After a suspicious explosion on board the galactic space cruiser USS Michaelson costs an officer his life, the ship's legal counsel, Lieutenant Sinclair, risks everything to expose a cover-up - and prosecute the son of a powerful vice-admiral.
BONUS AUDIO: Includes an exclusive introduction written and read by author Jack Campbell.
Burden of Proof was originally published as "by John G. Hemry".
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©2004 Jack Campbell; (P)2009 Audible, Inc.
"[Campbell]'s series continues to offer outstanding suspense, realism, and characterization, and this book, no less than its predecessor...only ratchets up readers' appetites for more. First-rate military sf." (Booklist)
I may be generous in my assessment of this book but I felt it was the best of the "JAG in Space" series to date (4 in the series). All of the novels follow the same formula - some action at the beginning with a tragedy of sorts, followed by a prolonged court room drama. Apart from the fact that the action occurs in space the novels really aren't science fiction. Don't bother with the book if you want hard sci fi.
The books roughly follow the experiences and tensions of a junior ship's officer with collateral 'legal officer' duty. In this book (more than the others) the tension seems more realistic because the protagonist is the instigator of the court martial procedings and so has a more vested interest in the outcome. That makes the tension and concern seem more plausible than in other books.While the consequences of going against more senior officers do not materialise in this book (but are implied to become manifest in book four), the real concern that they could and that the court room drama could become "career defining" make this a book worth listening to if that is your 'cup ot tea'.
The small things that are observed in court including the lawyer tricks add to the overall interest in the developing character of the protagonist but the arm wrestle between prosecution and defense should have been a bit meatier.
I am an avid eclectic reader.
This story (series) could take place in the past, present or future time. I think that is what makes it interesting, people and their behaviour and problems are the same and Jack Campbell's story is a good example. This is not a war type military Sci Fi but is a timeless story of human behavior and military leadership. The military law is interesting and the USS. Michaelson's legal officer Lt Sinclair is growing into his job, in this second book of the series. The first part of the story has some space action and an explosion on the ship when it returns to base. The second half of the book deals with naval law and a court marshal trial. If you enjoy court room drama you will enjoy this book. Nick sullivan did a good job narrating the story. I enjoyed the JAG T.V. series and find this series equally enjoyable.
With this second in the series, we establish the pattern of interaction/action in the first half of the book and then trial in the second. Author Campbell never gives away so much information that there is a foregone conclusion nor are there any tv-drama hysterics or surprises. This serious is about an everyman standing up for ideals (a recurring theme in Campbell's books) despite the costs.
Story: As Paul Sinclair works his way up the military ladder, engages with a new Captain for the Michaelson, and gets to know fellow officer Shen better, life settles down on the ship. Until an explosion rocks the engineering deck and costs a good man his life. When the evidence is collected, it points to an officer better at impressing superiors than performing his job. A young man whose father is an admiral. As Sinclair watches on the sidelines, he'll find he may be more involved in the case than hoped - or feared.
The story begun in the first book builds quite nicely in this second novel. The characters are all interesting and fascinating - from the antagonists to the friends that Paul meets on the ship. As crew continues to rotate around him, he'll deepen some relationships but also be forced to say goodbye to others.
The court scenes are surprisingly engaging and it helps that even Paul himself is not sure that the fellow officer is guilty. I found that once I started the book, I didn't want to stop and stayed up quite late with it. The story really was that good.
I listened to the Audible version and the narrator did an excellent job.
This particular writer, Jack Campbell, has shown great flexibility in his books. The central theme is space: Flight in space, Living in space, Fighting in space. Now we have lawyers in space. He has developed all with attention to detail, characters of substance, and "you're bad, I'm good, and I'm going to eliminate you from my space" action. He has just enough detail to make things feasible without drowning the listener. With several other authors, I could do two loads of wash and fix sandwiches for lunch and come back and we still weren't finished describing the new weapons. Mr. Campbell has given us the "what ifs" to go with the new arsenal . This book has given us "Navy Life" which is not all John Paul Jones crossed with Buck Rogers but he's still delivered the suspense, the mystery, a love story, and bite your nail action. In the explosion/fire scene, I jumped when the lock closed, sealing me in with this unbearable heat. When he described the flames, I was squinting from the brilliance and the heat! When I'm right in stage center like that, I've got a keeper.
Buy the book. It's a fun listen but he's hidden some things that will make you stop and think. You're in space, you've got time......
Like a lot of science fiction, this series is more about people than about technology. Jack Campbell opens with the information that, like his protagonist, he became ship's legal officer because he had some time between positions and the navy sent him to a 3 week course in naval law because it was available, and that was not his primary duty but a side duty. This brings a lot of realism to the stories, though the protagonist of course gets dumped into more serious situations than any one JAG officer ever should. All to the good for us readers.
Jack Campbell is probably my favorite author. Once again he has written a book that I found difficult to put down. In fact, I pretty much abandoned my plan to catch up on office work, house chores, and training last Saturday to dedicated myself to finishing this great book.
The story keeps moving, the characters develop, the plot always interesting.
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