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Publisher's Summary

Barbara Holloway has a reputation for taking on the toughest cases - and winning them. But this time she's up against an unbeatable opponent - her father, the lawyer who taught her all she knows.

Gus Marchand, a hardworking, God-fearing farmer, is found dead on his kitchen floor, and suspicion soon falls on Alex Feldman, Marchand's hideously deformed neighbor. At the request of another attorney, Barbara agrees to defend the young man, whom most of the town has already condemned.

But there is another suspect, as well: Hilde Franz, a woman Gus had a very public altercation with just before he was murdered. Hilde also happens to be an old friend of Barbara's father, Frank, who, unaware of his daughter's involvement in the case, agrees to represent Hilde.

For the first time in her career, Barbara cannot turn to her father for advice. Quite the contrary: she has to stay one step ahead of him if she's to have any hope of saving her client. Because she knows only too well what kind of legal mind she's up against.

It's legal: download more of Barbara Holloway's cases.
© 2001 Kate Wilhelm; (P) 2002 Blackstone Audiobooks

Critic Reviews

", plausible, and entertaining." (Kirkus Reviews)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall

Better than the first

I really enjoyed No Defense. The Oregon desert, the multi-dimensional characters, and a non-linear plot all lent complexity. I could not stop listening.

This one was better. I only listen in the car - I found myself making excuses for going to the store, etc. in order to listen. The story was compelling and Barbara Holloway is my hero.

All of the characters in this book were interesting. There were no throw aways. The story was paced perfectly and the extras about Eugene, OR, and the town of Opal Creek were fascinating.

43 of 43 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

A great read!

I really enjoyed listening to this story. It's the second time I've listened to it and it's just as good the second time around!

11 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

First but not Last

This was my first Wilhelm novel but it won't be my last. Enjoyed it and recommend it.

14 of 15 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • William
  • New York, NY, United States
  • 05-09-04

An Involving Listen

This is the second of her books I have listened to, and I found it to be very involving and a very good listen. The characters are quite well developed, the plot plausible, the trial scenes were very good, and the setup to denouement was quite rational and good. Interestingly and cleverly, I believe that the ending is left up in the air in a way - the reader really doesn't know.
The reader was quite good - you knew who was speaking without having to hear who said it, because of the way she used inflection and accents, but without ever overdoing it.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Alex
  • Laguna Beach, CA, USA
  • 12-19-04

Good Read different plot

My first Kate Wilhelm book, I found it a good listen with well developed characters, and a different plot. It started me on the road to her other books which I enjoyed even more. A good cozy mystery to relax and curl up to.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Sue
  • Canton, GA, USA
  • 10-21-05

This book causes sleep deprivation!

I had never listened to a Kate Wilhelm book, so I started this book last Friday (when I should have been doing work), planning to just listen while I made breakfast. Well...I ended up listening to it all day and night until I finished it, even though that meant 3 a.m.! I just relistened to the second half again today, and I just really enjoyed it. She does a great job with character development, etc., but as a law student, I especially loved hearing her trial descriptions. In fact, her cross examinations were so good that I felt like I could justify listening to this instead of studying!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Absolutely terrific

This was a wonderful story! I had never read this author before and am thrilled to find she has written several books --- all of which I intend to read as fast as membership allows! This is a fast-paced story but still offers good character development. Don't miss this one.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Lori
  • Friendswood, TX, United States
  • 10-14-07

Interesting storyline

This was an interesting storyline and overall I enjoyed it. However, Audible ought to have a rating system for language, to forewarn about the excessive use of swearing. One character in particular swore like a sailor, and it was disturbing to me. In written form, you can gloss over things like that, but in audio you can't escape the effect, and neither can anyone in the room with you.

8 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Karen
  • Salem, OR, USA
  • 03-05-04

Exceptionally good

As an Oregonian, I was excited at the prospect of hearing this audiobook. Other than my insider's knowledge of the mispronunciation of "Willamette," I found the narrator to be quite good. The characters were interesting and the plot tightly woven. I definitely recommend this mystery.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

a must read

Kate has crafted a well-developed "who done it" mystery with an unusual bend. Will someone that physically looks like a monster get a fair trial? Can someone who is shunned by society find fairness? What an intriguing murder mystery. As the body count mounts the story line adds layers of complexities. The characters are so fully developed you can pick them out of a line up. Fair warning - if you start this book be sure you have plenty of hours left in the day as you'll not want to put it down. A Must Read.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful