Death Qualified by Kate Wilhelm



Death Qualified (Barbara Holloway Novels) Death QualifiedKate Wilhelm; Mira 2002WorldCatBarbara Holloway is hiding from life in Arizona when her father calls her. He needs her. He wants her to return to Oregon. He has a client he doesn’t believe he can defend. After being disillusioned she had quit practicing law. Nell Kendricks is accused of killing her husband who suddenly shows up after a seven year absence. Frank Holloway is semi-retired and doesn’t handle murder cases any more. This case needs Barbara’s touch.

Barbara wants to refuse the case. She listens for her father’s sake. She reads the newspaper articles he purposefully leaves laying around. She meets Nell. She discovers the prosecuting attorney is an old lover. Reluctantly Barbara takes the case.

All the circumstantial evidence convicts Nell. Nell swears she is innocent. She met Lucas on a ledge in the forest without realizing he was there. As he started to talk to her. someone shot and killed him. His seven year absence is a mystery. When he first saw her Lucas acted like his old self. He didn’t have a chance for any explanations before he was killed.

Barbara starts digging into Lucas’ past to see if someone else wanted him dead. Lucas had been involved in some mathematical/psychological research when he left Nell seven years earlier. She meets Mike, a math professor, when she starts studying Mandelbrot sets. The two immediately are attracted. Mike starts helping Barbara as she defends Nell Kendricks.

The twists and turns Kate Wilhelm’s novel kept pulling me along. At times Death Qualified becomes too unbelievable, yet it pulls itself back together. By the time the tale ends I felt like I should have figured who the murderer is, but I never would have guessed the reasons. Wilhelm places this tale in the deep Oregon woods outside of Eugene. Between the forestry, the Mandelbrot mathematics, the psychology studies, and the law, Death Qualified gives a peek into many disparate themes and pulls them together. By the time I was near the end, I put off whatever else was waiting to finish this book.

More books by Kate Wilhelm
Barbara Holloway series at Stop! You’re Killing Me!

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