Defensive Wounds

Defensive Wounds

by Lisa Black

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“There are many forensic experts. There are many writers. Rarely, however, do the two meld as seamlessly and synergistically as Lisa Black.”
Sacramento Book Review

“She is, quite simply, one of the best storytellers around.”
—Tess Gerritsen

A former forensic scientist with the Cleveland coroner’s office, Lisa Black knows the world she writes about, as she has proven in the past with her gripping thrillers featuring Theresa MacLean (Takeover, Evidence of Murder, Trail of Blood). With Defensive Wounds, Black delivers possibly her most sensational crime fiction masterwork to date—a stunning tale of forensic expert MacLean’s investigation into the brutal murder of a criminal defense attorney at a Cleveland convention that reveals the frightening presence of a serial killer prowling the city. The forensic police thriller remains one of the most popular sub-genres in contemporary mystery fiction, and Defensive Wounds once again proves that Lisa Black is one of the “big guns,” in the top tier alongside Patricia Cornwell, Kathy Reichs, Jefferson Bass, and Michael Connelly.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780061989421
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 08/28/2012
Series: Theresa MacLean Novels Series , #4
Pages: 368
Product dimensions: 4.10(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Lisa Black is the author of three previous thrillers featuring Theresa MacLean: Trail of Blood, Evidence of Murder, and Takeover. A latent fingerprint examiner and CSI in Florida and a former forensic scientist for the Cleveland coroner's office, she is a member of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and has testified in more than fifty homicide trials. A native of Cleveland, she lives in Cape Coral, Florida.

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Defensive Wounds 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 59 reviews.
DAinNY1 More than 1 year ago
This was an action-packed, non-stop drama that kept me riveted to the pages. The suspenseful plot had me guessing and I was surprised at the outcome when all was revealed. Theresa is a strong woman and it shows in her dedication to her work and to her family. I look forward to reading the next book in this gripping and thrilling series.
harstan More than 1 year ago
At the Ritz Carleton in Cleveland, someone kills infamous defense attorney Marie Corrigan while a legal convention is hosted at the hotel. The police at the murder scene agree immediately on two things. First the unethical lawyer who falsified evidence got what she deserves and that anyone in the city who came into contact with the sleaze would have a motive for murder; homicide detective John Powell tells forensic investigator Theresa MacLean, whose daughter Rachel works at the Ritz, that they have a hotel filled with suspects. Theresa knows a hotel room is impossible to cope with as previous occupants will leave behind traces that make it impossible to seek oddities. The immediate positioning of the corpse implies a lovers' rendezvous that turned ugly. However, Theresa refuses to jump to any conclusion as the killer could have set up the crime scene accordingly. The case turns serial when two more corpses posed as if they were with a lover are found. Seeking the links between the three victims for a common avenging killer, Theresa soon fears she and Rachel could be on the death list. Readers will enjoy the latest MacLean forensic investigation (see Takeover and Trail of Blood) as Sarah Palin would agree no one messes with a grizzly mama especially if one of their cubs are endangered. The story line is fast-paced with much of the fun being the simplicity of the murders as everyone including the protagonist and readers seek complexities. Although avenging serial killers is a frequent theme and the protagonist has dealt with these predators (see Evidence of Murder), fans will appreciate Lisa Black's latest forensic locked hotel room tale. Harriet Klausner
EdithEB More than 1 year ago
I have read four of Lisa Black's books and thoroughly enjoyed each and every one. They all hold you spellbound. The blot begins to build and you are trying to figure out who did it even when you have put the book down. It's so great to read such interesting,clean, decent, wonderful books where you can read the entire book and never have to skip pages because of fifthly dirty actions or words. Hope to see more of her work in the very near future. Edith Britt
charkieCW More than 1 year ago
First book I have read by this author, really enjoyed it and am ordering the balance of this series. Page turner and characters were well developed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This series provides a good story and quick read. Definitely easy to get into and understand the storyline. Kept me interested to the very end.
gypsysmom on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed listening to this book although I figured out who perpetrated one of the crimes before it was revealed. Defense lawyers are having a convention in the Ritz-Carlton in Cleveland. Theresa MacLean, a forensic investigator in Cleveland, is summoned to the Ritz by her daughter who is working on the front desk. One of the lawyers, Marie Corrigan, has been murdered in the Presidential suite. Theresa starts working on the scene immediately. The body is naked and tied up with her head bashed in by a hotel chair. Is it a lovers' tryst gone bad? Perhaps but when two more lawyers are killed in the hotel in a few days it seems unlikely. Meanwhile Theresa discovers that the boy who is hanging with her daughter at work was accused of murder when he was a juvenile. He was found not guilty in his trial at which he was represented by the same Marie Corrigan. But everyone knows that not guilty is not the same as innocent and Theresa is worried about her daughter dating him.Apparently the author was a forensic scientist in Cleveland so when she is dealing with the forensic evidence she gets all the details right. There are a few snide comments about CSI because in real life forensics don't run as smoothly as shown on those shows. The plotting was quite good but the characterizations were a little wooden I thought. Nevertheless I would recommend it to anyone who likes forensic mysteries such as Kathy Reichs' books.
SandyLee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Theresa MacLean is a forensic investigator in Cleveland whose next case involves the murder of a despised defense attorney. Marie Corrigan was beautiful and rich with a penchant for playing sex games. When her body is found in a compromising position in a hotel room where an attorney conference is taking place, Theresa and the police department have a building full of suspects. Marie had made a number of enemies during her career and the investigation barely gets started when another attorney is found dead. Complicating matters is Theresa¿s daughter, Rachel, who is working the front desk at the hotel. Rachel¿s possible boyfriend has a questionable past and a connection to the deceased. There are huge chunks of forensic information which is sometimes overwhelming and slows the pace of the story. One likeable character ended up in the guilty camp at the end which was a disappointment.
Tmtrvlr on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I almost gave up on Defensive Wounds. I thought it started out very slowly and although I like the forensic details, the story just did not take off for me. The mother/daughter drama just didn¿t seem sincere, and went on endlessly at the beginning of the book.The story is about a killer is doing away with some of the most hated defense attorneys in town. Of course, the police don¿t like the fact that these lawyers are putting criminals back on the street, so it was hard for me as the reader to care about their death either. There were a few twists in the story that were unexpected and the end was satisfying, but this was just OK. This was the fourth book in this series, so I may have enjoyed it more if I had read the previous books.
caitemaire on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Marie Corrigan was found dead...naked, hog tied and her head beaten in with a chair. And virtually no one, including many of the police officers at the scene, were very upset. If ever a woman was meant to be killed, it was Marie Corrigan.A high powered and very successful Cleveland defense attorney, Corrigan was not above playing fast and lose with the facts and the evidence to win her often very guilty clients an acquittal and in the process had made many enemies. So when she is found murdered in the Presidential Suite of the Ritz Carlton hotel during a convention of defense lawyers, the list of suspects is very long. It was an unrented room and no one can figure how she, or the murderer, got into the room and clues are very lacking. But it is up to forensic investigator Theresa MacLean to start going through the evidence and assist police in finding her killer..even though Theresa had her own run ins with Corrigan and is not exactly mourning her passing. Murder is murder and this is a particularly brutal one.But then a second lawyer, this one from Atlanta, is found dead in his room, again naked, tied and head bashed in. Then a third, murdered the same way, and police have to wonder if they have some sort of lawyer slaying serial killer on their hands.And a hotel full of both suspects and potential victims.Meanwhile, Theresa has a few personal matters to deal with too, including her growing attraction to a cop she is working with. She also some very serious concerns about a young man her daughter is seeing. By coincidence, both the daughter and her new beau work at the Ritz Carlton, in the thick of the goings on. But that also leads to Theresa finding out the boy has a sealed juvenile file, having been acquitted a few years ago of rape and murder. And quess who his lawyer was!Be sure, Theresa will stop at nothing to protect her daughter.This is not a terribly complex mystery, as all three of the murders are very similar. The real fun is in all the suspects and there are no lack of those. If I had one complaint, it is that this book is a lot less about what happens than what is said. There are a lot of conversations and almost all our clues...and there are many...will be found there. As I mentioned, Theresa is a forensic investigator and I am a great fan of all things CSI, so watching her work the scenes, looking for evidence, was very interesting. But sadly, what she found never seemed to be of much help in these cases. Maybe realistic, but not that much fun for the reader. I also caught what I though were a few mistakes in the book..a character that was suppose to be one place but then appeared to be in another, that sort of thing. I do not like having to go back and check if I or the author made a little mistake. The murderer was not a huge surprise, but there were a couple of twists I did not see coming, which is always good. It is a pretty well written, quick, fun read that will hold your attention. Theresa is a good character, her relationship with her daughter and her cousin Frank, a Cleveland cop, interesting. This is the fourth book in the series, but have no fear, this one can stand totally on it's own and no need to have read the previous three to enjoy this one.
groundedforlife on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is the second book by Lisa Black that I have read and from a technical forensic side it's pretty detailed. So if watching the many shows on tv currently like CSI and such that delve into that area you should appreciate this book. The story on the other hand was a little bit slow for me but the characters are interesting and I'm enough of a fan to want to read more about them. Overall good book.
EdGoldberg on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Very readable. This is my first Lisa Black, Theresas MacLean forensic mystery and I'd read another. There's a defense attorney convention in Cleveland and all of the sudden lawyers start dying, brutally murdered, bludgeoned in the back of the head. Theresa is called to collect forensic evidence and, along with other police, start developing theories. Somoe of the theories revolve around a teenager acquited for killing a school mate , whose bloodied body was found lying next to him in his house. From there the theories progress and digress.I like Black's characters. The plot was pretty good. The action was just right. The forensic jargon was at a minimum, as was the evidence itself. It probably could have used a little more forensic-y stuff. It is certainly better than Patricia Cornwall. I'll definitely give Black another try.
blockbuster1994 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Defensive Wounds reads like an episode of CSI-- kind of flashiy, going for an entertaining thrill, not necessarily a personal literary experience. A couple of themes that are annoying repeated throughout the novel are that defense attorneys exploit the legal system for their own fame/success and the "hot, sexy, every guy wanted her" victim. O.k., I understand those themes are central to the plot; but that message was clear after like the third repeat, yet Lisa Black keeps hitting the reader over the head with those points.Despite those complaints, I did find the novel entertaining, just like I love a little CSI when I am in the right mood.
johntgriffin on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
From the jacket, In this fourth novel in Lisa Black's captivating suspense series, forensic investigator Theresa MacLean finds herself embroiled in a case in which everyone has a motive and everyone is a suspect-especially when high-powered defense attorneys start turning up dead.I really enjoyed this novel for its wit, quick pace with what first appeared to be different subplots that get nicely tied together in the end. I am looking forward to more novels about Ms. Maclean.
maryintexas39 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
"Defensive Wounds" by Lisa Black did not disappoint! Theresa McClean, Frank and Rachel are becoming old friends. I love this series. Lisa Black's writing is consistent and keeps you turning the pages. The forensic details are interesting and written where you can understand them as well. A strong entry in her "body of evidence." Thanks again LibraryThing!
lyncos on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Although the teccnical forensic information appeared to be accurate in this book, the flow of the book as a whole did not capture my attention in any positively definable way. The character development seemed shallow to me and the plot was populated with so many people having motives to kill defence attorneys that it was hard to keep the action straight. Overall, it was average read.
tjshoe on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was the first Lisa Black book I have read. Once again, I have a new author to follow. I thought this book started out very slowly, but I stuck with it and was rewarded with several twists and turns which made the read well worth it.Theresa MacLean is a forensic investigator who works alongside her cousin Frank Patrick, a homicide detective. Defense attorneys are being murdered one by one and it appears there is a serial killer on the loose. But is there? The ending was very much a surprise to me. This was definitely a good book in my opinion and I am planning on reading the other Lisa Black books.
BookDivasReads on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Theresa MacLean is a forensic investigator. She is also an overprotective mother to a teenage daughter. She thought her daughter would be safe working for the summer at a downtown hotel until there's a murder on the premises. It doesn't help that the murder victim is a defense attorney that the local police department loved to hate. Why this hotel? Why this attorney? Why no defensive wounds? These questions are asked and answered in the latest suspense novel by Lisa Black, DEFENSIVE WOUNDS.Being a single mom can be exasperating, and Theresa understands that she has a tendency to go overboard at times. Her daughter was nowhere near the murder site but she's still overly cautious and wary. It doesn't help that she knows nothing about Rachel's new love interest. Theresa's interest is further peaked when her friend, another defense attorney, has a suspicious and curious reaction to the teenager. Theresa then asks her cousin, a police detective, to check into the boy's background. Isn't that what family connections are for?Theresa must still continue her forensic investigation but trying to find evidence in a hotel room is akin to looking for a needle in a haystack blindfolded. Just when she thinks she's the original hovering mother, there are two more murders. By now, Theresa is frustrated because of the mounds of forensic evidence to be looked at from the hotel. If there's a ton of evidence from the hotel, there's also a ton of suspects to be considered. One suspect is a former police officer that is currently working as the head of security at the hotel. On the personal front, Theresa must field interest from one of the investigating detectives. She also learns that Rachel's prospective boyfriend has a record . . . for murder. He was found not guilty and said that he doesn't remember that night, but what really happened? He doesn't know and the dead girl cannot speak for herself? The evidence points to him, or does it? What follows is an investigation that keeps the reader on tenterhooks. The investigation is like a roller-coaster ride in the dark, the twists and turns kept me on edge because I never saw what was coming next.I enjoyed reading DEFENSIVE WOUNDS and completely understood that Theresa is the primary character, but since I have family on the police department I also know that forensic investigators don't generally play such a primary role in investigations and interrogations. Removing that little problem from the equation, DEFENSIVE WOUNDS is a great suspense read. I found myself feeling for Theresa as she worried about Rachel and sympathetic when she mourned the loss of her friend. (I also rather enjoyed the possible play on words as "defensive wounds" may refer to the lack of defensive wounds on the murder victims as well as the wounds they inflicted on victim families as defense attorneys.) If you're looking for a procedural suspense to read with a strong female character and an emphasis on evidence, then look no further.
murphy430 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is my first time with this author, and have to say I"m happy I got the advanced copy. Very similar to Patricia Cornwell"s books. If you like her, you'll like Lisa Black. Defense attorney's are being killed in town, and the police and Theresa are finding it hard to have sympathy in some cases. The book moves right along and holds you interest. I would highly recommend this to anyone who likes Cornwell and murder mysteries.
Beecharmer on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Defensive Wounds is a story of murder and revenge. Although the book has a fairly good plot with several viable suspects, it just wasn't a page turner for me. Also, the relationship between the main character and her cousin seemed sort of creepy. Almost incestuous. I won't be looking for future Lisa Black books.
Bookmarque on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Although she¿d come to my attention before, this was my first Lisa Black and unfortunately I won¿t be coming back for more. It wasn¿t an awful book, I¿m sure she has her fans, it¿s just it wasn¿t quite what I look for in a thriller of this type. First of all it didn¿t really thrill. Theresa is whiny and overprotective all the time; the poor me schtick got old fast. As did the mommy thing. Rachael is 18 years old and is constantly referred to as a child. I got an eye ache from all the rolling I did. By the time she was in real danger it didn¿t matter anymore; Black had already wrung as much emotion from that rag as she could. All Theresa¿s worrying and maneuvering blunted it prematurely.Then there were the red herring suspects and surprises, neither of which were effective, at least not for this veteran thriller reader. I did like the deduction used for each, minimal though it was. The teamwork was also minimal though and none of the characters seemed to have any ease with each other. The family and cousin thing was beaten to death, but not effective in creating a fluid working unit of the members. Weird.Last was the awkward language that kept leaping out at me and jerking me out of the story. Starting on page 31 with someone¿s (Neil¿s?) muscles glimmering under his skin. Really? Glimmering? What was he, transparent? Then this whole paragraph on page 73; I still don¿t know what the hell she¿s trying to convey and why it¿s important -¿Between the rows of overhead lights and the tiled walls and floors, washed down at the end of every day, the autopsy room was the brightest, cleanest room in the building. (ok, that sentence isn¿t so bad) And, as the dieners could go home when the day¿s cutting had been completed, whether that was sooner or later, the most efficient. (Huh? ugh..just ugh) The assistants had no reason to lollygag and every reason not to. (is there an echo in here?) Plastic jars were labeled, flesh cut open, tables hosed down with the highest possible proficiency.¿ (why do we need to know that? Oh where was the editor?)OMG what a mess. Then there¿s the one on page 290 that talks about the inside of lungs and inhaling black powder. Like we¿d think it would somehow end up on the outside of the lungs. The last one I took note of was on page 329 where Theresa muses that she ¿didn¿t know him that well and had never been able to read people like a book¿. Ig. Sorry Ms. Black, although most of your ballistic, ordinance and forensic details rang true, I just couldn¿t get past these clunkers and Theresa¿s worried mommy fetish.
KC9333 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Enjoyable but formulaic forensic thriller - readers of Patricia Cornwell or television fans of CSI and SVU will see much to like.... Although I figured out the killer right away there are enough twists in this entertaining novel to provide a few surprises......
cmeilink on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
What fell a little short...First, this is not a fast-paced thriller. Second, there is not a sizzling romance to add to the interest. Third, I felt the characters weren't developed sufficiently to connect to them.What this book does offer is an onion-like approach to solving the murders of three defense attorneys killed while attending a convention at the Ritz. Layers of evidence, motive, and opportunity are peeled back at an alarmingly slow pace to ultimately reveal the murderer. It is the job of our forensic investigator, Theresa MacLean, to find and examine the evidence that will lead to the arrest of the killer. When her daughter becomes a likely target, the urgency to find the murderer heats up.Although not at the top of my "to read" list, the plot is interesting if you can keep reading through the slow sections.I received a copy of Defensive Wounds from the Early Reviewers Program.
Raineybird on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I truley tried! After 175 pages I just could not countinue. Boring, how many pages does it take to describe the gathering of forensic's at a crime scene? And why is the family pet called "The Dog" . I would love to say I'll try again but most likely will not happen. Could it be I don't like lawyers :)
SuseGordon on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
"Kill all the Lawyers" takes on a new meaning in Lisa Black's Defensive Wounds. A convention of Defense lawyers in the Cleveland Ritz starts getting cluttered with bodies. First is a lawyer that no cops, including forensic investigator Theresa Maclean, is sorry to see dead. Marie Corrigan, a prominent, underhanded Defense Lawyer is found in the Presidential Suite with no clues around her bound body. As another lawyer is found dead, Theresa is working the scene as well as trying to get her daughter away from a boy that has a past and connections to several of the murdered lawyers. Just when you think Theresa has it figured out, it takes an unexpected twist that exposes the killer.
aztwinmom on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Lisa Black gives the reader a close up and human view of forensics in Defensive Wounds. Defense attorneys are being killed and Theresa, a forensic investigator, and her daughter are caught up in the cases. The mystery has a nice twist at the end and a satisfactory conclusion.