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Defensive Wounds: A Novel of Suspense by Lisa Black
Review by Steve Sawicki
William Morrow Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 9780061989414
Date: 27 September 2011 List Price $24.99 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

When a convention of lawyers comes to Cleveland no one thinks twice. When one of those lawyers turns up dead, in the presidential suite, a room no one had booked or should have had access to, everyone starts thinking. When a second attorney turns up dead in his own room the next day it's a whole different story. And, when a third lawyer ends up dead in a closed viewing area the plot thickens.

For Theresa MacLean, forensic investigator it's personal. The first lawyer, Marie Corrigan, was a Cleveland defense attorney with a history of falsifying evidence and putting those who represent the system through the wringer when they were on the stand. To say she was not well liked by the police would be a gross understatement. To make matters worse, all of the bodies have been left in positions that indicate a kinky love interest gone bad, except that there appears to be no evidence of sex involved. The fact that all of the bodies were found in a hotel, a location full of trace evidence from every single person who had walked through there, just makes her job all that more critical. To complicate matters, her daughter works with and is going out with one of the potential suspects.

This is the fourth novel in Lisa Black's series featuring forensic scientist Theresa MacLean. As a latent fingerprint examiner herself and a former forensic scientist, Black brings credibility to the crime scene analysis she describes in her books. Besides the expert qualifications, Black manages to plot her way from beginning to end rather adeptly and with few loop holes. Theresa MacLean, her main character is well developed, interestingly human, and worth following. There is a minor bug in the book which involves how the murders were actually committed but it's a minor one and maybe you won't think it's a bug at all so I'll leave it unmentioned.

Overall this was an enjoyable book and a fairly fast and entertaining read. I'd definitely look for another of Black's works in the future. Besides the compelling characters the mystery itself is interesting and takes it's time in the unraveling. There are more than a couple of surprises in store for you and more than a few supporting characters that are worth getting to know. Definitely recommended if you are looking for a forensic thriller to spend a night or two with.

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