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Publisher's Summary

A gripping, poignant, and masterful courtroom novel, The Best Defense is a major work from one of America's most popular writers.

After her recent harrowing experiences, attorney Barbara Holloway isn't looking to take on any new courtroom cases; instead she's happy working from a booth in a cafe in the local working-class neighborhood.

But when the sister of "Baby Killer" Kennerman asks for help, Barbara reluctantly looks into matters and finds that incompetent lawyers and a smear campaign from the local right-wing press are going to allow a killer to go free. The deeper Barbara delves into the case, the more atrocities she finds and the more she believes that the best defense may not be enough.

With this extraordinary novel, Kate Wilhelm returns to the marvelous milieu of Death Qualified, bringing us a legal thriller of the finest caliber.

It's legal: download more of Barbara Holloway's cases.
©1994 Kate Wilhelm (P)2003 Blackstone Audiobooks

What listeners say about The Best Defense

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    435
  • 4 Stars
    197
  • 3 Stars
    59
  • 2 Stars
    7
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    13
Performance
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    99
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    40
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    6
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    4
Story
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    354
  • 4 Stars
    109
  • 3 Stars
    35
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    6

Reviews - Please select the tabs below to change the source of reviews.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Couldn't put it down

Anna Fields now has a fan in me for her character readings. And Kate Wilhelm's plot is full of surprises and new twists. Great investigative and courtroom scenes. I could not put it down, and found myself looking for an excuse to get back to the book. It is a great sequel to Death Qualified. I highly recommend it.

10 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Wilhelm books do not disappoint

Because it was a recent release, I got it thinking it was next in the series. It is actually an earlier novel, and that is the only thing I regretted. The book kept my interest and the narration brings the characters alive. I recommend.

16 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Triple Winner

This book is a winner three times over for its characters, plot and narration. Once again, Kate Wilhelm has written a compelling, creative, and challenging story that is very hard to put down until the very end. Barbara Holloway is a complex character and despite the brilliance of her legal acumen, her humanity is what comes through most clearly on every page. The plot takes a remarkable number of disparate facts and weaves them together slowly until the very end when the entire picture becomes suddenly clear -- the result of Wilhelm's masterful writing. The continually developing relationship between Barbara and her father is another intriquing element of the plot that captures the most human elements of Barbara's character, necessary to counter the brilliance of her skills as a trial lawyer. Anna Fields narration is another fine example of her skilled mastery of an artform.

I highly recommend this book, but also recommend it best for a long drive or flight, as it is very difficult to put down once you begin.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Wow

If I ever need an attorney, I hope and pray that it's. Attorney Barbara and her father. Geez

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Love this author!

I have read another of Kate Wilheim's from Audible and absolutely loved both of them. Your interest never wanes and the pace of the story is such you don't want to quit listening. Also, the narrator is so good, I Googled her and was not surprised how "seasoned" she is in her craft. Changing her voice for the various characters is amazing. Don't miss this one!

3 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent Series

I am a mystery fan, and when I find a good series I order the whole list. Kate Wilhelm's Barbara Holloway series meets that standard. Barbara Holloway is a lawyer in practice with her father Frank in Oregon. The cases she handles are interesting and not the run-of-the-mill situations. She pursues justice in a legal system that often tips the balance from the innocent towards expedience and special interests. It is a well researched series so you learn a lot about related areas like timber industry, politics, and Oregon itself. I'm reading it in sequence and now on the fifth. Well worth a look.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Love the author, love the reader

I first downloaded this book in 2006. I really like Barbara Holloway and her dad and Bailey - Just relistening for the 3rd time.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars

Might be good ...

The story was interesting enough, especially the beginning. Unfortunately, by 3/4 of the way through, I couldn't stand to listen to the narrator any longer. I didn't even care anymore how the story ended. Interestingly, my husband really liked this audiobook.
This narrator really "overacts" and tries too hard to sound male during the male parts, and just sounds silly. It's a shame more narrators don't "get" that reading an audiobook is not the same as radio theatre. Maybe some listeners enjoy that approach. I like audiobooks read with enough expression to capture the atmosphere created by the writing. If I "notice" the narrator much, it's probably because they're annoying. If I forget that I am listening instead of reading, the narrator is a master.
I gave 2 stars instead of 1 because the story isn't bad.

2 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent

This book kept me interested right from the start. I really suggest this for anyone that like the suspense of court drama.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Awesome Story

Kept restarting; Needing to make sure that l had Every word right. Captivating non-stop