Tyndale, Jan 2008, 12.99, 319 pp.
Brett Lerner was a blackmailer who was waiting in his hot tub for the mark to arrive and give him his payoff money. Instead, the blackmailer hits Brett over the head. Brett is later found by his pregnant girlfriend Patti McCoy who starts screaming and then runs away when the police come. They find her and arrest her and put her in jail until the trial date arrives.
The members of the jury are a mixed group from a famous actress to a man who works three minimum wage jobs because he doesn’t believe in his own talent. Also in the group are a former golf chairman and the wife of a doctor who operates on children for free. One of the members of the jury is pushing his/her spouse to sway the jury for a guilty verdict and though that person agrees to do so, the price paid is enormous.
Nancy Moser is a fantastic storyteller who lets her audience see into the hearts of the characters. There is nobody evil in this book, just lost misguided people making awful, not to say illegal decisions. SOLEMNLY SWEAR shows how one fabrication can spiral into many more lies and hurt other people, especially loved ones; as Sir Walter Scott proclaimed: “Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practice to deceive.” Some of the jurors learn from their experience and try to turn their lives around to become better people; none of them will be like they were before the jurisprudence experience.