat overblown squabbling between the protagonist and her boyfriend, the best part of this series is the relationships. They're well rendered and pleasant to be part of. Even the cats are fun -- or maybe especially. The plot is interesting, too, and quite tricky. And in this episode, the judge acts more like a real one would. The author sometimes prattles -- I have no need to know about sweaty socks and detailed snack menus, etc.
One of the better readers. She has a pleasant voice, is a good actor, and provides good delineation between characters and few mis-emphases.
If you are used to the Barbara Holloway series with narrator Anna Fields, it is a real disappointment to here his narrator's interpretation. She really makes Barbara seem a bit of an air head. I really can't even finish this book. I am going to move onto one of the novels narrated by Fields.
this book did not have me spending extra moments in the car wanting to find out what would happen next, as a matter of fact, I sometimes fast forward just to finish the book, was mostly predictable with not one twist
The narration is quite good, but I did find it difficult to distinguish the gender of some characters by the vocalizations. At first, I thought some of the male characters were women with heavy smoking habits. It doesn't detract as much as one might imagine, as the story quickly absorbs the distraction.
Story never seems to really get off the ground. No real excitement at any time. Seems to just drag on. Many details not related to the main story add to the slow moving feeling. Must be better options around so try another.
If you are a die hard fan of the Barbara Holloway series, you will thoroughly enjoy this book. If it is the first of the series you have read, you might be better off to go back and read Death Qualified, and continue to The Best Defense and Malice Prepense. The evolution of characters seems essential, to me, to fully understand and enjoy each book. While the plot of this book is complex and interesting, it is really the characters that are compelling. I thought the narrator was adequate, but I don't care for the "whiny" quality of her voice when she portrays female characters. It somehow minimizes the importance of otherwise strong and competent women characters.
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