Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Lin Wilder's Sequel, Do You Solemnly Swear?, More Provocative, More Devastating! With More Character News!

You may recall my review on Lin Wilder's debut novel, The Fragrance Shed by a Violet which I added to my personal favorites list...Do check it out if you can't recall the characters because today's review is of the sequel!

Wilder tackles an extremely sensitive subject, sexual abuse of a child...but from the opposite direction... That of the man being accused of the abuse... Yes, it can happen. In fact, I know of a family whose adopted daughter accused her father...It devastated the entire family, even though it was never brought into the court arena...For, of course, it was not true. In that case, it was from a teenger striking out...Not so, in this story...

Sometimes it is easier to see clearly into the liar than into the man who tells the truth. Truth, like light, blinds. Falsehood, on the contrary, is a beautiful twilight that enhances every object. — Camus*

When six-year-old Annie took the stand to testify against him, Gabriel McAllister was brought to his knees. Until that very moment, Gabe had been confident that the truth would prevail. He believed in the law and the protection that it afforded American citizens, and he had great respect for fellow officers. During the shock of the arrest, when they tightened the plastic cuffs almost to the point of cutting off his circulation and when his head slammed against the cruiser as they threw him into the back seat, McAllister was confident the cops would soon realize their mistake. But they never did. 
Raping Annie? For that matter, sexually abusing any child was inconceivable to him … the worst kind of perversion that any adult could inflict on a child. 
Of course, these guys would figure out that he was incapable of such behavior. McAllister was so confident that he ignored the advice of his boss, Captain Ted Stanley, to waive the court-appointed attorney and get him a good criminal defense lawyer. Stanley had even offered to call his high powered brother-in-law brother-in-law in Austin to see if he would take the case. 
And at the beginning of the trial, Gabe felt his hunch was right. This was America; people don’t get convicted of something they didn’t do; Americans were innocent until proven, guilty.

Do You Solemnly Swear?
A Nation of Law; The Dark Side

By Lin Wilder

An update on Dr. Lindsey McCall opens this book, with her happily surveying her new facility--the Huntsville Prison Emergency Treatment Center which she now directs. Lindsey has become very wealthy due to the diabetes medication she developed and has actively worked to begin a new life...

And her first emergency comes rolling in! 
The man’s face was unrecognizable; he had been beaten so severely that all Lindsey could make out were the vague outlines of mouth, nose and eyes...
“Girl, you really need to get your head out of your books. This guy is Gabriel McAllister,” and watched Lindsey expectantly. McCall shrugged as she turned back to watch McAllister’s monitor through the glass window of the x-ray room. She felt Monica’s hand grasp her shoulder as she hissed, “He’s the guy who raped that five-year-old little girl, it’s been all over the news all summer, Lindsey … if there is one type of criminal that I detest, it’s a pedophile”.
 At the same time, however, her husband, feels he has done as much as he can at Huntsville and believes he's worked himself out of a job, telling the governor they could better use the money they'd paid him... Frankly, it was a perfect segue into this novel, when he becomes the lawyer for the defense! Cool, right?! Of course, it had been years since he'd been in a courtroom, but he got help from a threesome that "almost" takes over as lead characters! I loved all three of them...

It is our Pulitzer prize winner journalist who recognizes the overall situation, once again, before anybody else does... When she hears that a woman has voluntarily given herself up for jury tampering, her instincts exploded... Soon she is talking to the woman...and soon she's on the trail of a story... Was a man, now in Huntsville, incorrectly jailed for child sexual abuse?

How can I restore what I have never stolen? — Psalm 69*

We must all learn to live together as brothers, or we will all perish together as fools. We are tied together in the single garment of destiny, caught in an inescapable network of mutuality. And whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly. For some strange reason, I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. And you can never be what you ought to be until I am what I ought to be. This is the way God’s universe is made. 
—Martin Luther King Jr.*

Because of the content, especially in relation to the trial, I am not covering any part of how it started or during the trial; however, I must say that it is extremely powerful and surreal. The legal official characters are excellently drawn and the interview process is among the best I've seen in other legal thrillers. I consider this an adult novel. The content is graphic primarily because it involves a young female child.

Help O Lord for good men have vanished Truth has gone from the sons of men Falsehood they speak out one to another, With lying lips, with a false heart —Psalm 12*

In addition, Kate, our journalist once again writes insightful articles, including statistics that we need to be aware of--they are not fictional! And, during the investigation, another false accusation case was discovered...and corrected!

In fact, I was so involved that when the case was over, I was still lost in the story and found it somewhat deflating to proceed on--I wanted to rejoice in what happened--even though the novel turned to much happier activities... Say...a wedding! What a celebration as we once again visit the pharmaceutical labs and owner overseas!
Harry Connick crooned a ballad as they took in the details of the renovations: several plush dark brown booths lined the left side, terminating in a long couch along a mirrored back wall; the old tables had been replaced with marble-topped pedestal tables which sat on the dark red carpet; and to their left was an isolated booth with floor to ceiling sheer red curtains which could enclose for privacy. The overall effect was trendy chic with just a dab of decadence.

When they reached the end of the hallway, Hank Reardon stood waiting for her, clad in his white tuxedo jacket with black pants, blue eyes shooting electric arcs at her as he extended his arm. At that signal, the beauty of Beethoven’s Ode to Joy filled the room. That was when Kate started to cry. Taking her hand, Reardon gently took his finger and wiped the tears away. “No tears tonight, Katie girl; he is watching I’m sure and what a privilege it is for me to stand in his stead and give his daughter away in marriage this Christmas Eve. Thank you, my dear, for this honor.”

This is not an easy book to love, but I'm grateful to Lin Wilder for tackling this important topic... I consider it a must-read... For legal trial novel enthusiasts, you don't want to miss this one!


Lin Wilder is a former Hospital Director and presently a self-employed writer who works from her home in northern Nevada. She finds peace and channels her creativity in the remote valley that offers her just the right amount of silence, stillness and solitude. She has written throughout her entire adult life but made the switch from non-fiction to fiction in 2006. 

"I found, long ago, that the best way for me to understand something is to write about it.” Lin explains. Writing helps her to better comprehend even the most challenging subjects. Lin feels her line of work should be viewed like any other business, advising others, “In the beginning, expect to be in the red.” After years in the industry, she has learned the value of a good editor, finding that editing is far more than proofreading. "Writing is hard work and requires exceptionally thick skin. Once we decide to publish our work, we’re in the public domain where others can criticize, perhaps even in a hurtful way.” Wilder states. 

*Examples of quotes at top of chapters...

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