Ace, Mar 2004, 6.50, 304 pp.
An explosion occurs on the galactic cruiser USS Michaelson, killing Chief Petty Officer Asher and destroying much of the Forward Engineering section. While repairs are made, an inquiry into the accident occurs. The investigation team concludes that Asher violated regulations by working solo.
However, legal officer Lieutenant Junior Grade Paul Sinclair hears rumors from distraught sailors that they not only mourn the loss of a peer, but they have lost confidence in the leadership as it seems to the crew that a big cover-up happened. Everyone insists that Asher followed orders given by rising superstar Lieutenant Scott Silver the son of a very powerful Rear Admiral. Paul knows that the BURDEN OF PROOF is on him. However, all the JUST DETERMINATION in the galaxy could lead to the destruction of his own career and the end of his relationship with the woman he loves, the daughter of the head of the investigation team because if Paul succeeds it will embarrass the officer he wants as a father-in-law.
John G. Henry has pioneered a new sub-genre with his superb space ship military legal thrillers. As with the first tale (JUST DETERMINATION), BURDEN OF PROOF is more a tour of duty than an action packed tale as the plot focuses on relationships on an outer space vessel. The story line cleverly enables the audience to ride along with the crew and taste the pressure of the vastness of space inside relatively tight quarters, the seemingly endless stretches of time, and the protocol of rank. The legal aspects are brilliantly intertwined within a fantastic relationship military science fiction drama that should promote Mr. Hemry to a best selling admiral.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner