Since he is poised to desecrate the dreams of so many, it's not surprising to anyone, especially Oregon lawyer Barbara Holloway, that somebody dares to stop him in cold blood. When David McIvey is murdered outside the clinic's doors early one morning, Barbara once again uses her razor-sharp instincts and take-no-prisoners attitude to create a defense for the two members of the clinic who stand accused. And in her most perplexing case yet, Barbara is forced to explore the darkest places where people can hide--the soul beneath the skin.
The large retainer offered by a client who asks for complete anonymity is not the only thing that intrigues Barbara Holloway. The defendant, Carol Fredricks, is a gifted young pianist charged with killing the manager of a piano bar. But Carol is as much of a mystery as the details of the murder for which she is accused. She can't remember anything about her life before the age of eight, and she has been having haunting nightmares about a woman she cannot identify.
Before long Barbara becomes convinced that her client is not only innocent, but is being framed by an enemy who will stop at nothing to keep the past buried. And as she unravels the stunning trail of deception, hatred and a remarkable abiding love that holds the key to the mystery of Carol Fredricks, Barbara discovers that the unbidden truth may just damn them both.
Barbara's peace at her retreat on the Oregon coast is shattered when a terrified young boy leads her to a cabin in the woods where his battered mother has clearly been left for dead. Barbara runs for help, but by the time she returns both mother and son are gone.
The puzzle deepens when Barbara learns the boy she met is the grandson of a prominent family...and they have accused her of aiding his disappearance.
With the help of her father, Frank, she delves into the mystery, only to realize the kidnapping is a ruse for a more sinister plan--one that pits the meaning of family against cold hard cash.
Troubling obstacles thwart Barbara's every move--from the justice system that employs her to the false identities of those around her. Yet none will compare with the shocking murder scene that awaits her.
When Etheridge returns to Eugene, Oregon, McCrutchen is his grudging host--until the senator is found shot dead. Now Etheridge is back where he was two decades ago--suspected of murder. Only this time, with the cold case reopened, he's facing a double charge.
Barbara must battle the prosecution and the court of public opinion, which has already tried and convicted Etheridge for both murders. As the pressure mounts, Barbara ties the past and present together, risking her own life to preserve justice.
Barbara Holloway is a low-key attorney in Eugene, Oregon who left her father's high powered firm to handle small legal problems for local residents and ponder her own next move. But while trying to sort out her own future, two people, desperate for help, show up on her doorstep: former pro football player Martin Owens and his wife Binnie. Binnie, who is mute, met her husband when she snuck aboard his boat while it was docked in Haiti and smuggled herself into the U. S. Now Immigration is seeking to deport her back to Haiti, which would be a death sentence. Born to a woman from Belize who was kidnapped and enslaved by pirates, Binnie's only hope is to prove her and her mother's real identity. With only days to find the truth and protect Binnie, Holloway sets off for Belize. But what she knows is only the tip of the iceberg in what turns out to be one of her most complex, compelling and dangerous cases yet.
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