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Publisher's Summary

Barbara Holloway is a trial lawyer who tends to take on difficult cases. One involved a woman accused of killing her own child, another involved a mentally disabled man, and her last one found her entangled in such a mess that it's a wonder she lived through it at all. But in every previous case she has had some fragment with which she could build an argument. This time out, it seems there's no defense at all.

Lara and Vinny Jessup had a lovely May-December marriage. It renewed his lease on life after a battle with cancer, and it rescued her from a bad first marriage.

Initially, the sheriff out in Loomis County thinks that Vinny died when his car rolled over on a bad curve on Lookout Mountain. Then he finds the gunshot wound. Was it suicide or was it murder? With a large insurance policy as her motive, Lara could have staged the death - or so it appears to the sheriff.

Barbara Holloway finds herself drawn to the Oregon desert to take on this case, accompanied by her associates: her colleague Shelley with her Barbie-doll looks, the inimitable detective Bailey Novell, and her father Frank (who's soon to be a published writer).

But the case itself is as dead as the desert. Is there any defense at all?

It's legal: download more of Barbara Holloway's cases.
©2000 Kate Wilhelm (P)2000 Blackstone Audiobooks

Critic Reviews

"Best for its regional details, fast-paced dialogue, and solid character delineation." (Kirkus Reviews) "Those who prefer both style and substance in their courtroom dramas will find this a satisfying read." (Publishers Weekly)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings


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  • Overall
  • Kay M
  • Roseburg, OR, USA
  • 07-19-03

Terrific Plot

This audiobook kept me enthralled - I hated to stop the tape because it was so interesting. I love legal novels and thought by now I "knew it all" but I learned a great deal about our legal system. Well developed characters, interesting twists and turns, and a location that is new to most of us. One of my favorites!

28 of 29 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

No Defense

Kate Wilhem is one of the best writers I have listened to in a while. Keeps the action rolling and the interest peaked.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Cynthia
  • Clinton Twp, MI, USA
  • 08-28-03

Narrator put me to sleep!

After 225 minutes of "No Defense (Unabridged)", I had to stop listening. The plot failed to show any movement and can be best described as a "long introduction". There is very little character development as they are introduced into the story and you're left wondering why they do the things they do and react in particular ways.

What I found worse than the story line was the narrator's interpretation. With most audiobooks, each character's voice is distinct as well as unique. Unfortunately, all of the male characters sound the same and the same holds true for the females. In an ideal situation, you would be able to listen to an audiobook and become engrossed in the story. Not the case here. I became bored with the monotone narration and frustrated with trying to figure out who said what.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Mediocre, at best

The narrator of this book is just downright annoying. And I kept having to rewind to put myself back on plot because my mind kept wandering . . . I found myself thinking of mundane things when I should have been interested in the story. Can't say I'd recommend it.

14 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

Narrator hurts this one

The book itself is pretty good, but the narrator
is annoying. Every scene is read in a voice that
sounds like she should be narrating for playboy. It's not easily described, really urgh!

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Peggy
  • Baltimore, MD, United States
  • 02-14-04

My kind of Suspense Reading

This book leads you on a path to discover a plan of defence and the journey pulls you deeper into the land, the time, and the emotions of the charactors. After a while the desire to want to win the fight becomes personal for the reader and the listener. The ending is not easy to see and the twist is surprising to the end. This was a first for me with this author and I look forward to reading more of her work.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Tara
  • Columbia, MD, USA
  • 09-19-03

Finally worth it

I had a hard time getting into this at first (like the others, I found the narrator's voice annoying: so self-consciously breathy, amateurish character accents), but once I got hooked on the story, I looked forward to finding out what would happen. I like the characters of Barbara and Frank and will listen to another book by this author, with these characters.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Ed
  • 07-11-03

no defence

one of the best books I have heard this year. Please get more of her books.

25 of 32 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

No defense, no plot

I am a pretty nondiscriminating listener; I like to varying degrees most of what I download. I find this particular book one of the most boring out of all Audible books I have listened to (nearly 30). I have a difficult time keeping the characters straight because there is little distinction among them, their names sound alike and their personalities are cardboard. The plot crawls, oh so painfully, toward the oh-so-easy-to-predict conclusion. I am forcing myself to finish it because I am too cheap to quit something I have paid for.

7 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall

slow defense

I really tried to like this book but the reader had a slightly whiny voice and the story progress was very very slow. The focus on characters and small events like dinner parties as a prelude to any action or advance in the plot took so long that I gave up hope there would ever be a trial or any other action.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful