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When (not if---the deal has already been signed) this terrific thriller gets made into a movie, you might see Morgan Freeman as a crusty lawyer who specializes in taking on the military establishment tell the actress playing ace Boston barrister and Harvard Law professor Claire Heller Chapman, "Every civilian who's ever gone into a military general court-martial and tried to attack the foundations of the military has lost his case. No exceptions. The military is a tight, closed fraternity. They take it real serious. Military justice is a deadly serious business." Claire has to realize this as she prepares to defend her husband--the man she knows as Tom Chapman, but who the Army says is Ron Kubik-- on charges that he took part in a massacre of 87 civilians in San Salvador 13 years before. Full of doubts about Tom's innocence and her own ability to prove it in an unfamiliar arena, Claire is brought to exciting, moving life by the extravagantly gifted Joseph Finder, whose previous thrillers (Extraordinary Powers, The Zero Hour) are available in paperback. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
Finder's Zero Hour (LJ 4/1/96) was a dynamite blockbuster, and his new work is slated for the same big marketing treatment. Cinematic qualities predominate as the dialog roles on page after page with taut give-and-take and sudden plot turns that leave little time for reflection or description. (Not surprisingly, the novel is slated to become a Tri-Star Pictures motion picture.) The plot is arrow-straight: a woman lawyer, at the top of her profession, must defend her husband in a military court for his alleged horrific crimes while serving in Vietnam. Steeped in the arcane detail of military justice, with a tough-mouthed heroine and a hardworking support cast, this is not likely to be a candidate for Oprah's Book Club, but it is a sure bet for most thriller collections.?Barbara Conaty, Library of Congress
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
As it turns out, Ron has evaded answering for war crimes that he allegedly committed some thirteen years prior as a member of an ultra-secret special operations unit. Part of the evasion was the creation of an entirely new person. Claire, convinced of her husband's innocence, decides to defend him despite her ignorance of the workings of military justice. About half of the book is concerned with the actions of Claire and her two attorney partners, one a black man rescued off of a scrap heap and the other a young JAG officer, in dealing with military trial procedures and is somewhat interesting.
The plot, though perhaps a bit on both the unbelievable and predictable sides, moves fairly steadily. It is in the area of character development and interactions that the book exhibits some shortcomings. Some of the characters' actions just do not feel right. A petite attorney kneeing her husband in the groin after a reunion under trying circumstances seems bizarre. The interactions with the six year old daughter are especially grating. Numerous other exchanges seem spliced together. One reviewer comments on the improved dialog. There is still a ways to go.
High Crimes has a good overall story line, but the discontinuities, as noted, do not help it. Not having read other Finder books, it will be interesting to see if a smoother presentation can be found in other and future books.
However, as a thriller it is so predictable that one almost cringes. Knowing that she is in danger, the heroine still allows herself to be lured into a one-on-one meeting with a mystery man who asks to meet at a remote mountain restaurant (on a road barely wide enough for two cars to pass). Get the picture? Know what is coming? Unfortunately, this kind of all too predictable kind of plotting is typical of this story. Even the main question of whether or not her husband is really innocent is easy to predict early on given the heavy hints and deliberate attempts to divert the reader's attention from obvious things.Read more ›
When Claire Heller finds out that the man who helped her through a rocky time in her life, and who she then eventually came to love and marry, is not the person she thought he was, she's stunned and torn between who and what to believe. Then the professional attorney part of her kicks in, and she decides to defend the man she married, no matter who he is, against charges that he massacred 87 innocent people in El Salvador when he was part of a Special Services Unit in the armed forces. For those who enjoy courtroom drama and tactics, this book certainly delivers on all counts. As others before me have said, it was hard to put this one down because the story keeps developing with new levels of information that dig deeper into who Claire's husband really is and whether he could have done the horrible crimes for which he is accused. While Claire dilligently works to collect whatever evidence she can use to clear her husband of his charges, she never loses sight of the fact that if he isn't who she believed him to be, then what kind of man did she marry?
Ultimately she gets her answers in a very well written ending.Read more ›
Most recent customer reviews
Very exciting, I didn't think I would like it when it appeared on my Book Club list, but surprised myself,
could hardly put it down.
I find that Joseph Finder's books get better as he progresses as an author. I had read most of his books, then the early "High Crimes" comes back as a reprint. Read morePublished on April 24 2011 by Ron F.
As someone who despises the corruption far too often found in American government and fascinated with the workings of our legal system - both civilian and otherwise - this title... Read morePublished on June 5 2004 by Keith Kimmel
High Crimes captures the reader from the very first chapter. The plot is simple -- happy marriage until a past secret is revealed and then all hell breaks loose. Read morePublished on April 1 2004 by L. Charles Wimer III
I became familiar with this author's name after reading reviews of his new book, PARANOIA. So, I put that one on reserve at the library and checked out HIGH CRIMES. Read morePublished on Feb. 11 2004 by Judith C. Oswood
What a great action, drama. Suspense that will blow your mind. The book is full of twist and action. This is one the is hard to put down.Published on Feb. 8 2004 by S. Parker
Though Joseph Finder's incredible thriller, "High Crimes," starts a little clumsily, it quickly gains momentum and becomes one of the best crime thrillers I've read in a... Read morePublished on Oct. 4 2003 by Christian
I really enjoyed this book I could of read it in one sitting but
I like to make books like that last. I literally did not want
it to end. Read more
I picked up this book at a used bookstore, not realizing it had been made into a movie that I had no intention of seeing. Read morePublished on June 26 2002