Friday, March 18, 2011

A Review of "Indefensible" [19]

Indefensible by Pamela Callow
Mira, ISBN 978-0778329220
December 28, 2010, 512 pages.

Elise Vanderzell has been through a terrible time recently, and although a vacation should be a time to relax and enjoy oneself, she is not really looking forward to the beginning of hers. She and her two children have made the long drive from their home in Toronto to Halifax, Nova Scotia, to stay at the borrowed house of a friend. The plan is that her children, troubled 15 year-old Nick and 12 year-old Lucy, can spend some time with their father, her ex-husband, high-profile local lawyer Randall Barrett.  But, she knows that the meeting with Barrett is not going to go at all well. The two of them have a lot of issues..

As expected, they have a terrible, loud argument and when Elise ends up dead that very night, and it is determined that her death may not have been an accident, her ex-husband is suspect Number One on the short list.
The only witness to the crime is her son, a boy who hates his father enough to want to kill him, so can we really trust him when he accuses his father? Could the boy himself be involved? The fact that Barrett was so drunk that night that he can't even remember himself what happened doesn't help matters either.

Back for the second book in the series, after Damaged, is lawyer Kate Lange, and she is well acquainted with Randall Barrett. He is a senior partner in the firm in which she is an associate, and to those who may not have read the first, let me just tell you that she has a sense that something a little more personal is going on in their relationship. Which may be just one reason why her ex-fiance, homicide detective Ethan Drake, would not be unhappy to see Barrett take the fall for the death. It may also be one reason that Kate is one of the few people who stand by Randall as his world starts to fall apart. But will Kate, still suffering from the physical and emotional damage from her last adventure, be up to the challenges when people's very lives may be in her hands?

I enjoyed Callow's first book, Damaged, a good deal, and several of the things that made that book so enjoyable are back in the second. I love the setting in Nova fact, I hope that if the series continues, in the future we get to experience even a bit more of this great setting.
And Kate is a good character. She is not perfect..and we would not want her to be, would we?...but she is smart and pretty clever and always willing, even when it is against her better judgment, to jump into a situation. And she owns a great dog, Alaska, and I will admit that I am a sucker for a book where a great dog is a character.
Yes, I will admit that her ex-fiance, Drake, becomes more than a little annoying in this book, letting his personal feelings effect his job to an unprofessional degree. I would not have been upset if he had ended up paying a greater price for his behavior than he does. But at least he pays a price.
On a totally personal note, this book is published as a mass-market paperback, perhaps my least favorite book format.

I also can't say that I did not figure out the villain fairly early in the book. But...just when I thought I knew what was going on, Callow throws in a spin that took me by total surprise! It appears that this crime may be part of something much bigger, much more horrible, than we, or the police, first think. Add in that the book builds up to a wonderful, exciting ending that will keep you on the edge of your seat, and I think you will be hooked. Indefensible is a very good, enjoyable read and I will certainly be on the lookout for Callow's next book.

My thanks to Anna, of Planned TV Arts,and the publisher, Mira, for a copy of this book to review.


  1. I love a mystery that takes me by surprise!

  2. Sounds really good ... putting these books on my list!

  3. This sounds pretty good. I know you aren't one to gush if you don't really like it so I'll have toseek this series out.


please speak up, I LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU!!