Lara and Vinny Jessup had a lovely May-December marriage-until the day Vinny was found dead. Initially, the sheriff in Loomis County thinks that Vinny died when his car rolled over on a bad curve on Lookout Mountain. But then he finds a 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 is a trial lawyer who tends to take on difficult cases, but in every previous case she has had some fragment with which she could build an argument. She finds herself drawn to the Oregon desert to take on this case, accompanied by her associates: her colleague Shelley and the detective Bailey Novell, along with her father, Frank. But the case itself is as dead as the desert. Is there any defense at all?
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by Kate Wilhelm
"Lara Jessup is accused of killing her husband or of covering up his suicide. Barbara Holloway, an extraordinary trial lawyer and her father, Frank Holloway, an even sharper lawyer, come up against the local land baron. Marguerite Gavin takes the listener through Barbara Holloway's intricate task of sifting through facts, rumor, innuendo, and the tangled web of the past. Gavin's steady narration slowly gains connection, momentum, and character as she fleshes out each person and event. Wilhelm's twisted tale, never quite gets going toward the anticipated conclusion, even to the very last word. As the lawyers uncover more information, the tension grows as the listener learns the underlying causes for murder, cover-up, and power in the Oregon desert country. M.B.K. (c) AudioFile 2001, Portland, Maine"
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