One Law For The Rest Of Us by Peter Murphy #netgalley #review

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
Photo taken from the Author’s Amazon Uk page

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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Marked For Death by Tony Kent @TonyKent_Writes #review

I was lucky enough to win a proof copy of this book August last year on TBC, and yep I am kicking myself for not reading it sooner.

Marked For Death is the second book in the series by Tony Kent. In my usual style, I have still got the first book Killer Intent to read, it is now sat glaring at me from my TBR. I bought Killer Intent before I had even got through the first few chapters of Marked For Death, that gives you an indication as to how much I enjoyed reading it.

Now let’s see what Marked For Death is all about…

A thrilling follow-up to one of 2018’s hottest debuts, Killer Intent

When London’s legal establishment is shaken to its foundation by the grisly crucifixion of a retired Lord Chief Justice, Detective Chief Inspector Joelle Levy is tasked with finding his killer. With fifty years of potential enemies to choose from, only the identical murder of former solicitor Adam Blunt offers a ray of hope: what is it that connects these victims who met such a gruesome end?

Assigned to the story from the start, news reporter Sarah Truman sets out to investigate on her own, not suspecting that the trail will lead straight back to her own front door and her fiancé Michael Devlin. A criminal barrister determined to prove the innocence of his own client, Michael is at first oblivious to the return of the murderous figure from his past – until tragedy strikes closer to home.

Struggling with his grief and guilt, and now caught up in a madman’s terrible quest for revenge, Michael must race to bring the killer to justice – before it’s too late.

I am not one for reading the synopsis immediately before I start reading a book or the author bio for that matter, I usually leave it till the end. For some reason, I decided to read both beforehand. It made me wonder how much of the authors’ experiences would show in his story and also how would they come across to me as a reader. He is a Barrister, Ex-Boxer and Crime Writer, well that’s an impressive resume! Well, I immediately felt that the author had an advantage, the legal stuff (stuff is not very technical I know!) had extra details, not that I am knowledgable in this area, but they had that extra something to them. The boxing details again showed themselves and added the air of someone who really knows what they are talking about. The writing well if I say I loved this book I think that will give a pretty good indication of how much I enjoyed it. I think 3 out of 3 is pretty spot on.

Right to the story itself then… this is a thriller that is fast paced, it has brilliant courtroom scenes, an intense investigation and if that is not enough, there are friendships and relationships that intersperse and link the various different characters.

The characters themselves are brilliant and it did not take me long to become familiar with them, they have interesting traits that make them stand out from each other. Many come across as strong and have their own determined presence, they really suit and complement this style of story. A weaker character just wouldn’t cut it in this powerful cast.

The plot or I should say plots are carefully entwined and full of surprise. They are clever and twist their way through the story, full of red herrings and blind alleys. I loved that I could keep up with all these without feeling confused or lost and it left me to thoroughly enjoy this intense story. The courtroom scenes I really enjoyed, especially while witnesses where being interrogated, sorry questioned, especially when those cocky, so sure of themselves ones, got so tangled up they fell flat on their faces.

The police investigation that is part of the story is also linked in with a news reporter. The pressure that DCI Levy is under to solve the case is evident and believe me when I say she is not a woman to be messed with, I really liked her tenacity and principles, but she is a woman with a past and would love to get to know her a bit more.

I have to give mention to the bad guy, Oh he is a real nasty piece of work and such a cleverly put together character.

So, a mix of courtroom drama, police investigations, thriller, crime and full of action from start to finish. For me, this was an absolutely brilliant read with so many aspects that hit the mark for me. It is one I would Highly Recommend.

Photo Credit – taken from the authors Goodreads Page.

Tony Kent’s first novel, KILLER INTENT, was one of the ‘must reads’ of 2018. It was selected for the Zoe Ball Book Club and is now to be adapted for television, directed by the award-winning filmmaker Duncan Jones.

Tony Kent grew up in a close-knit Irish family in London and studied law in Scotland.

A top-ranking barrister, Tony’s case history includes prosecuting and defending many high-profile, nationally reported trials.

Before his legal career, Tony boxed internationally as a heavyweight and won a host of national amateur titles.

Tony’s love of crime thrillers was inspired by powerhouse writers like Lee Child, Robert Ludlum, John Grisham, David Baldacci and Frederick Forsyth.

Follow or visit Tony on FacebookTwitterWebsite

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No Further Questions by Gillian McAllister #MeAndMyBooks #NetGalley @MichaelJBooks #review

I am delighted to be sharing my review today for No Further Questions by Gillian . My thanks to the Publisher Michael Jospeh for accepting my request to review this ebook via NetGalley.


The police say she’s guilty.
She insists she’s innocent.

She’s your sister.
You loved her.
You trusted her.
But they say she killed your child.

Who do you believe?

Original, devilishly clever and impossible to forget, this is a thriller with a difference. You won’t be able to tear yourself away from the trial that will determine both sisters’ fates.

The synopsis for No Further Questions is perfect, it has the right amount of tension and intrigue to make me want to pick and read. In fact it did such a good job that not only did I originally request it via NetGalley, but I also bought the ebook from Amazon, then forgetting that I already had it, I also bought a paperback copy from the supermarket when I went shopping 🙂 I am gutted this has been on my TBR for this long as it is a cracking read.

It is a mix of courtroom drama and revisited memories that kept me eagerly turning the pages. To be honest, if work wasn’t essential I would have read this in one sitting.

So where to start? Okay, the sisters, Martha and Becky, both married, both have a child, and both sisters are very different from each other. One of the sisters needs help as she tries to run her business and look after her 8 week old, in steps the other sister and they work out a plan that in theory will fit them both. Being sisters this seems to be the ideal choice.

Now to the parents of the sisters, how the mind boggles with this aspect. Wanting to be supportive of both daughters and yet one is in the dock being accused of murdering the daughter of the other sister… Was the sister guilty, she professes her innocence, was it an accident or murder?

The story is told in thought-provoking daily chapters from the perspective of the sisters and some of the other characters. There are subchapters as well  that give details from those involved each day, including those that have been called to give evidence.

It was so easy to get into this story and the further I read the more engrossed I got. I was never sure if the sister was guilty, part of me wanted her to be innocent, but there was also a seed of doubt that hovered in the background. Then further in I started to get this horrible nagging feeling, a “What if” moment. It was a feeling I hoped I was wrong about, but by the end of the story, I was right. Now this really didn’t matter, yes I worked it out, but it was all about the story getting me to that point. Even when the truth was revealed I was still shocked as I was so caught up with the story on such an emotional level, I really did not want to be right.

This is a wonderfully gripping story that explored many emotions and dilemmas for the main characters. A story of a family that are dealing with a tragic loss and could be potentially ripped even further apart. This is a tense, powerful, heartbreaking and thought-provoking read that I would definitely recommend.

Image and Bio taken from the Authors Page on Amazon UK

Gillian McAllister is the Sunday Times Top 10 bestselling author of Everything But The Truth, Anything You Do Say, and No Further Questions. They are all standalone and can be read in any order. She is published in ten countries around the world. The Good Sister is her US debut, coming June 2019 from Penguin USA, and is the American title for No Further Questions. The Evidence Against You is her next novel, out April 2019 in the UK. 

You can find her on Twitter and Instagram @gillianmauthor. She also blogs at http://www.gillianmcallister.com.

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TH1RT3EN by Steve Cananagh @SSCav #orion_crime #BookReview

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Today I am delighted to be sharing my thoughts on TH1RT3EN by Steve Cavanagh. It is available from all good book shops and also Amazon UK.

Synopsis:

‘To your knowledge, is there anything that would preclude you from serving on this jury?’

Murder wasn’t the hard part. It was just the start of the game.

Joshua Kane has been preparing for this moment his whole life. He’s done it before. But this is the big one.

This is the murder trial of the century. And Kane has killed to get the best seat in the house.

But there’s someone on his tail. Someone who suspects that the killer isn’t the man on trial.

Kane knows time is running out – he just needs to get to the conviction without being discovered.

My Thoughts:

So the tag line for this is to the point, if that doesn’t grab you then check out the fabulous authors who also add their comments. I had seen so many reviews for this book from other readers and Book Bloggers that I had to get a copy to see what the fuss was about.

So admission time here… this is the first book I have read by this author, I do have three other books by this author in the Eddie Flynn Series and really must bump them up my TBR to read soon, this one works very well as a stand alone.

Eddie Flynn is a character I absolutely took to from the outset. He is one of those guys that has principles and he stands by them, putting himself in danger in the process. This is what he does to ensure he gets the absolute truth.

Kane, well what a sneaky, despicable and clever character this is. I loved to hate him, even if I didn’t know exactly which one he was on the jury. He is a character that blends in, an average Joe if you like.

Essentially this is a courtroom drama and it is a genre I don’t read that often but, when I do I enjoy them a lot. This felt so different to those I have read in the past because it is courtroom mixed in with thriller and crime that is in the present rather than in the past. In adding the threat in the present the author has managed to up the anti in the suspense, keeping the danger ever present is a great way to build up a sense of suspense for what may happen next.

I love the twist that the killer is on the jury and I did wonder how this would pan out over the story. This is where the author really has worked some imaginative magic. At no point did I know or even guess the identity correctly, I thought it would be a trial and error type of book where I would flit between the characters until I was reasonably sure I knew who it was…… no chance, not even close.

There are so many aspects to this book that I adored and worked for me; the pace, the plot, the characters and the … actually everything worked. It was set out in quick chapters and I liked the extra touch of the individual juror information included when the trial section of the book started.

I think the other good thing is that belief that not all trials are fair, that things can and are manipulated was something that interested me, that evidence can be seen in several ways and from different perspectives depending if you are for or against the bloke in the docks. The author has taken this manipulation to the next level and done it so well.

If you like crime, thriller, suspense and action in a courtroom drama then you should definitely have this book on your radar, it isn’t tied up with loads of jargon or red tape making it a book that you can lose yourself in easily. It is spectacularly deceptive and cleverly written and one that I would absolutely recommend as a must read book.

About the Author:

51nLx9c3RcL._SY200_ Steve Cavanagh is a critically acclaimed, award-winning author and lawyer. He is also one half of the Two Crime Writers and a Microphone podcast. His latest novel, Thirteen, is out in ebook now and paperback in June.

Find out more at Website or follow Steve on Twitter 

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#BookReview | Walden of Bermondsey: Where There’s Smoke by Peter Murphy @noexitpress

36602275Today I have a short story that introduces Judge Waldon of Bermondsey in “Where there’s Smoke” by Peter Murphy. I received this from No Exit Press in readiness for the upcoming tour for “Judge Walden Back In Session” Blog Tour by Anne Cater.

Synopsis:

Meet Judge Charlie Walden in the first case of six from the novel, Walden of Bermondsey

If you like Rumpole of the Bailey, you’ll love Walden of Bermondsey

When Charlie Walden took on the job of Resident Judge of the Bermondsey Crown Court, he was hoping for a quiet life. But he soon finds himself struggling to keep the peace between three feisty fellow judges who have very different views about how to do their job, and about how Charlie should do his.

And as if that’s not enough, there’s the endless battle against the ‘Grey Smoothies’, the humourless grey-suited civil servants who seem determined to drown Charlie in paperwork and strip the court of its last vestiges of civilisation.

No hope of a quiet life then for Charlie, and there are times when his real job – trying the challenging criminal cases that come before him – actually seems like light relief.

My Thoughts:

When Tony is seen running from a burning church it soon follows that he will become the prime suspect and a trial is moved to Bermondsey Crown Court where Judge Walden presides.

For a short story this is brilliant, not only is the case full of twists but you also get an all access pass to the behind the scenes of the Court.  The descriptions of the Grey Smoothies is very tongue in cheek and a real eye opener. Judges  discussing problems with thier cases and seeking each others advice was a great way of seeing different views of a case.  There is enough jargon to give a real feel for the setting, but not so much that it gets confusing to read.

This is my first experience with this author and I was very entertained.  The overall feel of the story is convincing especially with mannerisms, language and procedure and the authors expertise plays a part in this wickedly addictive read.

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#BookReview :#AnatomyofaScandal by Sarah Vaughan : @SVaughanAuthor : @simonschusterUK : @NetGalley

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“Anatomy Of A Scandal” by Sarah Vaughan and has a planned release date of 11th January 2018 you can pre-order now.  Published by Simon & Schuster UK and available as Hardback, eBook and Audio.

Book Detail:

  • Hardcover: 400 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK (11 Jan. 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1471164993
  • ISBN-13: 978-1471164996
  • Purchase from 

Synopsis:

You want to believe your husband. She wants to destroy him.

“A strong choice for book clubs. Former political correspondent Vaughan makes an impressive debut with this savvy, propulsive courtroom drama.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Vaughan offers gripping insight into a political scandal’s hidden machinations and the tension between justice and privilege…Absorbing, polished.”—Booklist (starred review)

“Skillfully interweaving the story of the unfolding scandal, Vaughan gradually reveals just how shockingly high the stakes are…Sinewy…engrossing, twist-filled.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)

An astonishingly incisive and suspenseful novel about a scandal amongst Britain’s privileged elite and the women caught up in its wake.

Sophie’s husband James is a loving father, a handsome man, a charismatic and successful public figure. And yet he stands accused of a terrible crime. Sophie is convinced he is innocent and desperate to protect her precious family from the lies that threaten to rip them apart.

Kate is the lawyer hired to prosecute the case: an experienced professional who knows that the law is all about winning the argument. And yet Kate seeks the truth at all times. She is certain James is guilty and is determined he will pay for his crimes.

Who is right about James? Sophie or Kate? And is either of them informed by anything more than instinct and personal experience? Despite her privileged upbringing, Sophie is well aware that her beautiful life is not inviolable. She has known it since she and James were first lovers, at Oxford, and she witnessed how easily pleasure could tip into tragedy.

Most people would prefer not to try to understand what passes between a man and a woman when they are alone: alone in bed, alone in an embrace, alone in an elevator… Or alone in the moonlit courtyard of an Oxford college, where a girl once stood before a boy, heart pounding with excitement, then fear. Sophie never understood why her tutorial partner Holly left Oxford so abruptly. What would she think, if she knew the truth?

My Thoughts:

This is a story that is told from the perspective of several characters and across different timelines.  The trial of a Junior minister James, for the rape of a colleague, but it is a tricky case as they had an affair that had recently ended.  We are introduced to Kate the Prosecuting Barrister, Sophie who is James’s wife, and a few others, but these are the main ones.

This is at times a hard read as there are sexual references made.  Also at times I thought a little slow and repetitive at times as the story progresses.  But that being said,  I really enjoyed the different story  lines, they have been well developed and intertwined around the various characters.  They give an insightful read showing how they have changed over the years, why their opinions, demeanour and outlook on life is what it is.  But like most people they have skeletons in their closets, and these are now about to see the light of day, and they are going to have repercussions.

I really liked the character of Kate, by far my favourite one.  She has a strong persona but underneath is vulnerable and emotional.  Sophie felt like a real sap, over the years she seems to have lost her identity, then there is James, what a slime-ball of a man.  Kate has a different background to the other two so I think this is why I liked her, a black sheep of sorts in the social ranks of Oxford University.

I would recommend this book to readers of Courtroom Drama, Women’s Fiction with elements of suspense.  I will add that there are sexual references that may offend some readers.

I wish to express my thanks to Simon & Schuster, Atria Books and NetGalley for my eARC of this book.  My thoughts are my own and are unbiased.

About the Author:

811hOItAuOL._SY200_Sarah Vaughan read English at Oxford and went on to be a journalist. After training at the Press Assocation, she spent eleven years at the Guardian as a news reporter, health correspondent and political correspondent. It wasn’t until her second child was born, that she finally did what she’d always wanted to do and started writing fiction. The Art of Baking Blind is the result, and will also be published in the US (St Martin’s Press) and in nine translations. She lives near Cambridge and is working on her second novel.

Follow Sarah on : Facebook  Twitter  Website

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