Book Review: Illegal Alien, R.J. Sawyer

illegal-alienFirst Thoughts:

I really liked “Illegal Alien.” It was written at the time of the O.J. Simpson murder trial and Sawyer cannot resist mentioning it throughout the book. This is fine, as it allows the author some flexibility of plot and pacing: an old lawyer who has won his share of cases, Mr. Dale Rice, a black man who knew Martin Luther King, Jr. and at 70+ years young gets the chance of a century – to defend an alien accused of the murder of Calhoun, a PBS n

ews/astronomer who was the first to step aboard an alien vessel, make friends with the creatures and introduce tehm to society.


It is interesting how Sawyer uses the alien as a complete zero in looking at the American justice system. The author admits (on other forums) to have thoroughly researched our system of justice and in many ways it does come up wanting. The shifting of gears between defense and prosecution, the calling up of witnesses, jury selection, and so on is interesting.


Racism plays some part; also reliability, trust, deception and a stick-to it tiveness runs the gamet of the novel.

The only thing I did not like about the novel was its apparent criticism of those who love UFOs, Star Trek and other geek elements. Minor point. 

Bottom Line:

Creative, a bit dated, and fascinating look from a Canadian (alien?) perspective of our sometimes wild and crazy justice system. Recommended for lovers to To Kill a Mockingbird and whoever sat through the entire broadcast of the O.J. Simpson trials.

You can get the Audio Book or the Kindle Edition on!   The audio book is free with a subscription to, an Amazon company .


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