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Defensive Wounds Hardcover – September 27, 2011

3.9 out of 5 stars 51 customer reviews
Book 4 of 7 in the Theresa MacLean Series

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Lisa Black writes with authority...[Narrator Kristen] Potter's reading is smooth and hypnotic, making it hard to stop listening." - AudioFile Magazine
"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

--This text refers to the MP3 CD edition.

From the Back Cover

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.

When Marie Corrigan, a Cleveland defense attorney with a history of falsifying evidence and no shortage of enemies, is found dead in the presidential suite at the Ritz-Carlton, most people would agree that she had it coming. Forensic investigator Theresa MacLean is summoned to the crime scene by her daughter, Rachel, who is working the front desk. But even before Theresa enters the room, she knows that she’s walking into a forensic nightmare—for crime scenes at hotels, even the most luxurious, are teeming with trace evidence that has been left behind by innumerable guests and may or may not be related to the murder. But what Theresa finds is even worse than she imagined.

Given the positioning of Marie’s body, everyone assumes the same thing—that it’s a lovers’ tryst turned lethal. But large questions remain: How did the killer gain access to the room without anyone’s knowledge? And has the scene been staged for their benefit? The little evidence Theresa has is conflicting at best. What’s more, a legal convention at the hotel provides an endless list of suspects—and potential victims.

When two more bodies show up in quick succession, each in a similar state, Theresa’s investigation takes on a whole new urgency as she fears they may have a serial killer on their hands—a serial killer with a vendetta. But as she searches for the threads that tie the cases together, Theresa begins to suspect that she and her daughter are closer to danger than they realize. And a mother will stop at nothing to protect the life of her child.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 340 pages
  • Publisher: WilliamMr (September 27, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 006198941X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061989414
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 6.4 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #414,527 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Defensive Wounds reads like an episode of CSI-- kind of flashly, going for entertainment thrills, 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. Heck, even the female glowed about her great body with envy. I understand those themes are central to the plot; that message came in loud and clear after the third repeat. Yet, Lisa Black keeps hitting the reader over the head with those points instead of further flushing out the individual characters.

Despite those complaints, I did find the novel entertaining, just like I love a little CSI when I am in the right mood.
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Format: Hardcover
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.
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Format: Hardcover
A defense attorneys' conference has invaded the Ritz Carlton, where the young daughter of forensic scientist Theresa MacLean works at check in. In the midst of the conference, a serial killer suddenly decides to act upon the recommendation "First, kill the lawyers." Three of them are targeted in quick succession, left naked and trussed up with their heads bashed in, each in a different part of the Ritz. The cops hate all three of the victims, for their skill in springing the very same criminals the police work so hard to put away. While collecting evidence, Theresa is horrified to learn that her daughter's new love interest, also a hotel employee, was accused three years ago of bludgeoning to death a beautiful female classmate. Because he was acquitted, she can't convince her to avoid him.

As the plot unfolds, Theresa is constantly worrying about her daughter, and just as constantly learning new information that points to several likely perpetrators, all with ample motive and opportunity. But finding hard evidence to connect any one of them, in a crime scene in which hundreds of people come and go every day, is like searching for the proverbial haystack needle; in this case, however, think fibers and hairs rather than needles. Theresa is an engaging protagonist, one who is smart and diligent, but nevertheless makes mistakes and sometimes finds her personal life intruding into her professional one. This is less a who-dunnit than a forensic procedural, and while it's possible to foresee who the killer is, there are enough zigs and zags in the end to allow for a few surprises.

NB: This book was sent to me via Goodreads' First Reads Program. I am happy to be able to provide a favorable review, which is not always the case with books provided to me.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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.
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the verbiage, the attention to detail, is something you come to expect from a forensic scientist, but the putting it into a plausible and and entertaining story is a special gift of lisa black. the fact that she writes about cleveland, (nobody knows where it actually is) makes it more interesting as it is not a place i know well.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It was about halfway through the book before I became interested. I am a nurse so I am familiar with the forensic "lingo." For those who are not in the medical world, this book could be confusing. The characters are OK but I never did feel involved with them. I've read better from her.
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