Today I have an urban legal crime read on my blog The Trial by John Mayer. It is self published by John and available in paperback and also eBook, you can get your copy at Amazon UK. I would like to thank Lizzie (John’s wife) and John for sending me a copy of this book.
An urban legal/crime novel set in the beautiful Scottish city of Edinburgh.
Part I of The Parliament House book series
When Glaswegian Brogan McLane completes many years of university education and legal training he crosses that great divide from Glasgow to Edinburgh. ‘Called’ to the Bar of the Scottish Supreme Court, he becomes a member of the most prestigious club in Scotland; The Faculty of Advocates in Parliament House.
When High Court Judge, Lord Aldounhill, is found dead after a transvestite party in his sumptuous home, those who know the killer close ranks and need a scapegoat – who better than ‘outsider’ Brogan McLane?
Out on bail with his career on hold, McLane and his band of blood brothers in the Calton Bar in Glasgow need to get ahead of their enemies or McLane will go down for life after Trial. But every time they discover a piece of evidence, it seems there is a mirror image to contradict it.
Through the murky world of Russian controlled transvestite hotels and with some unexpected police and judicial help, McLane battles against ‘Low Life in High Places in the Old Town’ until the killer is found.
But well protected and knowing all the tricks, will the killer ever stand trial in Parliament House
Brogan McLane is not your usual Advocate, he is from the tenements of Glasgow and has worked hard to get where he is today in Edinburgh, The Scottish Supreme Court and become a member of “The Faculty of Advocates” in Parliament House. When the death of a Judge threatens his career and his marriage, Brogan will do what he can to prove his innocence. He is not part of “the old boys” or “hooray Henry’s” and the family tradition that goes back over the generations,and he knows that he is being persecuted. There are some who automatically point the finger as he is not of the same social status as them seeing Brogan as “Dirt with a Degree”. The ones who know or know of Brogan know he is being set up. Just a matter of time before things sort themselves out, but who will come out on top?
With very little knowledge of the Scottish Legal system and terminology, I was very pleased to find a glossary of terms at the beginning of the book, a great way to get up to speed before the story starts. From the off there are quite a few characters and their roles mentioned, it did take a minute or two to get my head around them, but when I did it became plain sailing when met them again further in the book. The character of Brogan I have to say was good, but I also really liked Jimmy and Big Joe. Jimmy has a very trusted and important role with insider knowledge. Big Joe, best friend of Brogan is a wonderful lovable rogue, a true and loyal friend. There are many others but these three are my favourites. At this point I would like to mention that Brogan is married, and there is a story about them that I would have liked to read more about.
The story is set out in short quick chapters and you are soon led into a story of corruption, greed and the struggle for power in the halls of the Scottish Judiciary system. There are great snippets of historical interest and also how the system works, this was a something I enjoyed and I like the fact that I can learn things as I read a story. The main plot focuses on the murder of the judge and also unearths some secretive behaviour and also more serious issues.
Once you get the names and terminology under your belt, the story really starts to get going. It has a plot that takes you through the underhanded and murky world of those in power and think they are above the law, and can pretty much do as they please. The voice of corruption is strong within the story and has been well-balanced with the justifiable ( though not completely legal) actions of those that are seeking the truth. There are wonderful atmospheric court room scenes, that help build up the suspense and also the severity of what is happening. That suspense is continued as you accompany Brogan’s supporters on their information and evidence gathering escapades, not completely by the book of course but, playing the game in a way that hampers the disinformation that those on the other side are compiling is all part of it. A case of who can manipulate who and get to the truth before it disappears first. The descriptions of the buildings and also the inclusion of photographs aids the reader in seeing the story as well as feeling it, an interesting and very useful addition.
This is a book I definitely enjoyed as I got to meet new characters in the start of a new series. I would definitely recommend this to readers who like a court room based story that incorporates a crime investigation and secret lives themes. It is well laid out, written with a good pace and a multilayered plot. A Definitely Recommend this book from me, once I started it I didn’t put it down until I had finished it, at 2am in the morning !!! That kind of says it all really 🙂
About the Author:
John Mayer would love to be a top-flight blues guitar player and have dated Jennifer Aniston. But what he did achieve, amongst other things was to be a 1970s Indie Record Producer before becoming a top-flight Advocate in the Supreme Court of Scotland where he specialised in international child abduction: rescuing the children, not abducting them, of course.
In his youth, John was shot! Twice! Once in Glasgow, Scotland and once in New York City. John attacks everything he does with passion. And that’s what he brings to his writing.
Many thanks for reading my post, if you liked it please give a share. Get your copy of the book HERE 🙂 xx