Book Review: ‘Defensive Wounds’ is shock-filled winner

“Defensive Wounds” (William Morrow), by Lisa Black

Forensic scientist Theresa MacLean tackles a case that might be too close to home in Lisa Black’s latest novel, “Defensive Wounds.”

Like the classic locked-room mysteries, a defense attorney is found bound and beaten in the presidential suite of a fancy hotel. A legal conference has taken over the hotel, and there are plenty of suspects to be found.

The victim, Marie Corrigan, was disliked by many people, including MacLean.

Uncovering evidence proves more challenging than usual, with a crowded hotel, lots of potential suspects and an electronic key lock on the hotel suite door that shows no signs of entry.

MacLean has difficulty focusing on the case because her daughter, Rachel, works at the hotel. Soon a possible suspect with a history of violence — and access to the crime scene — makes the case seem closed. Unfortunately, the suspect is dating Rachel.

Then a second body is found.

The author knows her forensics and continues to write the best evidence-driven thrillers in the business. Though this one is a bit slower to start and more of a mystery than a thriller, the result is still a shock-filled, must-stay-up-all-night-to-finish winner.

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