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In Wilhelm's sluggish 11th Barbara Holloway legal thriller (after A Wrongful Death), controversial academic David Etheridge returns to his hometown of Eugene, Ore., to lecture on his latest anti-everything book. But when his college nemesis, Sen. Robert McCrutchen, is shot dead, David is fingered for the hit-and for the 22-year-old unsolved murder of co-ed Jill Storey, David's assumed former lover and the assumed unrequited love interest of McCrutchen. Enter Barbara Holloway, whom David hires as counsel, just before an unknown assailant beats David within inches of his life. The story hinges on a meager twist-Jill may have been a lesbian-that's learned early in the investigation and, despite its implications, fails to catalyze deeper discoveries. The plot stalls, and Barbara spends most of the book rooting around in the dark for clues. A lengthy block of exposition delivers a tidy ending to one of the weaker entries in this popular series. (Aug.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.