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A Game of Proof: A Mother's Fight to Defend her Son (The Trials of Sarah Newby series Book 1) [Kindle Edition]

Tim Vicary
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (290 customer reviews)

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Book Description

A mother's worst nightmare - can her son be guilty of murder?

Sarah Newby, who left school at 15, and was living as a teenage single parent on an inner-city estate, has worked her way up to begin a career as a criminal barrister. But what should she do when her own son, Simon, is arrested and charged with a series of brutal rapes and murders?

Has Sarah, in her single-minded determination to create a career for herself, neglected her son so much that she no longer knows him? He has often lied to her in the past, so how can she trust him when he says he is innocent this time? And what should she do when she herself uncovers evidence that seems to suggest his guilt?

Editorial Reviews

From the Author

This is a tale about a tough lady barrister - a British trial lawyer. When it was first published in hardback my agent and editor persuaded me that no one would read a crime thriller with a female main character written by a man, so, reluctantly, I used the pseudonym Megan Stark. But I was always uncomfortable with this - in fact now I think they were plain wrong! So here's the truth - I'm a happily married man with two grown-up daughters, one of whom is now a barrister herself. My family and workplace are full of lots of confident, assertive women, and I find them pretty interesting, so that's the sort of person I chose to write about.  But don't worry, there are men in this story too. Her would-be lover, detective Terry Bateson, a single father, is very definitely male. Very much so. Tall, handsome, tragically flawed - just like me, in fact!

About the Author

Tim Vicary is an award-winning author and a university teacher at the Norwegian Study Centre at the university of York, England. He has published three legal thrillers in 'The Trials of Sarah Newby' series. A Fatal Verdict, the second book in this series, was awarded a B.R.A.G Medallion for an outstanding independent novel in 2012. He has also written about twenty graded readers for foreign learners of English, published by Oxford University Press. In 2010 and 2011 two of these - Titanic and The Everest Story - were each the winners in their category for the Language Learner Literature Award for the Extensive Reading Foundation. He has also published four historical novels.

Tim lives in the English countryside, near York. When he's not writing he likes horse-riding, cycling, and swimming.

His website is and his blog is

Product Details

  • File Size: 1249 KB
  • Print Length: 458 pages
  • Publisher: White Owl Publications; 2 edition (July 4, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #203,210 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
4.3 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
49 of 51 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant British Crime / Thriller March 15, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition
A Game of Proof was originally published under the pen name of Megan Stark, and follows tough Barrister Sarah Newby as she defends the indefensible, and, ultimately, her son.

The book is set in York, and is a very British crime book. The books begins with Sarah Newby defending a thug who is up for the crime of rape. Sarah believes that the courtroom is a game, a game of proof. She ultimately has doubts in her mind about the guilt of her client, but she defends him regardless. She is a tough, driven woman who has battled the odds to reach the upper echelons of the British justice system.

As the story progresses, we see Sarah take on the case of her son, Simon, who is accused of the brutal rape and murder of his girlfriend. The book is gory and gruesome when the nature of the crime is recounted, but you do get a real feel for the almost clinical and detached nature of the British courtroom. As the story, and case against Simon, develops you, as the reader, begin to think yourself about the validity of any conviction. You work in your mind alongside the police as they try to piece together other possible suspects for the rape and murder.

A Game of Proof kept me engaged throughout. It's skilfully written and I'll be looking to read more of the Sarah Newby trials books. She isn't an especially likeable character - there are times as which she epitomises the eternal question of can you ever have it all? The successful career, marriage and family life. At times she appears cold and calculating but is she ultimately just doing her job? The book is very thought provoking in this regard.
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22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Game of Proof May 4, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I have recently finished reading this book and to me it is magnificent. My favourite books all involve journeys(travelling), so when I started reading this I had no idea that I would like it as much as I do now. When I have time I will look for the sequels. This book has not got much travelling in it, but there is indeed a journey. Personally I feel you get close to the characters and if you have been to Yorkshire then this is a book you should read! I met the author (who is brilliant) in York, and decided that I would give one of his books a try. I do not regret it for a second! He has published several books and I hope I get the chance to read them all!

If you are uncertain about whether or not this is a book for you, try the Kindle sample. When (not if) you realize that that you have to read the rest of it, just follow the Kindle link and in a couple of seconds you will have the whole book in your hands!
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Adequate Courtroom Drama June 25, 2013
By G. Cox
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
The story line is interesting, but there are far too many sections where the courtroom testimony drags on and on. It could be tightened up a lot. It felt like it was twice as long as it should have been (had things not been repeated over and over).

The interaction, character development, and emotion are handled well, and there are some descriptive scenes that are superb, but the contortions needed to manufacture the situation of a mother defending her son seem trite or unbelievable and all the courtroom scenes could be tightened up to improve the flow and increase tension. There were some typos, mostly left out words or repeated phrases left over from editing, not that many.

My overall impression is that I liked the story line, the plot was interesting enough, I would have sat through it if it were on TV, but I tended to put it down every time I hit one of the dragging courtroom scenes.
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32 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Actually, this was great! March 8, 2012
By bookfan
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This was the first Kindle-only book I read -- I admit that I was a bit reluctant to move away from the big publishing houses and household names. But it was definitely a good read! With a solid storyline, surprises, twists and turns, and a very human protagonist, this is as good a legal thriller as you will get.
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Courtroom thrillers are back April 6, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Anytime a man writes a female lead character, I'm looking for flaws in the writing. I can't help it. What I found in A Game of Proof was that I sometimes didn't like Sarah Newby and other times I loved her. With her imperfections, strong personality and ambition, Mr. Vicary gave us a heroine with realistic faults.

The parallel and differences in the legal justice systems of the United States and England intrigued me throughout the book. At times I was thinking we do it so much better and at others, I wanted to adopt English law.

The author explains the intricacies of defending a rapist as it happens in real court. He shows the fine line, right and wrong, of the justice system where the victim is the one on trial. Then the twist is added when Sarah's son is accused of rape and her role as defense barrister must co-exist with her role as a mother. I also enjoyed Sarah's interplay with Detective Bateson and again the author portrayed a real person who I could honestly admire, flaws and all.

For fans of courtroom drama this book is a must read. If you're not a fan you need to see what you're missing. I've already sunk my teeth into the next book because I needed more.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars very suspenseful to the end. I couldn't believe the ...
very suspenseful to the end. I couldn't believe the actual killer.
Published 1 day ago by C. DavidsonRamey
5.0 out of 5 stars but good story after I got started
Different type of a story I was used to, but good story after I got started.
Published 2 days ago by Dianna F
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Very good
Published 27 days ago by helen
4.0 out of 5 stars A book worth reading !!
This has been one of those "on the edge of your seat" reads.

Lots of twists and turns.

Would recommend. it to all.
Published 1 month ago by P. W.
4.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed this book
I enjoyed this book, but a warning to anyone that get squeamish over gory details. This one gets pretty graphic. I found the court system in UK very interesting. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Owd Mac
5.0 out of 5 stars A Must Read
This book is an absolutely marvelous source of insight to Criminal Law as practiced in the U.K. Not only that, it is also a crackerjack of a story! Read more
Published 1 month ago by Robert J. Dibbell
5.0 out of 5 stars A Game of Proof
You become involved in Sarah's life and begin to feel her suffering, how her mind works, and agonize over her judgements. Great twist and turns in the legal profession. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Maureen T Fyan
5.0 out of 5 stars Tim Vicary writes like a best-selling author
Tim Vicary's A Game of Proof is a riveting legal thriller and murder mystery. I tore through it in just over a day, since I couldn't put it down. Read more
Published 1 month ago by confettikitty
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
A good story, got a little confusing in spots.
Published 1 month ago by pat
4.0 out of 5 stars A mason
This was a great book it kept you hooked in all the time. I did. Ot the real killer till the very end. You could relate to several of the caracters
Published 2 months ago by mom
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More About the Author

Hi. My name's Tim Vicary and I'm an author and a university teacher at the Norwegian Study Centre at the University of York, England. I've written three crime/legal thrillers in 'The Trials of Sarah Newby' series, and I'm currently writing a fourth. I've also written four historical novels, two children's books, and about twenty graded readers for foreign learners of English in the Oxford Bookworms series, published by Oxford University Press, two of which, Titanic and The Everest Story, won awards from the Extensive Reading Foundation in 2010 and 2011 respectively.

My legal thriller, A Fatal Verdict, was awarded a B.R.A.G Medallion for an outstanding independently published book in 2012, and in 2013 Bold Counsel won the Awesome Indies Seal of Approval.

I live in the English countryside, near York. When I'm not writing I like horse-riding, cycling, and swimming.


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