Tompa Lee is a homeless 'street meat' who has clawed her way up to the bottom-most rung of the Space Navy . . . but her dream job plummets into a nightmare when she's framed for mass murder on an alien planet.
Dante Roussel is the Navy policemen who surrenders Tompa to the Shons . . . but he is horrified to learn that their justice requires trial-by-combat, so Tompa must conquer three hundred accusers.
Awmit is an old, lower-class Shon who is the sole witness to Tompa's innocence . . . but to prove it, he must find the valor and the strength to fight to the death at her side.
AN UNFAIR TRIAL
Can Tompa learn to trust and love not only a member of the alien race that wants to slaughter her . . . but also the policeman who betrayed her to cruel alien justice?
About the Author
Edward Hoornaert is not only a science fiction and romance writer, he's also a certifiable Harlequin Hero, having inspired NYT best-selling author Vicki Lewis Thompson to write Mr. Valentine, which was dedicated to him. From this comes his online alter ego, "Mr. Valentine." These days, Hoornaert mostly writes science fiction—either sf romances, or sf with elements of romance. After living at 26 different addresses in his first 27 years, the rolling stone slowed in the Canadian Rockies and finally came to rest in Tucson, Arizona. Amongst other things, he has been a teacher, technical writer, and symphonic oboist. He married his high school sweetheart a week after graduation and is still in love … which is probably why he can write romance.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Tompa Lee is one of the more fully developed heroines I've come across in science fiction. She is feisty, determined, pig-headed, independent, a man hater and a survivor. And yet ultimately, she is an innocent. When she is forced to fight back against her accusers, the violence makes her question her own sense of being a decent person. This raises some interesting philosophical issues of guilt and innocence, and also gives Tompa a depth that is unusual. This book has some truly outstanding scenes. For example, Tompa's woozy reminiscences while she is informed that she will be handed over to the aliens is a marvellously surreal moment. The love scene was gripping, exciting, and yet completely in good taste. And the ending.... If someone had told me the ending when I was halfway through the book I probably would have said that it couldn't possibly happen without straining my credulity to the breaking point -- yet when it develops that Tompa is triumphant, in a tragic sort of way, the moment seemed almost inevitable. And that, to me, is the sign of an excellent book. If you like tales of resilient underdogs, you may enjoy this book.
Tompa Lee has worked hard and diligently especially while in space for the past five months to overcome being a Manhattan ¿street meat¿. However, the Commerce Space Navy officers and crew of the Vance still treat her as if she still lives in the ooze below the food chain. On the first shore leave ever at planet Zee-Shode, Tompa just wants to fit in. However, someone tosses a Navy grenade into the pub she is in killing several patrons. The Shon accuse Tompa of committing the terrorist act. Her peers and superiors assume she did the deadly deed because she is street meat. Navy MP Dante Roussel escorts Tompa to stand trial for murder. Only elderly Shon Awmit and those who did the atrocities believe Tompa is innocent. Her trial is combat with her supporters on her side and her accusers on the other. It is Tompa and Shon vs. at least three hundred complainants until Dante joins her side though he is unwelcome by the New York loner. --- THE TRIAL OF TOMPA LEE is a terrific twenty-second century legal thriller that takes place in its entirety on an alien planet governed by extraterrestrial laws. The Navy sees Tompa as expendable, which bothers Dante, but not the beleaguered heroine as she is used to her government abandoning people like her as they did in Manhattan twelve years earlier. The trial is reminiscent of the best of classic Star Trek. Science Fiction fans will want to read this fantastic futuristic trial by combat tale that never slows down yet insures that the magnificent three are fully developed and that the Shon are a thriving unique species, all that inside a great legal thriller. --- Harriet Klausner
The highest accolade I can give this book is that it reminds me of C J Cherryh's in its treatment of alien beings. And in this case the aliens include Tompa Lee's fellow human beings--or at least those of the Commerce Space Navy. Their culture is so radically different from that of the chaotic, every-man-for-himself society of the quarantined Mahattan ghetto from which she has emerged that virtually no one in the Navy expects her to make good in it. Yet the Navy is her one ticket out and she is totally determined to make the grade there rather than return to Manhattan. When her ship makes a stop at at the world of Zee-Shode,seeking trade relations with its inhabitants, the Shon, other aliens, hostile to the newcomers, try to scuttle the negotiations. A senseless act of violence kills and maims many Shon, and Tompa is accused of the crime by the hostile aliens. Tompa's position of outsider makes it easy for Navy brass to turn her over to Shon justice completely without human support. They regard her as so different from them that they accept the idea that she may well have committed the crime. Her trial on this foreign planet turns out to be trial by combat, with only a couple of reluctant Shon witnesses as her allies, and a blood thirsty horde of the hostile aliens hunting them down. Her death will prove her guilt. At the last minute, however, Dante Roussel, a member of the Navy SP, aware of the impossible odds against her survival, also joins her, thereby living up to the best tradition of the service--leave no man (or woman) behind. The chase is exciting and surprising, in more ways than one, and I won't spoil the end. This a book well worth reading. Hopefully its author will write many more.