Once again, Peter Cawdron hits it out of the park with this, his 17th story of First Contact. I didn't think Peter could get better as a writer, but in this installment, he matured as a writer even more, showing a different side of his writing. His character development had its usual excellence, and by the middle of the book, you felt like you had known the characters for years.
And this character development is the predominant feature in this book, with the idea of First Contact taking a backseat to the human condition. The story is actually about spousal abuse and how abusers are treated, rewarded, and viewed with blinders by society. Peter has never shied away from hot button issues and in this book, tackled another one. The protagonist in this book goes through life changing experiences and comes out a better human being by the end of the book. Let's hope at least one abuser will read this book, realizes what has been happening with their life, and makes the appropriate changes.
But the thing that really hit home with me was Peter's description of Antartica and life down there. His detail made it appear that he has been there and experienced it first hand. Peter's research into whatever subject he is writing about is spectacularly extensive and it shows in this book.
While I still consider his last book, Wherever Seeds May Fall, to be his best work and possibly the best science fiction book I have ever read, Jury Duty comes in as a close second. Peter showed maturity as a writer and a capability of writing about different things, tackling difficult subject matters with ease. This book definitely deserves five stars.