The Kelso/McIvey rehab center is a place of hope and healing for its patients–and for the dedicated staff who volunteer there.
But David McIvey, a brilliant surgeon whose ego rivals his skill with a scalpel, wants to change all that. His plan to close the clinic and replace it with a massive new surgery center–with himself at the helm–means that the rehab center will be forced to close its doors.
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.
In Wilhelm's latest Barbara Holloway legal thriller, intrigue swirls around a rehab clinic. Erica Castle, a newcomer to Eugene, Ore., volunteers at the Kelso-McIvey Rehabilitation Center in order to make connections in the community. There she meets a network of friends and neighbors, all of whom become suspects in a murder when one of the clinic's owners, ruthless neurosurgeon David McIvey, is found shot dead after he threatens to shut down the place. The possible guilty parties are legion: McIvey's emotionally abused wife, Annie, is waiting for her pre-nup to expire so she can exit a loveless marriage with something to show; Darren Halvord, a brilliant physical therapist and handsome single father, was spotted at the scene of the crime; Naomi and Greg Boardman, founders of the clinic, have put their hearts and souls into an institution that's about to be destroyed. Enter criminal lawyer Barbara Holloway, known to Wilhelm fans for her appetite for difficult cases. Spunky, with a penchant for legal aid work and jeans and sweatshirts instead of suits and hose, she is retained by the Boardmans to disprove the police's theory: that Halvord and Annie McIvey are lovers who eliminated David McIvey so they could be together. The characters never really rise off the page, but there are engrossing plot twists aplenty, including one last humdinger in which Holloway proves she's well worth her fees.