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In Her Defense

Horn, Stephen

232 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0060194405 / ISBN 13: 9780060194406
Published by Harper, New York, 2000
Condition: Very Good Hardcover
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About this Item

Signed by Author 0060194405 Stephen Horn. IN HER DEFENSE. (New York): Harper Collins, (2000). FIRST EDITION, FIRST PRINTING, SIGNED. 8vo. Hardcover. Book and dustjacket in near fine condition, small bump to fore-edge of both, no owner's name, price intact. Signed by author on title page. Author's first novel. ISBN. Bookseller Inventory # 005504

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Bibliographic Details

Title: In Her Defense

Publisher: Harper, New York

Publication Date: 2000

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Very Good

Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine

Signed: Signed by Author(s)

Edition: First Edition, 1st Printing.

About this title


A lawyer with an appetite for risk. A gorgeous socialite accused of murder. It's the case of a lifetime--if only she were innocent.

Following in the blockbuster tradition of Scott Turow and Richard North Patterson comes Stephen Horn and In Her Defense, and intense, riveting debut thriller with a twist.

Frank O'Connell's need to live on the edge cost him his family, his home, and a partnership in his father-in-law's prestigious Washington firm. Now he combs the cell blocks for clients and wonders if he's sunk too low ever to come back. His ex-wife wants to see less of him, his therapist wants to see more, and his last link to professional survival just gave him an ultimatum.

Then into his office walks Ashley Bronson. The murder of a former cabinet official has just propelled her from the society column to the front page, and, inexplicably, she wants Frank to defend her. She hands him her case, followed by her confession and some damning physical evidence. Frank thinks his biggest challenge is her guilt. He's got a lot to learn.

Ashley's admission proves just another detail in a defense in which ethics are bent and morals compromised. As the trial date looms closer, the goverment's case seems insurmountable. A desperate Frank hits upon an inspired strategy--and unwittingly becomes a threat to people in high places when he unravels a tangled web of events that began a generation ago.

Their personal lives in tatters and confronted by forces they don't understand, besieged lawyer and client have only each other as the courtroom battle begins.

In this fast-paced legal thriller, former federal prosecutor Stephen Horn brings his knowledge of law and government to stunning life with this absorbing tale of love, betrayal, and murder that is sure to be one of the most entertaining and engrossing stories of the year.


In Her Defense is a sharply funny and ironic debut legal thriller that obligingly serves up all the best elements of the genre: a seemingly unwinnable case, mysterious forces conspiring against the attorney and his client, and a tumblingly relentless pace. D.C. defense attorney Frank O'Connell isn't climbing the career ladder anymore--he's been to the top, looked around, and then jumped. Deeply unsatisfied with his comfortable life, he's abandoned a successful partnership with his powerful father-in-law, jettisoned his marriage, and is clinging to an uncertain existence funded by court appointments to represent indigent shoplifters and drug dealers: "I was in trouble and I knew it. I'd come to rely on little tasks and routines, like closing the sofa bed each morning and washing the dishes as soon as I ate--not to mark my progress but as hedges against a backslide into oblivion."

Enter Ashley Bronson, a beautiful and wealthy socialite who stands accused of murdering her father's best friend, Raymond Garvey. Ashley claims that Garvey drove her father to suicide but won't explain how or why. Frank is a pragmatist, keenly appreciative of life's myriad ironies: "I could probably design a trial strategy around her physical assets alone--get a jury of men, put her on the stand, and have her look 'em in the eye and talk. Christ, she could read the phone book and we'd get a deadlock. It was too bad I knew she was guilty." Ashley's admission of guilt and Frank's desperate attempt to create a trial strategy over, under, around, and through that admission make for a cleverly Machiavellian legal procedural. Add to this Frank's growing conviction that something isn't quite "clicking" in this seemingly open-and-shut case, and you've got a narrative that accelerates toward an unashamedly over-the-top denouement. In Her Defense is a welcome addition to a crowded genre--we hope that Frank O'Connell (and Stephen Horn) will be around for many more pitched legal battles. --Kelly Flynn

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