Under Fire by Margaret McLean Reviewed 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 dointentionally! You will find you are placing yourself in the capacity of a smallstoreowner as you discover your store is on fire and you think your son istrapped upstairs in his bedroom. What to do? The you hear amidst the smokesome crashing of something followed by lights from what turned out to be afireman’s belt flashlight as two of them attempt to get you out while searchingthe rest of the building for any others that might be trapped. Are you in thisstory yet? You will be if not!You figure more firemen arrive when you hear some sirens. You make it out ofthe 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 yourconcern was on your store and your son, you are arrested for burning downyour 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 waskilled.Sarah Lynch had formerly been a prosecutor. Her uncle, Buddy Clancy, was adefense attorney that used many different types of moods and words in hisdefense. When Buddy was asked to defend Amina Diallo, the owner of theruined store, he contacted Sarah and talked her into helping in the defensedespite the fact that Sarah had been a prosecutor. Amina’s son, Malick, hadbeen injured in the fire but he also was one of the suspects because of hisproximity during the fire. Sarah had mixed emotions since some time ago shehad 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 otherfiremen and policemen very well, which also made her job more difficult.Many things came into play between a mortgage company and itsowners/managers and the killing. Could they have been a part of a plan to killAmina because of a dispute between the shady dealings with the mortgagecompany? The trial went on with a real good mixture of characters in the jurybox that were from all sorts of different classes, political thinking, variousoutlooks on life as well as thoughts of each other. Sarah’s friendliness withsome of the firemen and members of law enforcement usually helped her getinformation that she otherwise wouldn’t receive. She knew her law and knewhow to draw information form many sources.You should have a great idea by now how tremendous this book is. The authorhas researched far and wide to become knowledgeable regarding the manyfacets of this book. “Under Fire” is a fantastic story written extremely well. Addto all the above the fact that Sarah loved skating and had been a hockey playerthat had played in the Olympics. I hope Margaret McLean continues to writebecause she has certainly made a big fan from me.