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Criminal Negligence   By: (1911-1978)

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Criminal Negligence by J. Francis McComas delves into the chilling world of legal malpractice, unraveling a captivating thriller that will keep readers on the edge of their seats until the very last page.

The story revolves around Henry Blake, a renowned defense attorney, whose life takes an unexpected turn when he is charged with criminal negligence for his role in a high-profile murder case. As we are introduced to Blake's character, McComas masterfully sets the stage, highlighting his esteemed reputation, sharp intellect, and unwavering determination. However, as the plot develops, layers of complexity begin to emerge, inviting readers to question their perceptions of guilt and innocence.

One of the highlights of this novel lies in the author's ability to create a vivid and realistic courtroom atmosphere. McComas, with his background as a lawyer himself, effortlessly weaves accurate legal procedures and ethics into the narrative, making the story relatable and believable. The courtroom scenes are incredibly well-written, capturing the tension, drama, and emotions that permeate such proceedings, leaving readers captivated and emotionally invested in the outcome.

Furthermore, the character development is commendable, especially with Henry Blake. As the plot unravels, we witness his transformation from a confident and self-assured lawyer to a vulnerable and tormented man questioning his own principles. McComas skillfully explores the psychological turmoil that follows Blake's fall from grace, exposing the inner conflicts and moral dilemmas that plague his conscience. Supporting characters, such as Blake's loyal assistant and a relentless detective, are also well fleshed out, injecting depth and authenticity into the narrative.

The pacing of Criminal Negligence is masterfully executed, with twists and turns that keep readers guessing until the end. McComas subtly plants multiple red herrings throughout the story, testing readers' investigative instincts and ensuring that no line of inquiry is left unexplored. The author strikes an excellent balance between providing enough information for readers to formulate their theories and strategically withholding crucial details to maintain suspense.

However, while the intricate plot is undoubtedly intriguing, some readers might find the narrative occasionally convoluted, especially during the more intricate legal discussions. The level of detail provided may be overwhelming for those unfamiliar with legal jargon or looking for a fast-paced read. Nonetheless, McComas still manages to strike a balance between informative and engaging storytelling, ensuring that even readers less experienced in legal matters can follow and enjoy the story.

In conclusion, Criminal Negligence is a gripping legal thriller that expertly explores the concept of justice, morality, and the dangers of complacency within the legal system. J. Francis McComas skillfully crafts an intricate plot, realistic courtroom drama, and well-developed characters that all come together to form a captivating narrative. This book is an enthralling page-turner that will appeal to fans of legal thrillers or anyone in search of a thought-provoking and suspenseful read.

First Page:

[Transcriber's Note: This etext was produced from Astounding Science Fiction June 1955. Extensive research did not uncover any evidence that the U.S. copyright on this publication was renewed. Minor typographical errors have been corrected without note.]



Somebody was going to have to be left behind ... and who it would be was perfectly obvious....


Illustrated by Freas

Warden Halloran smiled slightly. "You expect to have criminals on Mars, then?" he asked. "Is that why you want me?"

"Of course we don't, sir!" snapped the lieutenant general. His name was Knox. "We need men of your administrative ability "

"Pardon me, general," Lansing interposed smoothly, "I rather think we'd better give the warden a ... a more detailed picture, shall we say? We have been rather abrupt, you know."

"I'd be grateful if you would," Halloran said.

He watched the lanky civilian as Lansing puffed jerkily on his cigar. A long man, with a shock of black hair tumbling over a high, narrow forehead, Lansing had introduced himself as chairman of the project's coƶrdinating committee ... whatever that was.

"Go ahead," grunted Knox. "But make it fast, doctor."

Lansing smiled at the warden, carefully placed his cigar in the ash tray before him and said, "We've been working on the ships night and day... Continue reading book >>

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