Today I am delighted to be sharin my review for One Law For The Rest Of Us by peter Murphy. My thnaks to Oldcastle Books for my e-copy via NetGalley.
I have previously read a couple of books by this author, They were from the Walden series and I really enjoyed them, One Law For The Rest Of Us is very different from Walden and it is also the 6th in the Ben Schroeder series. I have not read any other books in this series and this one worked very well as a stand-alone.
When Audrey Marshall sends her daughter Emily to the religious boarding school where she herself was educated a generation before, memories return—memories of a culture of child sexual abuse presided over by a highly-regarded priest. Audrey turns to barrister Ben Schroeder in search of justice for Emily and herself. But there are powerful men involved, men determined to protect themselves at all costs. Will they succeed? Is there indeed one law for the rich and powerful, and one law for . . . ?
When I first read the synopsis for this book I was a little unsure given the subject matter of child abuse, reading further on in the synopsis gave indications of things I do like to read about. So it gave a balance that appealed to me and I decided to give it a go and I am so glad I did.
Initially there are two cases with this story, one from the 1940’s and one from the 1970’s. Audrey was sent to a boarding school during the blitz in the 40’s. While there she was abused but she cannot remember anything about it, her mind has blocked it out. When Emily tells her mum that she has been abused, Audrey’s memories suddenly come rushing back.
The story gradually tells the memories of Audrey and also her daughter as a trial starts. Witnesses, evidence, investigations and information gathering add to the courtroom process. This is not however a straightforward case as implications are far reaching. Manipulation and attempts to cover up and protect the guilty are rife.
This is not a single plot book, though it’s focus is on the mother and daughter case. There are many other things in the background and other characters make their presence felt. This book made my blood boil at times as I followed the interviews and trials.
This author has a lot of experience given his legal background, in this book it really shows. I did however feel that at times some of the protocols and processes were a little too much. I understand the importance of showing all the steps involved in a trial, with all the legal wranglings and decision making, but at times I did feel t slowed the story down occasionally. On the plus side it really did give an insightful glimpse into the traditions, wordings and requirements required in law.
At times this was a hard read, the scenes describing the abuse were uncomfortable, but they were not numerous ans were not glorified or dwelt upon too much. The main focus was on the fight for justice.
This story is a serious legal court room read, there are various legal aspects that are intense, it follows the fight for justice. This is a book I would recommend to people who prefer a more legally technical fiction read rather than a fast paced thriller. It is one I would definitely recommend.
Peter Murphy was born in 1946. After graduating from Cambridge University he spent a career in the law, as an advocate and teacher, both in England and the United States. His legal work included a number of years in The Hague as defence counsel at the Yugoslavian War Crimes Tribunal. He lives with his wife, Chris, in Cambridgeshire.
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