Evidence of Guilt (A Kali O'Brien Mystery)

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Overview

When a local waitress and her five-year-old daughter are found killed, Wes Harding - a former classmate of Kali's who had a reputation as Silver Creek's worst troublemaker - becomes the prime suspect. Kali's long-time legal mentor - and the town's leading criminal attorney - asks Kali to assist him on the case. She agrees, but is stunned when Harding refuses to help in his own defense - and won't explain why. Kali soon discovers that the murdered waitress was harboring secrets of her own - which included ...
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Overview

When a local waitress and her five-year-old daughter are found killed, Wes Harding - a former classmate of Kali's who had a reputation as Silver Creek's worst troublemaker - becomes the prime suspect. Kali's long-time legal mentor - and the town's leading criminal attorney - asks Kali to assist him on the case. She agrees, but is stunned when Harding refuses to help in his own defense - and won't explain why. Kali soon discovers that the murdered waitress was harboring secrets of her own - which included unexpected ties to some of Silver Creek's most influential citizens, as well as a mysterious link to a long-ago tragedy. As Kali races against time - and a ruthlessly ambitious prosecutor - it will take all her deductive skills and legal savvy to untangle the threads of one of the most complex cases of her career. But even she doesn't suspect how close to real danger she is - or how much she'll have to risk to bring a cunning killer to justice.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Kali O'Brien, an attorney who left a big San Francisco law firm to open a solo practice in her small California home town, agrees to defend an accused killer whom she distrusts in this predictable story from the author of Murder Among Neighbors. Wes Harding, a handsome local man whom few townspeople like, has been accused of murdering waitress Lisa Cornell and her young daughter. Taking the case to please her mentor, who is a friend of the accused's father, Kali must contend with a hostile client, evidence that places him at the scene of the crime and the widely held belief that Harding is guilty. After extensive interviews with everyone from Lisa's wealthy fianc to her psychotherapist, Kali determines that the victim was not exactly what she seemed and determines that the killings may have been connected to an incident from her past. Kali is likable enough, but she remains two-dimensional and stereotyped. The plot moves quickly but pitches too many curves at the reader and comes to a disappointing halt with the revelation of the murderer and a clichd motive. (Mar.)
Kirkus Reviews
Who would cut the throats of a defenseless woman and her four-year-old daughter? Not Wes Harding, insists his stepfather Jake, who gets his old fishing buddy Sam Morrison to take on his defense. Sam leans in turn on his friend Kali O'Brien (Shadow of Doubt, 1996) to be his co-counsel, and it's off to the races, with everybody on board but Wes, who's too truculent to talk to Kali or squelch the ambitious prosecutor's dreams of a quickie conviction based on the overwhelming physical evidence (Wes's bloodstained trousers, a telltale blond hair that could be from Lisa Cornell, Wes's lucky rabbit's foot in little Amy's pocket—and it'll get worse). But Kali, digging into Lisa's past, finds a lot of secrets that could point elsewhere: her sub rosa consultations with a psychiatrist specializing in child abuse, her missing dream diary, hints of an affair that her sturdy fiancé wouldn't have approved of, a mysterious phone call the evening of the murder. If only Wes Harding would open up far enough to assist in his own defense, frets Kali—not knowing that her real quarry has already killed again, and isn't done yet.

Three scoops of civilized interrogations (nobody wants to talk to the lawyer defending the man who'd do such a thing) don't offer much preparation for the sink of iniquity Kali finds under the smiling surface of California family values.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781575661414
  • Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corporation
  • Publication date: 3/1/1997
  • Series: Kali O'Brien Mystery Series, #2
  • Pages: 368
  • Product dimensions: 5.28 (w) x 7.30 (h) x 1.26 (d)

Table of Contents

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