YEARS ago there was a TV series called ARREST AND TRIAL....the first half showed the audience what happened, the second how it played out in court.
In two breathtaking chapters of volume one of UNCERTAIN PARADISE: 1973, released as this two part short story, Cassell first shows the terrifying adventures of new recruits just out of basic training, and their green officer as they escort irreplaceable construction equipment and experts across the Communist dominated Central Highlands. their mission is to see to the safe construction of an airstrip on the island's malarial west coast.
needless to say the Communists are waiting. Part one shows them springing their trap, and the young officer's desperate countermeasures.
part two shows the young white officer's court martial, for the murder of a black non commissioned officer. the penalty if convicted is death. independence is less than two weeks away for this overwhelmingly black nation. the court martial gains added notariety when a tape is discovered on the body of the dead NCO.
the trial sizzles with tension. there are things recorded on that tape which no one knows about...or which way they will point...to or away from the firing squad.
the author's 25 years as a criminal trial lawyer, and his prior experience in the military, comes through loud and clear in this action packed anti-insurgency operation followed by outstanding courtroom drama.
law and politics, race relations and soldiering, law and race relations all compete throughout for centre stage as the five officer court struggles valiantly to curb the potentially explosive quick political fix mentality of the Ministry of Defence and the new nation-to-be's Solicitor General.
wall to wall action and thoroughly authentic courtroom drama make this two part short story one you won't want to put down!