Burden of Proof by John G Hemry

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Rating 8.5/10
Hemry's many fans will be satisfied with this latest effort.

The second entry in the ‘JAG In Space’ series sees a suspicious explosion on-board the space warship the USS Michaelson costing an officer his life, setting in train an investigation to discover why the dead man was working alone at the time of the accident.

Legal officer Paul Sinclair risks everything to expose a cover-up... To find the truth and see justice done.

This is a decent follow up and it is good to see characters like Sinclair’s fiancé Jen Shen, Carl Meadows and Kris Denaldo back as well as some new ones like Jen’s intimidating father Captain Kay Shen and new crew member Lieutenant Scott Silver into the fray.

There are some nice touches here like the creation of ‘Greenspace’, a galactic offshoot of ‘Greenpeace.’ All the usual Hemry flourishes and touches are present and correct here: believable characterizations and situations against the foreboding backdrop of space.

The action and the ‘incident’ early in the story are handled very well and manage to push the right emotional buttons. You feel the sense of outrage and disbelief of Sinclair and his colleagues at the likelihood of foul play and a possible cover-up at work.

Once again Sinclair is the St George of the piece, a twenty-second century knight off to defeat a new dragon. The courtroom scenes are dramatic with the dialogue rattling along and managing to entertain and convince.

My only minor gripe is that this is a slightly routine adventure for Sinclair despite being handled so well. It does grip but I could not help shake the feeling that perhaps something bigger and more far-reaching than a case of negligence and attempted cover-up was more deserving of the characters here.

It’s still very good and ticks all the right boxes. Hemry’s many fans will be satisfied with this latest effort but I hope the next time we encounter Sinclair and friends the case is a little more out of the ordinary.

First Published 2003
This Edition 2012 by Titan Books
ISBN: 9780857689412


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