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Publisher's Summary

What if your former girlfriend decides to use her 6-year-old daughter to punish you for breaking up with her?

How do you prove that you are innocent of the worst case of sexual perversion against a child?

Is it possible to refute the lies of a beautiful, seemingly innocent, little girl?

When Gabe McAllister, decorated former Marine and respected Texas State Trooper, walked out of his condo in West Houston on a Tuesday morning to head to a meeting of the newly formed task force of the DEA, Texas State Police and Border Patrol, he found five Houston cops waiting to collar him for the rape of 6-year-old Annie Bridges.

His next several days and weeks are a blur as he realizes belatedly that he has no chance against his diminutive accuser. His implicit trust in the fairness of the justice system shattered, McAllister lands in the Huntsville prison, sentenced to three counts of 20-to-life sentences.

In the sequel to The Fragrance Shed By a Violet, Lin Wilder embroils characters in another complex web of dysfunctional family, deceit, revenge, and the politics of courtrooms. Pulitzer Prize reporter Kate Townsend's front page story for her newspaper, The Houston Tribune, about a juror - the foreman of McAllister's jury - stepping forward to speak about the case and her concern about why McAllister was not granted a retrial, galvanizes Houstonians once again: Had a Houston jury convicted another innocent person?

Dr. Lindsey McCall, former inmate at Huntsville and now Medical Director at the Prisons, and Rich Jansen, Chief Warden at the prisons, are faced with the all-too-familiar question of just how involved should they get as Townsend begins to dig into the background of little Annie Bridges and her mother. When Townsend reveals the details of her new investigative series: A Nation of Law: The Dark Side, Jansen is more than intrigued.

©2015 Lin Wilder (P)2017 Lin Wilder

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Gripping Legal Thriller

This story is a sad commentary on today's society and probably occurs much more often than we realize. It sickens me that parents, usually the mother, can use their children as pawns for their own personal gain or revenge. Lives can be devastated with even the mere accusation of child molestation and it is often an uphill battle to prove their innocence. As was stated in the book, how do you prove that you didn't do something? In Gabe's story, the presumption of innocence was almost completely absent during his initial trial, compounding his fight.

Do You Solemnly Swear? was a compelling listen that gripped me from the start. Gabe made some bad choices but certainly didn't deserve to be in his current predicament and I really felt for him. The writing was powerful, with a great story and interesting characters. My only criticism was that so many side stories somewhat detracted from the main emphasis, namely proving Gabe's innocence. With a large cast of characters, Mark Kamish did an excellent job with the narration. I enjoyed Do You Solemnly Swear?: A Nation of Law, The Dark Side and would recommend it.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review. This review is my honest opinion.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Great main story, too many tangents

This was a fascinating story with some very strong and interesting characters. I was totally on board with the story of Gabe being wrongly convicted of the most heinous of crimes; and Rich, Lindsey, Kate, Zack, and others fighting to appeal the verdict. Annie was a tragic little girl who needed so much to be loved and surrounded by decent people.
My problem was that I was overwhelmed with extraneous details. While no part of the story was boring, the history of Devil Dogs, the details of Kate's romance, and other added story lines, took my mind away from the main focus of the book. Also, I kept forgetting last names, which was bad, because in this book, characters are referred to by first names at times, and last names at others.
The narration was terrific, which is saying a lot due to the large number of characters. I also appreciated the writing. Despite my complaints, I would read more from this author. If the focus had remained more on Gabe's case, this would have been a 5-star read for me. (And, honestly, I would love to read more about the various side stories if they were given books of their own.)
I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

How do you prove you are not guilty!

What an enthralling story! I couldn't put it down! Well written. All the twists and turns held my attention throughout!

Narrator was excellent!

"I was given a free review copy of this audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review."

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Well read, overly written

This book was a challenge. It immediately grabbed me with an interesting premise. Then it got sidetracked. Then it was interesting again, then sidetracked. It was overly written. There seemed to be no trail that it wouldn't follow, which was a shame because the basic premise was very interesting and compelling.
It seems the book was a sequel to another book and events in that book were referenced frequently. That would be fine on occasion, but it was distracting here. It broke up the flow of the story. That along with all of the "Rabbit Holes" to quote another reviewer. I can't think of a better term.
The narrator, Mark Kamish did a good job, but couldn't pull it out. There were just too many distractions from the main story. This could have been an excellent book, but it needs to be pared down to get there.
I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    2 out of 5 stars

Too much filler, too little character development.

Do You Solemnly Swear is an enigma to review. At its core the book was presented almost to me as a piece of nonfiction. There was a LOT of background information. Dates, facts, illustrious college degrees and places were stated matter-of-factly. In fact, there was so much seemingly superfluous and unimportant information that it got in the way of the story. Everything seemed too perfect. Everyone was connected too closely to everyone else. There was way too much serendipity here!

Everyone was rich, well to do, except for Annie and Sam - coincidentally the villains of the story. Should that tell us something? The majority of us don’t live like the main characters in this book. We don’t have Swiss vacation homes. We don’t have masters and doctorate degrees. We can’t afford to hire contractors to build miniature guest houses in the backyard that exactly mimic our real houses. We can’t spend our own money to construct state-of-the art medical facilities in a prison.

Who are these people in this story? Just a bunch of rich snobs who have nothing better to do than feel sorry for the less fortunate? Does the author have a special access pass to the top crust of the social elite in this country and we are just observers to reality, along for the ride?

The book also has a perfect bow-tie ending. Meh, I like strife, conflict, pain and suffering in my books to make them interesting. If everything goes as planned so perfectly, what’s to interest the listener? The ending was way too telegraphed. This happily-ever-after ending was too saccharine.

I don’t know. There’s probably a name for this type of book - where a fiction title is written as if it’s a nonfiction title, full of background information on people, places, things that happened in the past. There’s no character development, just their past backgrounds, achievements, but not real…. people. They are like props just to move the story along. Could it be labeled an… airport paperback?

The narration by Mark Kamish was almost flawless, marred by lots of hissing and rustling during recording. It’s almost as if he wore noisy clothing during the recording session and every little movement was being picked up. I’ve listened to other titles from Mark, and didn’t hear these types of artifacts, so I was a bit surprised to encounter these.

Towards the end I was really just waiting for it to finish. I already knew what was going to happen. I was just waiting to see how the author implemented it. The trial didn’t even occur until the last hour or so of the story, and wrapped up way too quickly, like it was an afterthought.

This audiobook was gifted to me by the narrator in exchange for an unbiased review.

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars

Too preachy

The topic of this legal thriller provided considerable potential for a great story. Unfortunately, the opportunity was squandered. It was way, way too preachy and the gratuitous romance was far too sappy. This had the effect of overwhelming what might have been an interesting case. Although the characters were likable enough, they were rather flat and predictable, as was the outcome of the story.

Mark Kamish put forth a strong effort, giving the characters distinctive voices and accents, although they weren't always consistent and his delivery sometimes bordered on overly dramatic.

Overall, this was a very disappointing listen. More than once, I wanted to skip over some of the overly preachy or romantic sections, but I managed to finish the book. There just wasn't enough content to this story to allow me to recommend it.

NOTE: I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Innocent until proven guilty???

What made the experience of listening to Do You Solemnly Swear? the most enjoyable?

The story telling style was a bit fragmented with the constant off-shoots from one topic to the next, and the building of characters' was also fragmented, which was a bit confusing at times.

What other book might you compare Do You Solemnly Swear? to and why?

A Time to Kill, the court scenes in this book were reminiscent of those in John Grishams' masterpiece.

Which character – as performed by Mark Kamish – was your favorite?

It was difficult to get comfortable with any one character due to the character builds, but in the end Gabe McAllister was my favorite character

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The cross examination of Annie

Any additional comments?

I was given a free review copy of this audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review."

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Good!

Super emotional and intense story with perfect narration. I can't wait to check out more by this author!

** A copy of this audio book was provided in exchange for an honest review**

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

An Intriguing Legal Thriller with Strong Narration

This is an intriguing Texas-set legal thriller that has medical, political, and journalistic elements that keep the story moving.

Telling the story of a former Marine who endures hell after being accused of molesting his girlfriend’s young daughter, I found this to be a realistic look at the Texas criminal justice system and a good reminder to avoid at all costs using a public defender as your attorney if ever charged with a crime.

Some of the subject matter regarding the child abuse was difficult for me to listen to, especially the more graphic details, but I realize this was necessary in telling the story.

Narration is strong throughout with exquisite inflection. The narrator is especially good at doing different characters’ voices, and being from Texas myself I can attest that his Southern accent is spot-on.

Parts of the book tangential to the main story tended to meander a bit, and I found myself most drawn to the courtroom drama, but overall this was a very entertaining and enjoyable listen.

*I was given a free review copy of this audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Strong story potential; too many rabbit holes

I have mixed thoughts on this work. First off; the narrator does an excellent job of portraying the different character as well as filling in the rest of the plot which made the listen a rather easy one.

As for the work itself, and as my title alludes to, this is an important topic for a story and one that certainly bears telling. This particular title starts off with a ton of promise and it carries itself along to a satisfactory ending in justice finally being done for a man convicted in the most vile of crimes; crimes he did not commit. The story, although fictional. is one worth telling as it is a very real problem in our society today. The sexual abuse of children is a horrendous crime, and the false allegations and convictions (often out of vengeance) as a result of the public outrage makes it all the more horrible.

The problem I have with this work, and the reason I only gave it 3-stars is simply because the author strays off the story-line too often . . . goes down a rabbit hole. For example, although military dogs play a minor role in the story, I found the full chapter dedicated to how the rods and cones in the eye of the dog servetheir lack of color recognition to be a bit much. Also, there were several side stories involving the characters which really were not pertinent to the main plot. The characters were already well developed, complete with interesting backgrounds, to make the story work; frivolous inclusions (i.e. the side effects of a pregnancy on a 35-year-old woman) only served to prolong the listen. Frankly, I think this work would be all the more powerful after a solid editor trimmed it from 8:45 hours to about 8-hours and it would be a much tighter work, in my opinion.

It becomes apparent that this is a volume in a series of books, yet it is certainly capable of standing on its own. That being said, I will likely check out one of the author's other works as the potential is clearly there for enjoyable reads/listens.

I would recommend this book with the caveat to have a little patience when the story seems to stray as it does come back around with some great drama in the closing chapters. A review copy of this audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in return for this unbiased review. My hope is that this review helps in your decision to obtain this book.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Norma Miles
  • 10-06-17

Guilty until proven innocent.

This is a distressing book to read in several ways, not because of the crime committed (although mention of such acts alone would be enough) but exactly because it wasn't..Yet still the full force of the law failed the defendant, an ex- marine who had served four terms in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars before leaving the service, two years before the commencement of this story. Gabe McAllister had believed in the law and, innocent, thought he would be aquitted. But instead found himself condemned because of the abhorrent nature of the crime of which he was accused and a general belief that no child would make such allegations without their being true. How does someone prove their innocence when all sympathy is with a vulnerable child? "Kids don't lie,." And penalties for convicted paedophiles can be heavier than for murderers.
This central theme is well covered, importantly so, given that this is apparently not a single case idea but one which does occur with all too frequent regularity, especially amongst divorcing couples. Less welcome at least to this reader, however, was secondary romance story running through it, the over sentimentality jarring with the seriousness of the trial itself.and detracting from the main story.

The narration by Mark Kamish was excellent, his pleasant soft spoken voice reading with commitment and understanding of the text, well articulated and with good intonation. His interpretation of the individual protagonists in conversation was also appropriate and distinctive. A good overall performance.

Each chapter of the book is preceded by a pertinent quotation from such luminaries as Cicero, Martin Luther King Jr., Mark Twain, Rumi and At.Augustine, all of whom increase the thought provoking nature of the book. Characterisation is also mostly good, with all of the main protagonists introduced seperately into the story and given brief thumbnail sketches, helping to keep each memorable and clear. My thanks to the rights holder of Do You Solemnly Swear? for gifting me a complimentary copy, via Audiobook Boom. It treated and presented an important and difficult issue in a way that made it possible to see more dispassionately than newspaper headlines could ever achieve. It was, at least for the most part, a very enjoyable listen. Recommended.