Barbara Holloway has a reputation for taking on the toughest cases... and winning them. But this time she's up against an unbeatable opponent – her father, the lawyer who taught her all she knows.
Gus Marchand, a hardworking, God-fearing farmer, is found dead on his kitchen floor, and suspicion soon falls on Alex Feldman, Marchand's hideously deformed neighbor. At the request of another attorney, Barbara agrees to defend the young man, whom most of the town has already condemned.
But there is another suspect, as well: Hilde Franz, a woman Gus had a very public altercation with just before he was murdered. Hilde also happens to be an old friend of Barbara's father, Frank, who, unaware of his daughter's involvement in the case, agrees to represent Hilde.
For the first time in her career, Barbara cannot turn to her father for advice. Quite the contrary: she has to stay one step ahead of him if she's to have any hope of saving her client. Because she knows only too well what kind of legal mind she's up against.
Kate Wilhelm (1928–2018) was an American author. She wrote novels and stories in the science fiction, mystery, and suspense genres, including the Hugo Award-winning Where Late the Sweet Birds Sang, and she established the Clarion Workshop with her husband Damon Knight and writer Robin Scott Wilson.