Library Journal calls Rangeley Wallace’s No Defense “a powerful first novel” that “deftly combines facts and emotions arising from a civil rights incident with the elements of a mostly dysfunctional family to create a riveting courtroom drama.”
LuAnn Hagerdorn Garrett accepts her powerful father’s offer to own and run a restaurant in her small southern hometown, ignoring her husband’s objections to the plan. Once they move, and the marriage begins to fall apart, LuAnn befriends a visiting journalist, encouraging him to seek out evidence about the town’s infamous unsolved civil rights murder. He does, but, she is shocked to learn, the evidence leads right to her father, now a candidate for Governor and her father is indicted for murder. Through the trial, LuAnn defends her father but when she is forced to confront one family secret after another she has to reassess her faith in her father as well as her views about herself and her marriage.
Publisher’s Weekly notes that “the care Wallace takes with LuAnn’s characterization enhances this well-paced legal thriller, as do flavorful Southern voices and a bracing dose of romance.” An Amazon Top 1000 Reviewer said the “atmosphere is absorbing, the story taut and the resolution a total surprise.”
“Wallace avoids any Grisham-come-lately clichés in this interesting novel of southern justice… This page-turner of a novel is refreshing in its uncommon perspective, as opposed to the usual legal novel that focuses on lawyers.”
“A riveting courtroom drama…Another fine story in the Southern literary tradition”
“Rangeley Wallace has written a taut, compelling Southern drama that is cut from the same cloth as Harper Lee and the early William Faulkner.”
Winston Groom, author of Forrest Gump
Read or write a review of No Defense on Goodreads here.
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