The Homicide Chronicle

Defending the Citizen Accused

Fiction - Thriller - General
269 Pages
Reviewed on 06/21/2012
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    Book Review

Reviewed by Brenda Ballard for Readers' Favorite

R. Bruce Sanah is a small town defense attorney who has been defending many folks, has kept some out of jail and always seems to be right at the edge of a big case that will take his career to the next level. Along comes the most shocking, horrific crime in the history of the town of Douglas. A sizable retainer rests in the office safe as Bruce contemplates the facts and only when he was forced into decision to represent did he take the case. He might as well have been seated on a roller coaster that would seem to go on forever. Twists, loops and the threat of the case derailing force the legal team to look at their own beliefs and their own lives in general. Bruce fights the hardest in his life to keep his client from being ordered to death by lethal injection while pushing back media reports, a particularly bothersome clairvoyant, a she-devil prosecutor and surprises all the way to the very end. But the part that will last with each of them is after it is all over.

This book is a page-turner! The author, Ralph Shamas, is well-versed in legal issues and trial proceedings. He brings his experience to this book in a way that indeed makes the reader feel as if they are a fly on the wall, watching it all unfold. Mr. Shamas does an excellent job melding evidence and the plot twists into a fine yarn. Highly recommended!

Jean Brickell

The book "The Homicide Chronicle" is a well-written murder trial case. Lawyer Bruce Sanah is a scrupulous person and doesn't want to defend a known guilty person. He is not fully certain about the guilt or innocence of Bill Castro but circumstances make him decide to take the case. What conspires during the trial makes for a very interesting book. Author Ralph Shamas does a fine job on this murder trial. The book is full of interesting characters including the star witness that lawyer Bruce Sanas thinks is the real murderer. We have a good judge, a not so nice lady attorney for the prosecution, poor police crime scene examiners, and incompetent lie detector technician that just adds to the suspense. Bill's wife and baby sit in the courtroom and this creates sympathy for the defendant.

Lawyer Bruce Sanah had a desire not to defend someone he knows is guilty but now he has a problem, before and during the big murder trial with a probable death penalty. I found this court room drama to be first rate as the suspense will grip the reader. A real page turner. It would be hard to guess what the author Ralph Shamas will throw in next in this murder case. The characters are believable and twist and turns make it a good read. Ralph Shamas is a very gifted writer and can keep the suspense on a high level. I highly recommend this book to a real crime and courtroom story reader.

Rita V.

"The Homicide Chronicle: Defending the Citizen Accused" is a mysteriously thrilling novel written by Ralph Shamas. In 1983, a small Arizona town is shocked by a brutal murder. R.Bruce Sanah, a young and dedicated lawyer, decides to take on this high profile case and defend the criminal accused of the despicable sexually-fueled murder of a young woman. The suspected murderer, Bill Castro, has the odds stacked against him with a bloody murder weapon in his truck and an eye witness that pins him to the crime scene. This was the high profile case that Sanah yearns for to jump start his career, but will he be able to prove that Bill Castro is indeed innocent? And if he is guilty, how will Sanah handle his moral issues related to defending a terrifying murderer? What will the jury decide?

Ralph Shamas does a wonderful job in portraying a chilling murder case that has everyone in this small town locking their doors at night. This story is portrayed from the lawyer’s perspective and what he needs to do to prepare for the case. The plot is solid gold with all the essential elements of a great murder/mystery novel. The language flows smoothly, each chapter is action-packed, and it is very easy to comprehend. The cover of the book depicts a courtroom with the gavel coming down which sends chills down the reader’s spine. I also am very impressed with the descriptive wording and in-depth details that breathe life into this novel. The reader feels as though they are part of the courtroom drama that unfolds before our very eyes. I had no idea how much preparation really goes into a criminal case. The twists and turns alone will leave you on the edge of your seat wanting more. Once you pick up this intriguing novel, you will not want to put it down! Ralph Shamas does not disappoint and I really look forward to more of his masterpiece novels!