Sunday, April 15, 2012

Under Oath-Margaret McLean

Under Oath

Margaret McLean

Forge, Apr 24, 2012, $25.99

ISBN: 9780765328137

In Charlestown, Massachusetts nasty hood Billy Malone stands on trial for the murder of artist Trevor Shea. Defending the viscous criminal is attorney Buddy Clancy while prosecutor Annie Fitzgerald argues for the Commonwealth. Assisting Annie is Boston homicide detective Mike Callahan who believes Malone has killed many people including the painter whose renditions of murder scenes are harrowing.

The case turns ugly as witnesses are murdered and the jury wants to leave but not in a body bag as one of them keeps leaking secrets that frighten the others who fear they will be targeted next. Annie and Mike believe the key to getting this scum off the street is Trevor’s painting, but his brother Chris refuses to cooperate. The verdict remains up in the air as both sides present their case.

In Under Fire, Clancy was the protagonist; in Under Oath he plays second fiddle to Annie. The courtroom scenes are superb while the streets of Charlestown add to this wonderful legal thriller. Both Annie and Mike lose perspective as each accepts the premise that the end justifies the mean in terms of insuring a violent vicious psychopath is locked away. Although the Honorable Judge Conrad J. Killam seems to allow too many shenanigans, readers will enjoy this fine courtroom drama.

Harriet Klausner

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