marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

Burden of Proof

Burden of Proof by John Hemry

The second Paul Sinclair book.  (I reviewed A Just Determination here.)  Like the first, a work of military SF that revolves about a courtroom drama.

Life in the United States Navy in Space.  Paul Sinclair and the other officers and sailors carrying out their duties -- particularly the other junior officers, whom he associates the most with.  Including a time when Greenspace interferes while they try to test a weapon.  The farewall dinner to Carl Meadows and his replacement Scott Silver.  Meeting a captain who's his girlfriend's father.  Another attempt to test. . . and then they arrive back at station.

While they are there, an explosion brings about a nasty fire.  Paul is involved in fighting it.  And comes off badly in the investigation, which is conducted by his girlfriend's father.  None of his friends think it just, but there's nothing anyone can do.

But when it's over with, and he's living with the injustice, Sharpe, the man-at-arms, comes to him in his role of legal officer to ask him to bring a man on board to double check the results, because when he looked at the report, he discovered that the statements it listed did not include the one that he had submitted.

Which leads into more discoveries.  A discussion of hunting and how quiet you have to keep.  A supply officer who handed over a part to a guy with a sob story.  Paul's being caught between two captains.  One of Paul's friends being shut out of his cabin for a time.  A senior supply officer advising Paul to consult with a junior one -- he'd be better at it, but the junior one needs to pick up the experience.  Unopened mail and computer games.  And a dramatic trial.
Tags: fiction reviews: military, fiction reviews: sf, john hemry/jack campbell

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