Mira, Sep 2004, 23.95, 368 pp.
In Eugene, U of O music professor Louise Braniff informs attorney Barbara Holloway that she is a member of the Crones' Club officially known as the Benevolent Ladies Club, sponsors of worthy causes. They want Barbara to defend Carol Frederick, accused of killing Joe Wentzel. Louise explains that with proper training Carol could become a world class pianist. Stipulations of secrecy as to who the benefactors are make Barbara a bit suspicious, but because she heard Carol play at a club she agrees to take on the case if the client is willing to have her as her lawyer.
On the surface, the prosecution seems to have an air tight case, but as Barbara begins to question the evidence, she realizes that someone framed her client. Making matters difficult is that Carol cannot remember anything before her eighth birthday including how she learned to play the piano. As Barbara and her team dig deeper to learn who and why, keeping Carol, her team, and herself safe soon becomes the prime imperative as a killer prefers to remain above the law and has the means to do so.
Though more an investigative tale than a legal thriller, fans of both sub-genres will enjoy this tense action-packed tale. The complex story line is filled with red herrings and several twists and turns that will keep readers on their toes waiting for the next spin. The large ensemble adds depth to the exciting plot, but THE UNBIDDEN TRUTH is that the novel belongs to the heroic attorney (mindful of John Grisham's Reggie Love) and her beleaguered client.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner