Simon Michael’s books are up there with my favourites.
This series of legal thrillers set through the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s are fictional, but, and it’s a big but, each book is set around things that actually happened.
Readers will recognise some of the Gangland names that the Barrister Charles Holborne meets and deals with. They will recognise some of the periphery characters and will be aware of some of the crimes that took place, some of which are almost urban legend, some of which were national headlines.
In this case Simon Michael has used a less well known case and spun his own story around it, a story that so closely resembles the real life happenings that it is almost a documentary of the crime and the court case. There is even a nod to one of the main, real life protagonists, in the name of one of the main characters in the book.
When the body of a woman is fished from the depths of Britain’s deepest lake it has the appearance of a waxwork dummy wrapped in plastic sheeting. What it actually is, is the remains of a woman that has been missing for over 10 years.
Her husband quickly becomes a suspect in her murder and Charles Holborne is asked to help prosecute the man.
Charles battles with the dilemma of sitting at the prosecution table, he usually represents the defendants, and the possible outcomes of prosecuting such a high profile defendant.
The case makes national headlines, as did the real one, and Holborne is thrust into the limelight. This brings someone from his past life, during the early years of World War Two, out of the woodwork. Somebody who Charles would rather not have to deal with.
In another reflection of true life Charles is battling anti-Semitism inside and outside of the court. As a “lapsed” practitioner of the Jewish Faith he is also battling with his own family.
Every page of this book brings something to the story.
The crime and trial are addictive reading on their own, but throw in all of the issues in Charles’ own life, and it moves to a whole new level of crime writing.
An absolutely stunning addition to what is already a brilliant series.
Publishers: Sapere Books