An Honest Man Simon Michael
Early 1960’s London.
A diamond heist and the death of a woman start this story. What follows is a brilliant story that has all the classic ingredients of a one set in this era,
Sex and gangland violence.
If that isn’t enough to get you reading, this is a book which I would have read in one sitting if time would have allowed it.
Criminal Defence Barrister Charles Holborne is back. Months after being cleared of killing his estranged wife, he is now being ostracised by his profession. Rumours are abounding that he was responsible for her death even though he was never charged.
Now working in another firm Charles’s money is running low and he is getting no work. No solicitors are commissioning him, and he’s living off scraps given by the court.
After a chance meeting with a Legal Clerk from his old firm Charles gets retained to defend a solicitor who is being accused of aiding criminals.
From the beginning, it looks like the Solicitor has been hassled by the police and that he has been framed by them in revenge for them losing an earlier case.
The deeper into the case Charles looks the more convinced he is of the Solicitors innocence.
Meanwhile Charles’s personal life is taking its toll. His father is taken seriously ill and this affects Charles emotionally as well as financially.
When the case comes to Court Charles is not only faced with convincing the Jury of his client’s innocence, but also has to battle the prejudices of his legal colleagues who are still convinced he had a hand in the death of his wife.
Simon Michael has written a terrific story that could only be based in 1960’s London. Charles Holborne is from a Jewish Family and had to change his name so that the prejudice legal profession would take him seriously.
The crime in the story is simple and would have been so much more convoluted in the modern day.
Police “tactics” in the 60’s and 70’s lend themselves to this type of story.
Probably the most telling of all, is the code of conduct between the criminal fraternity which makes this era, the only time this story could have been set in.
I have given testimony in many Court Cases, mainly as an expert witness, so I have experience of watching a case unwind. I have also been privy to some of the pre case meetings, and sat in whilst legal team have argued amongst themselves about the best way to advance a case.
Simon Michael tells the most realistic story from within the Courtroom that I have ever read. This book had me transported back into the Court.
Best of all. I didn’t see the end coming.
I cannot wait for the next book in the series, because there must be one, this one finishes on a “oh good god” cliff hanger.
My Review of the first in the series, The Brief is found at the link below