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Under Oath    by Margaret McLean order for
Under Oath
by Margaret McLean
Order:  USA  Can
Forge, 2012 (2012)
Hardcover, e-Book

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* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Margaret McLean's Under Oath is without a doubt a page turner. Quickly read because you won't want to put it down.

Billy Malone is on trial for killing Trevor Shea with a deadly dose of heroin. Prosecutor Annie Fitzgerald represents the state of Massachusetts and Defense Lawyer Buddy Clancy works for the defendant. Malone is rumored to be behind a number of murders but has never been convicted.

Witnesses for the prosecution disappear or are found dead. Fitzgerald must use all the resources she has to convict a man who should not be loose on the streets.

The courtroom scenes ring true. They should. Author Margaret McLean is a former criminal prosecutor and now is a Professor of Law at Boston College. Personalities in the jury make one wonder how a jury can ever agree to anything, let alone a verdict.

Fitzgerald is up against a Code of Silence in the part of Boston that is known as Charlestown. Don't hear anything, don't say anything, and never talk to cops. As a result there are rarely witnesses to any wrongdoing and the unsolved murder rate is appalling.

Determined to bring in a guilty verdict, she tries everything she can think of, including breaking and entering. Large paintings by the deceased are brought into play as evidence.

Under Oath is truly worth a read. Don't miss it. I won't compare it to any other author's work. Mother always said comparisons are odious. McLean deserves to stand alone. And don't miss her first novel, Under Fire. Another winner.

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