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The Homicide Chronicle: Defending the Citizen Accused by [Shamas, Ralph]
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The Homicide Chronicle: Defending the Citizen Accused Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review


"In his debut novel, Shamas fictionalizes a horrifying murder case from his long career as a defense attorney. The author's prosaic approach to the genre is deeply engrossing. Characters behave like real people, not larger-than-life figures. Readers are granted unusual behind-the-scenes access as the legal team grapples with setbacks and questions the innocence of a client accused of a serious, disturbing crime.
"[T]he book offers a compelling and eerie look at the American justice system." ~ Kirkus Reviews  

"Ralph Shamas is a very gifted writer and can keep the suspense on a high level. Once you pick up this intriguing novel, you will not want to put it down. Highly recommended." ~ Readers Favorite

"I really found myself riveted by this novel....I was totally fascinated by [the] story." ~ Paige Lovitt for Readers View; Seattle Post Intelligencer

Product Details

  • File Size: 688 KB
  • Print Length: 269 pages
  • Publisher: Publish Green (April 19, 2012)
  • Publication Date: April 19, 2012
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B007W5JVZG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #412,161 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition
I've always wondered how an attorney can defend a client accused of a horrifying crime and still maintain a clear conscience. We all feel certain that our moral compass will always lead us down the right path, but what do you do when that faith is shaken?

This book is a fascinating look into the inner workings of a criminal trial from an insider's perspective. The story is an unvarnished picture of a brutal murder; the characters drawn into this horrible scenario, complete with conflicts, courage, foibles, and sometimes fatal flaws; and the bizarre twists and turns that result from the darkest side of human nature.

I couldn't put it down. I had to find out what happened next. And I will never forget the ending.
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Format: Kindle Edition
If you are looking for a literary work that titillates, this book is not that. There are no long and involved descriptions of scenery, atmosphere, etc. There is no high drama in the life of the protagonist. His wife is not threatening to leave him, he has no drinking problems, he's not wounded by life and trying to prove something or regain his standing after a big fall; in short, nothing to distract from the case itself. I found that to be the best thing about this book: the case was the focus. I had actually stopped reading crime and trial books because those types of dramas were just so tedious and formulaic.

Here we have a refreshing, decent human being with ethics and honest, down-home values, doing his job well, and getting on with a really interesting case, describing it from the insider view of the legal system. You realize, somewhere along the way, the the American legal system really isn't about the truth, but about perception.

The practical, lawyerly presentation is gripping and the author is best when describing what is going on in the courtroom. You get the feeling that he had some trial transcripts to work from and that you are actually there. And, as I said, thankfully, there are no outside, contrived dramas to distract from that. Highly recommended, even for folks who are crime and courtroom fiction (or non-fiction) aficionados.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It's a great story - a real page-turner! You're right there - the story comes to life and you're a participant in the lives of these people - a part of the drama as it unfolds. The characters are believable and authentic, not contrived. I wholly recommend "The Homicide Chronicle" and anxiously await Mr. Shamas' next book!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I appreciated the glimpse into the world of criminal defense. The underlying story had all the elements of a great legal mystery. The only distraction for me was the author's writing style. His prose is no doubt fine for writing legal briefs, but does not have the kind of flow and effective narrative voice I am used to seeing from a professional novelist. The dialogue, in particular, I found to be stilted and unnatural. That said, following the work of a knowledgeable, skilled defense attorney through the process of a compelling crime and trial was worth the read.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book gave me an insight into criminal trials and the legal profession. I had no idea of the many details and strategies that go into making a defense. It is an arduous task for the lawyer but a fascinating journey for the reader. The novel is full of interesting twists and turns that keep you involved. You mustn't cheat and look at the ending. It ties the story together perfectly but it will make you gasp. This is an excellent read and I can't wait for the author's next work.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Ralph Shamas is a lawyer who has practised for 35 years in Arizona, and is now a judge. This book, the Homicide Chronicle, is a fictionalized account of a major murder trial in which he was the defense attorney. The names of the characters are changed, but the events and the evidence, he tells the readers, are essentially the same. So it is of great interest both to writers of courtroom dramas, like myself, and to readers of true crime.

Mr Shamas has written a slow-burning, compelling detailed narrative. He describes everything from the point of view of an idealistic, impoverished, small-town lawyer - his own younger self. We see his doubts, his detailed, careful examination of the evidence, his conflict with the district attorneys, the strain the trial puts on his own family life, his concern for his own reputation in a small community, and his assessment of the truthfulness or otherwise of the client whom he is defending. The process of the trial is described meticulously.

There are only two possible suspects in this case: the man on trial, and the principal witness against him. So the case might seem simple, but in fact it is extremely difficult. This is a compelling human drama, which I found impossible to put down. Mr Shamas knows what he is writing about, and successfully brings it to life.

And yet, to a British reader at least, there are some curious cultural differences. Mr Shamas writes in a slightly inflated, pompous style, seldom using a short word where a longer one will do. He compares himself directly to Atticus Finch, the `good lawyer' in To Kill a Mocking Bird, and he seems to have lived in a similar small town.
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