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Desperate Measures

(Barbara Holloway #6)

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  1,075 ratings  ·  63 reviews
Gus Marchand, a hard-working, god-fearing man, has been found dead on his kitchen floor. Without any real evidence, the locals cast their suspicions toward Alex Feldman, Marchand's hideously deformed neighbor. At the request of a fellow attorney, Barbara agrees to defend him. But another suspect is the high-school principal, Hilde Franz, who'd had a contretemps with Gus ea ...more
Published May 24th 2002 by MIRA (first published July 2001)
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really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
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 ·  1,075 ratings  ·  63 reviews

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Apr 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Barbara Holloway is defending someone in a murder case while her father defends another suspect in the same case. So they must use care in talking and handling potential damming materials. Whilhelm writes an unusual mystery in this book. It kept me awake much too late last night. I like this series and the excellent court scenes Wilhelm writes. A great read.
Mar 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: series, read-audio
Another great story and interesting look at criminal defense. As an added twist, Barbara and her father cannot be not partners because each has a client for potentially the same crime. Each of them knows how the other will operate and poor Baily is caught in the middle. A new/old love interest for Barbara?
Stephen Christian
Aug 30, 2016 rated it liked it
I was disappointed by Clear and Convincing Proof and looked forward to getting back into a Barbara Holloway story that involved courtroom drama. This one has that. The story is quite good, with Barbara defending a physically deformed client from a murder charge. As an attorney, I hold legal thrillers up to a higher standard, though, when it comes to the courtroom scenes, and there was one scene that just didn't ring true. The hearsay rule prevents a witness from testifying about what someone els ...more
Kelly Wagner
May 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
This is a re-read for me; in trying to pare the 1200 books in the living room down to, say, 800, I find myself re-reading entire series. This has always been one of my favorites - the protagonist, her family, her office staff - all very real characters, and the mystery portions of the plot are always excellently done.
Hazel Bright
Aug 05, 2019 rated it really liked it
Perception and its influence on instant judgment of character form the theme here. While the story build is great for the recurring characters, I did not buy the who that dunit. (view spoiler) I would have liked to buy it, it was a neat ending, but it was awfully contrived. ...more
Leah Davis
Oct 04, 2013 rated it liked it
Entertaining. I'd never read anything by this author and am not sure I'd go out of my way to read more of her books. But then, if one fell in my lap I wouldn't turn it down. I guess I'll give it a 3, but it is a smudge better than that, but not a 4.
Constance Maloney
Aug 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
The first part of this review is a repeat of what I used for the first book in this series - because all of it still applies, and possibly someone has begun reading it mid-series.

I love this series. I first read it years ago and am currently revisiting Barbara, Frank (and Things One and Two!) It is almost impossible to find the combination of traits that I enjoy in a legal story:
A good amount of legal strategizing and theory
A good amount of courtroom scenes ( typical the last 3rd of the book)
Jan 28, 2018 rated it liked it
Graham is retiring as a child psychologist. He doesn’t want to see any new patients but relents when a friend tells him the story of Alex, a troubled young man. Alexander was facially deformed at birth and he, as well as his parents have difficulty coping. Graham and Alexander form a bond and move into Graham’s rural retirement home in another state. All seems to go well until, Gus, a neighbor, views Alex as the devil personified and turns the community against him. Gus’s sudden death casts susp ...more
Jim B
Feb 14, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, lawyer, legal
If you enjoy John Gresham, but wish there was more "heart" to the stories, Barbara Holloway mysteries will probably satisfy you. This is the only one I've read, but to some degree Barbara is pitted against her father Frank (also a lawyer).

I'm not that familiar with the law, but I wondered about the relationships in the book. Someone I regarded as a key suspect was allowed all kinds of access to inside information just because he was regarded as above suspicion. It seemed unprofessional on Barbar
Ada Iaboni
Sep 09, 2019 rated it liked it
3.5 Stars is well deserved for this book.
I learned a lot from this book. The law can be strict and deliberate at times, but Barbara found ways to keep a man out of the limelight within the law. A man that was born with deformities that most humans have a hard time believing and horrified at seeing, is accused of murder, mostly because of what he looks like. Barbara keeps him away from the "general public" and proves him innocent.
A very interesting story-line that deserves high praise for this a
Jun 17, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This series follows a predictable format, but it is done well with compelling characters and exciting storytelling. Wilhelm grabs me from the first page and keeps up the pace until the final paragraph. Barbara Holloway is a terrific character as are all the regulars in her circle. I particularly like how realistically the loving father/daughter relationship is portrayed. The sense of place is wonderful. Recommended.
Carol Collins
Sep 01, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is my favorite Barbara Holloway book so far. Alex is a young man who was born with a severe birth defect that left him very disfigured. Many neighbors feared him and called him names. One of those neighbors, Gus, was found murdered and Alex was the prime suspect. Great read!! Can’t wait until next month when I can download book 7.
Jul 15, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Do wish somebody - narrator, author, publisher - would spend some time on finding out the local pronunciation of place names. It's "Will-LAM-et" - not "Wil-la-MET" - and I'm not even from Oregon. Every time it was pronounced incorrectly just pulled me out of the story.
Sep 02, 2017 rated it liked it
3.5 stars
Sep 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
enjoyed finally getting the back story on Alex. Fascinating plot!
Mary Baker
I enjoyed this novel in which Kate Wilhelm's female lawyer, Barbara Holloway, ,as usual, takes on a difficult case.

Darius Murretti
Sep 15, 2019 rated it really liked it
Not that brilliant but worth reading . I am undecided about wither to reread this book in 5 years . ( need to read more of the series)( actual rating 3.9)
Nov 10, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I thought this was great. It is hard to imagine the type of religious bigotry at the heart of this book existing in Oregon, but other than the location it felt very real.
Bev Hudson
Apr 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I couldn’t put it down. Missed 2 nights of my favorite TV shows.
I’ll now look for more Wilhelm books if the library ever opens.👿
Leslie McNamara
Apr 30, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime-mystery
Another great read. A new and unusual storyline and interesting characters.
Jun 02, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ill, kate-wilhelm
Personal Note: This is one of my favorites by Kate!

may not quite a 4, but much more than a 3

Alex Feldman, disfigured at birth, was born to beautiful parents. Alex was born with a beautiful body but a disfigured face. Alex’s parents’ wanted Alex’s psychiatrist to find a boarding school for boys like him. Dr. Graham
Vannessa Anderson
Alex Feldman, disfigured at birth, was born to beautiful parents. Alex was born with a beautiful body but a disfigured face. Alex’s parents’ wanted Alex’s psychiatrist to find a boarding school for boys like him. Dr. Graham Minick was about to retire and offered Alex a home with him. Alex accepted. Gus Marchand’s daughter, Rachael age thirteen, cuts school to be with boys in the woods behind Alex’s home. The school’s principal notified Rachael’s mother about Rachael cutting school and Rachael, t ...more
Aug 22, 2009 rated it really liked it
Alex Feldman was born horribly disfigured. By 14, he had attempted suicide several times. A retiring psychiatrist takes pity on Alex and moves him to his Oregon retreat and takes him on as his sole client. Alex grows up into a talented satirical cartoonist who lives a seclusive life. When his neighbor who had demonized and vilified him is killed, the police pick Alex as their scapegoat. Barbara Holloway,his attorney, is afraid that a jury will condemn him judged entirely on their inability to em ...more
Jan 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I like this series, and really enjoyed this one. Since I'm reading them out of order, it was nice to fill in the background for the character of Alex. I was hooked right from the beginning and liked the tension between Barbara and her father; it added a unique interest from others in the series. It didn't last long enough to become painful, thank goodness. There's only so much tension I can really take. It was nice to see the resolution between her and her father and Shelly and Alex.
May 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This book was gripping from start to finish. Those of you who know the father daughter lawyer team of Frank and Barbara Holloway might want to think about the possibility of both being engaged by different clients, potential defendants in the same murder case.

Well-written as always, I was nearly late to work because I was only four pages from the end this morning!
Aug 16, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoy these books, they make me think and observe everyones actions to figure out why they do what they do. Interesting Tammy's decision at the end of the book, little surprised. At least Barbara or Frank didn't get to "beat" up in this book, it bums me out when they get hurt. They seem like such nice likable people- even if they are laywers!
Aug 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This was about a young boy that was disfigured and how he was accused of murdering the next door neighbor. Alex and Shelly might be an item and Barbara has met someone that she knew when she was a teenager. I loved the story and can't wait to hear the next one.

This was narrated by Marguerite Gavin and was 13 hours and 8 minutes.
Aug 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
[library audiobook, plot summary elsewhere]

Standard Barbara Holloway, which means pretty good. The Alex character was in a later book, now I know his backstory. The Shelly character was a little difficult to see falling so in love with Alex. I liked the plot driven by the evil fundamentalist father and his minister.

I'm working my way through all the available Kate Wilhelm novels.
Sep 30, 2010 rated it really liked it
This was another amazing mystery by Kate Wilhelm. It teaches us not to judge people by appearance and is truly a "Beauty and the Beast" story as advertised. This was an excellent vacation read for me.
Jul 13, 2012 rated it liked it
One of the things I've especially enjoyed in the Barbara Holloway series is the way Wilhelm weaves medical/scientific story lines woven into the mystery/court room action. This one certainly fulfills that aspect as well as further developing the main and recurring characters. Another good read.
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Kate Wilhelm’s first short story, “The Pint-Sized Genie” was published in Fantastic Stories in 1956. Her first novel, MORE BITTER THAN DEATH, a mystery, was published in 1963. Over the span of her career, her writing has crossed over the genres of science fiction, speculative fiction, fantasy and magical realism, psychological suspense, mimetic, comic, and family sagas, a multimedia stage producti ...more

Other books in the series

Barbara Holloway (1 - 10 of 14 books)
  • Death Qualified (Barbara Holloway #1)
  • The Best Defense (Barbara Holloway #2)
  • Malice Prepense (Barbara Holloway #3)
  • Defense for the Devil (Barbara Holloway #4)
  • No Defense (Barbara Holloway #5)
  • Clear and Convincing Proof (Barbara Holloway #7)
  • The Unbidden Truth (Barbara Holloway #8)
  • Sleight of Hand (Barbara Holloway #9)
  • A Wrongful Death (Barbara Holloway #10)
  • Cold Case (Barbara Holloway #11)

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