Samantha (Sam) Brinkman has been hoping for something big to jump start her fledging law practice, so when a double homicide case seems up for grabs, she jumps on it. The man who has been arrested is an LAPD detective, Dale Pearson, whose charm and charisma could indicate he is either a sociopath or innocent. The victims were Chloe Monahan, an actor, and Paige Avner, her roommate, struggling to make their mark, and Dale had been Chloe’s boyfriend just before the murders.

Sam is the kind of character I enjoy reading about. Her personal and professional foibles kept me engaged, as did her interactions with clients and associates. I liked how she handled her interviews and enjoyed her courtroom maneuvering.

We learn more about her as we move along, unearthing bits of her background and the way she feels about her mother, Celeste, a snobby, narcissistic woman who has kept important secrets from Sam. The rift between them grows when her biggest secret of all comes to light right in the middle of Sam’s case.

Michelle and Alex are Sam’s cohorts in the office, and I loved the interaction between them, as well, and also enjoyed the way all three managed to maneuver around the rules as they tried to find the evidence they needed to clear Dale.

Blood Defense was a page turning story that kept me guessing throughout. Just when I began to totally believe in the defendant, something else would leap to the fore, making me question everything all over again. In the end, who would turn out to be guilty? Is Dale who he appears to be, or is there more behind the façade? How do the determined legal eagles manage to solve the case? And what unexpected tidbit comes out at the very end? 4.5 stars.

ratings worms 4-cropped


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