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Witness for the Defense

Witness for the Defense

4.0 7
by jonnie jacobs

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With her unique blend of courtroom drama and feverish suspense, critically acclaimed author Jonnie Jacobs has won a legion of fans for her Kali O'Brien thrillers. Now the edgy San Francisco attorney is back to handle a simple adoption – and winds up defending her client for murder . . .

Straightforward and short term: that's precisely the kind of case Kali


With her unique blend of courtroom drama and feverish suspense, critically acclaimed author Jonnie Jacobs has won a legion of fans for her Kali O'Brien thrillers. Now the edgy San Francisco attorney is back to handle a simple adoption – and winds up defending her client for murder . . .

Straightforward and short term: that's precisely the kind of case Kali O'Brien needs at the moment. Yet the Harper adoption makes her uneasy from the start. Maybe it's because psychologist Steven Cross – a man whose path hasn't crossed hers since the tragedy that shattered his life and their forbidden relationship years ago – unexpectedly referred the couple to her. Or could it be that Ted and Terri Harper's previous brush with parenthood ended in heartache when the birth mother changed her mind?

This time around, the former star quarterback and his lovely blonde wife aren't taking any chances. They've even moved pregnant Melissa Burke into their lavish Pacific Heights home. As Kali watches her determined clients shower the lonesome teenager with love and attention, she can't help wondering just how desperate they are to claim the unborn child. When Melissa delivers a health6 baby girl and promptly signs the final adoption papers, Kali breathes a sigh of relief . . . until Bram Weaver surfaces.

The controversial, chauvinistic radio talk show host announces he's the baby's father – a claim Melissa can't dispute. With a sinking heart, Kali prepares to defend the Harpers in a bitter custody battle that's certain to end in the birth father's favor – until the case takes a shocking turn when somebody murders Weaver. Despite Terri Harper's staunch denial, the police have compelling evidence linking her to the crime, leaving Kali to wonder how far an emotion-fraught new mother will go to protect her child.

Once again, Jonnie Jacobs delivers an explosive, fast-paced thriller infused with authenticity and well-drawn characters. Witness for the Defense is a razor-sharp ride through the ethical dilemmas ripped from today's headlines.

Editorial Reviews

Cleveland Plain Dealer - Les Roberts
"Jacobs hits her stride. . ..The characters are fresh, the suspense delicious and the mystery's double solution will surprise everyone."
– Cleveland Plain Dealer
Tampa Tribune - Martha Chamberlain
". . . clever, fast-paced murder suspense."
– Tampa Tribune
Booklist - editor march 15, 2001
"Jacobs has a knack for pacing and making the law suspenseful and compelling."
- Booklist
Publisher's Weekly - editor March 26, 2001
". . .swift pacing, multiple motives and twisting plot lines will satisfy and keep readers guessing."
- Publishers Weekly

Product Details

jonnie jacobs
Publication date:
Kali O'Brien mysteries , #5
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
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File size:
293 KB

Meet the Author

Jonnie Jacobs is the bestselling author of twelve mystery and suspense novels, and the forthcoming Paradise Falls (early 2012.) A former practicing attorney and the mother of two grown sons, she lives in northern California with her husband. Email her at or visit her on the web at

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Witness for the Defense 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 8 reviews.
HumorMyWay More than 1 year ago
I honestly did not see the end coming I was kept in suspense as to who the killer was until the end. This was a very suspenseful thrilling exciting listen that keeps you guessing to the outcome. I will be very surprised if you can guess it. I also found it to be very emotional with the life of a baby is left in the balance as to who will become its parents. One man no one likes comes up dead leaving so many people to point the finger at. One woman must put all the pieces together why another holds on for justice as the race is on to find the true killer and what their reason for the killing was. This is a top head line story could the accursed be guilty or is someone else to blame. First you must look at his friends there is something fishy going on there. You will meet his ex’s and a few surprises along the way as the days go by still leaving you wondering who is guilty. The author gives you a story inside a story of a woman and man who feel guilty for their past love as lives are taken with no answers. As they renew their relationship not knowing what step to take. The ending will come as a big surprise shocking you as all the answer are given to all your questions. I never saw it coming…. A couple comes to see Kali about adopting a baby that isn’t born yet. These are famous people who have a girl living with them that will give them her baby. You would think this is all clear and straight up but the author weaves some mystery here leaving you wondering what will happen. Kali doesn’t feel comfortable helping as she finds out new things. She is in too deep now to walk away as Steven comes back into her life leaving her feeling uneasy. Things are going well the Harper’s give so much to the unborn babies mother helping her anyway they can going so far as to move her in. Everything is going great, the baby is born, the papers signed finally the end is near until a man comes forward saying he is the baby’s father. No one but No one wants this evil man to take charge of this innocent baby. One person is very serious about him not getting his hand on her they went as far as killing him. All evidence points to Ms. Harper. All the clues at the scene can tie her to the crime but there is not enough DNA to prove it. Leaving Kali with not much to go on she must piece this puzzle together before and innocent women is sent to jail or is she innocent? What you will find here will surprise you as the author throws in a surprise to keep you guessing, and then some more that will leave you spinning looking first at one and then another. The narrator really brings this story to life she puts so much of herself into it from the emotions to the excitement, mystery and thrills. She paints a very vivid picture you have no trouble picturing in your mind as she takes you through each step right down to the ending that will blow your mind. Her character voices are outstanding you have no trouble feeling what each character feels with each emotion laid right out for you. Ms. Piller hits each tone right on the money from the fear, tears, sorrow, sadness, happiness right down to the feeling of lost. Her male voices are just as good as her female ones with the males being strong, powerful, lost, fear, degrading and downright mean to her female ones that show fear, sorrow, hate, and confusion as she takes you on a spellbound journey of finding a killer and giving justice. There were no background noises or any place where the volume is higher or lower than an
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Tammy Dingler More than 1 year ago
Love it! Could not put it down. I have become addicted to Jonnie Jacobs books. I can't wait to read the next one!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
harstan More than 1 year ago
In the Bay area, former professional football star, Ted Harper and his wife Terri hire attorney Kali O¿Brien to expedite an adoption. The teenage single woman Melissa Burke is living with the Harpers until she gives birth. Not her usual case, Kali could use the easy fee and begins to insure all the papers are properly signed including obtaining the signature of the father, Gary Ellis. Melissa gives birth to a healthy girl named Hannah. Case closed.

Case reopened when obnoxious anti feminine radio talk show host Bram Weaver claims to be Hannah¿s father. He demands the Harpers hand over his child. Kali begins preparation for what seems like a sure shot losing custody battle. However, that preparation changes when the same night that Bram spent a court ordered hour with Hannah, someone kills him. The obvious motive lies with Terri, who already attacked Bram in court, leaving Kali to defend her from a charge of murder one.

WITNESS FOR THE DEFENSE is an exciting legal thriller that twists and turns from a simple adoption to a relatively simple custody case to a complex homicide. Kali in her fourth appearance remains a refreshing attorney. The key secondary players (Harpers, Melissa, and Bram) provide the depth to the story line that turns this into an exhilarating tale. With this legal suspense series and her Kate Austen murder mysteries, Jonnie Jacobs continues to provide some of the best genre entertainment.

Harriet Klausner

Guest More than 1 year ago
I picked this book up on a bargain book sale, and didn't expect it to be this good. But I was pleasantly surprised. It kept me guessing!