Under Fire by Margaret McLean

Under FireReviewed by Cy Hilterman

The author makes you actually feel as though you are in the story whether it is as a cop, a fireman, a defense or prosecuting attorney, a person on trial, the witnesses of the alleged crime, or just in the presence of all of the afore mentioned. “Under Fire” is written so you can’t get lost, as some stories seem to do intentionally! You will find you are placing yourself in the capacity of a small storeowner as you discover your store is on fire and you think your son is trapped upstairs in his bedroom. What to do? The you hear amidst the smoke some crashing of something followed by lights from what turned out to be a fireman’s belt flashlight as two of them attempt to get you out while searching the rest of the building for any others that might be trapped. Are you in this story yet? You will be if not!

You figure more firemen arrive when you hear some sirens. You make it out of the building, as does your son who does have injuries from the smoke and fire. You watch feeling helpless as your own store burns. Then, as fast as your concern was on your store and your son, you are arrested for burning down your own store. It’s a nightmare you want to be awakened from never to return. But a fireman has been shot during the attempt to fight the fire and he was killed.

Sarah Lynch had formerly been a prosecutor. Her uncle, Buddy Clancy, was a defense attorney that used many different types of moods and words in his defense. When Buddy was asked to defend Amina Diallo, the owner of the ruined store, he contacted Sarah and talked her into helping in the defense despite the fact that Sarah had been a prosecutor. Amina’s son, Malick, had been injured in the fire but he also was one of the suspects because of his proximity during the fire. Sarah had mixed emotions since some time ago she had lost one of her best friends who was a fireman in a fire. Now she was to defend a woman charged with killing another fireman. Sarah also knew other firemen and policemen very well, which also made her job more difficult.

Many things came into play between a mortgage company and its owners/managers and the killing. Could they have been a part of a plan to kill Amina because of a dispute between the shady dealings with the mortgage company? The trial went on with a real good mixture of characters in the jury box that were from all sorts of different classes, political thinking, various outlooks on life as well as thoughts of each other. Sarah’s friendliness with some of the firemen and members of law enforcement usually helped her get information that she otherwise wouldn’t receive. She knew her law and knew how to draw information form many sources.

You should have a great idea by now how tremendous this book is. The author has researched far and wide to become knowledgeable regarding the many facets of this book. “Under Fire” is a fantastic story written extremely well. Add to all the above the fact that Sarah loved skating and had been a hockey player that had played in the Olympics. I hope Margaret McLean continues to write because she has certainly made a big fan from me.

Disclosure in Accordance with FTC Guidelines 16 CFR Part 255

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