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This is a distressing book to read in several ways, not because of the crime committed (although mention of such acts alone would be enough) but exactly because it wasn't..Yet still the full force of the law failed the defendant, an ex- marine who had served four terms in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars before leaving the service, two years before the commencement of this story. Gabe McAllister had believed in the law and, innocent, thought he would be aquitted. But instead found himself condemned because of the abhorrent nature of the crime of which he was accused and a general belief that no child would make such allegations without their being true. How does someone prove their innocence when all sympathy is with a vulnerable child? &quot;Kids don't lie,.&quot; And penalties for convicted paedophiles can be heavier than for murderers.
This central theme is well covered, importantly so, given that this is apparently not a single case idea but one which does occur with all too frequent regularity, especially amongst divorcing couples. Less welcome at least to this reader, however, was secondary romance story running through it, the over sentimentality jarring with the seriousness of the trial itself.and detracting from the main story.
The narration by Mark Kamish was excellent, his pleasant soft spoken voice reading with commitment and understanding of the text, well articulated and with good intonation. His interpretation of the individual protagonists in conversation was also appropriate and distinctive. A good overall performance.
Each chapter of the book is preceded by a pertinent quotation from such luminaries as Cicero, Martin Luther King Jr., Mark Twain, Rumi and At.Augustine, all of whom increase the thought provoking nature of the book. Characterisation is also mostly good, with all of the main protagonists introduced seperately into the story and given brief thumbnail sketches, helping to keep each memorable and clear. My thanks to the rights holder of Do You Solemnly Swear? for gifting me a complimentary copy, via Audiobook Boom. It treated and presented an important and difficult issue in a way that made it possible to see more dispassionately than newspaper headlines could ever achieve. It was, at least for the most part, a very enjoyable listen. Recommended.
This story is a sad commentary on today's society and probably occurs much more often than we realize. It sickens me that parents, usually the mother, can use their children as pawns for their own personal gain or revenge. Lives can be devastated with even the mere accusation of child molestation and it is often an uphill battle to prove their innocence. As was stated in the book, how do you prove that you didn't do something? In Gabe's story, the presumption of innocence was almost completely absent during his initial trial, compounding his fight.
Do You Solemnly Swear? was a compelling listen that gripped me from the start. Gabe made some bad choices but certainly didn't deserve to be in his current predicament and I really felt for him. The writing was powerful, with a great story and interesting characters. My only criticism was that so many side stories somewhat detracted from the main emphasis, namely proving Gabe's innocence. With a large cast of characters, Mark Kamish did an excellent job with the narration. I enjoyed Do You Solemnly Swear?: A Nation of Law, The Dark Side and would recommend it.
I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review. This review is my honest opinion.
This was a fascinating story with some very strong and interesting characters. I was totally on board with the story of Gabe being wrongly convicted of the most heinous of crimes; and Rich, Lindsey, Kate, Zack, and others fighting to appeal the verdict. Annie was a tragic little girl who needed so much to be loved and surrounded by decent people.
My problem was that I was overwhelmed with extraneous details. While no part of the story was boring, the history of Devil Dogs, the details of Kate's romance, and other added story lines, took my mind away from the main focus of the book. Also, I kept forgetting last names, which was bad, because in this book, characters are referred to by first names at times, and last names at others.
The narration was terrific, which is saying a lot due to the large number of characters. I also appreciated the writing. Despite my complaints, I would read more from this author. If the focus had remained more on Gabe's case, this would have been a 5-star read for me. (And, honestly, I would love to read more about the various side stories if they were given books of their own.)
I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.