Book reviews, Court room drama, Crime thriller, Psychlogical thriller

Degrees Of Guilt by HS Chandler – Book Review

PUBLISHERS BLURB 

‘Timely, anger-inducing and very powerful – it’s excellent’ Harriet Tyce, author of Blood Orange

When you read this book, you will think you know every twist in the tale.

 

Maria is on trial for attempted murder. 

She has confessed to the crime and admits that she wanted her husband dead.

Lottie is on the jury, trying to decide Maria’s fate.

She embarks on an illicit affair with a stranger, and her husband can never find out.

You will think you know who is guilty and who is innocent.

You will be wrong.
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MY REVIEW 

Maria calls the police to tell them she’s just killed her husband, Edward. She’s so shocked to find he’s still alive and she’s been arrested for attempted murder.

This then becomes a courtroom drama, as we learn about each of the jurors, especially Lottie and Cameron. They slowly begin with a flirtatious after court drink, but this soon becomes a bit more…..But Lottie wants it to end, she has a son and husband to think of….Cameron is quite determined to carry on. 

All the while the trial is in full swing as we hear of Maria’s life, and the coercive control exerted by her husband…..this is sometimes hard to read, as it’s such an insidious behaviour that happens behind closed doors and can be almost invisible to those outside. Maria had managed to talk to a support line, where Ruth became her confidant, but she refuses to let her give evidence at the trial…..

Was Maria justified in her actions? 

I found this to be a compelling read, about the difficult subjects of coercive control and self harm, but in a realistic and sensitive manner, I did wonder how the seemingly two separate sides of the story would come together, the trial and the jurors deliberations, but I needn’t have worried as it worked so well.  It reminded me a little of 12 Angry Men. An emotive and breathtaking thriller…..I loved it.

Thank you to Tracy and Compulsive Readers for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour, for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook.  This is my honest, unbiased review.

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 

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A former barrister, HS Chandler is a pseudonym for bestselling crime author Helen Fields, who practised for thirteen years in both family and criminal law. Having extensively prosecuted and defended, she is an avid believer in the right to a fair trial, and in the invaluable role that juries play in the British legal system. Helen was born in Hampshire and now lives in the US.

@HSCinkpen

 

Book reviews, Court room drama, Crime thriller

Fixed Odds by William McIntyre – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB

George ‘Genghis’ McCann has stolen – and lost – a priceless masterpiece. Snooker champion Oscar ‘The Showman’ Bowman is charged with betting fraud. With a second baby on the way, and promises of great rewards if he wins Bowman’s case and recovers the painting, defence lawyer Robbie Munro has never been so tempted to fix the odds in his favour.

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MY REVIEW

This is #5 in the Robbie Munro series, but I found it easy to read as a stand-alone.

It starts with a dog….

Robbie is defending George ‘Genghis’ McCann on a burglary charge….where he took a box of items from a house instead of a dog !!….but there is so much more to this story….

With a betting fraud and bribery case, Robbie is in the middle juggling his cases and home life in this humour filled, twisty thriller, a mix of investigation and courtroom drama ( reminded me of Law and Order )…..Robbie Munro is a bit sloppy but his mind is constantly working (Columbo?) so don’t underestimate him…he’s a good man and an endearing character in this wonderfully entertaining read…..

My thanks to Ceris at Sandstone Press for a free ecopy of the Book. This is my honest and unbiased review.

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Author bio:

William McIntyre is a partner in Scotland’s oldest law firm Russel + Aitken, specialising in criminal defence. He has been instructed in many interesting and high-profile cases over the years and now turns fact into fiction with his Robbie Munro legal thrillers. He is married with four sons.

Book reviews, Court room drama, Thriller

Beyond Reasonable Doubt by Gary Bell – Book Review

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PUBLISHERS BLURB

Elliot Rook QC is one of the greatest barristers of his generation.

He is also a complete fraud.

Elliot Rook is the epitome of a highly successful, old Etonian QC. Or so everyone believes. In fact, he is an ex-petty criminal with a past that he has spent decades keeping secret. Until now.

An unidentified young woman of Middle Eastern origin has been found murdered on the outskirts of Rook’s home town. Billy Barber – a violent football hooligan and white-supremacist – is accused of her murder. Barber insists that Rook must defend him. If Rook refuses, Barber will expose him, bringing crashing to the ground the life and career that Rook has spent his life building.

The truth is there for the finding. But at what cost?

The start of a thrilling new legal series, perfect for fans of Robert Galbraith and The Secret Barrister, written by an acclaimed QC

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MY REVIEW

This is the first in a series featuring Elliot Rook QC.

Elliott Rook is a QC with a past that he has kept a secret from his peers

His personal life is a mess, his wife has gone, he drinks and smokes too much but he’s committed to the law. Everyone is entitled to a fair trial.

Talking to a colleague about taking on a junior, they show a lack of respect for any one not from the established background of Eton and privilege……but Rook then meets Zara Barnes and her background reminds him of his own and so he takes her on as his Junior…

Both from working class background in Nottinghamshire, and with a similar determination they hit it off immediately…..Rook laughs genuinely for the first time in a long while…..

Zara is meant to be helping with a fraud case, by trawling though tonnes of paperwork to find evidence…..but Rook takes her along to a meeting with his new client, Billy Barber, a name from his past.

There has been a murder of a young girl from a Middle Eastern background and Barber has been arrested….all evidence points to him….doesn’t it?

Barber is a horrible excuse for a human being, a racist, white supremacist thug and Rook really doesn’t want the case, but Barber threatens to tell of his criminal background so he takes the case….

This tells of the investigation, the court case and the friendship that builds between Zara and Rook. Violent, twisty and so compelling. With a marvellously satisfying ending…..I love it and will be looking out for the next in the series….

Thank you to Damppebbles Blog Tours for the opportunity to participate in this blog tour and for the promotional materials and a free copy of the ebook. This is my honest, unbiased review.

You can buy a copy here (click on the image)

About Gary Bell:

Born into a coal mining family, Gary Bell QC left school without any qualifications and was an apprentice mechanic, fork lift truck driver, production line worker, builder, fireman and door-to-door salesman, as well as a notorious football hooligan, before being arrested for fraud aged 18. After a brief stint in prison he set off to seek fame and fortune abroad and, after two years drifting around Europe ended up penniless and homeless. He next enrolled in a FE College to study his O and A levels, and then went on to study law as a mature student at Bristol University where he ‘became’ an Old Etonian. After graduating he spent a year as a litigation lawyer in Beverly Hills before coming back to England to become a barrister. He has spent over thirty years at the Bar, specialising in defending in major fraud and murder trials, becoming a QC in 2012. Always on the look out for challenges and opportunities he has also been an award winning stand-up comedian; an after-dinner speaker (when at University he won several national debating competitions and was runner up in the World’s Humorous Debating Competition at Princeton); he has learned to fly a plane, hosted his own TV show (the Legalizer) on BBC1; writes regularly for national newspapers; has a column in The Spectator and wrote his best-selling autobiography, Animal QC.

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Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/garybellqc

Purchase Links:

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Beyond-Reasonable-Doubt-Elliot-Rook/dp/1526606127/ref=sr_1_3?qid=1558094244&refinements=p_27%3AGary+Bell&s=books&sr=1-3&text=Gary+Bell

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Beyond-Reasonable-Doubt-Elliot-Rook-ebook/dp/B07NNR7SVT/ref=sr_1_fkmrnull_1?keywords=beyond+reasonable+doubt+gary+bell&qid=1558094317&s=gateway&sr=8-1-fkmrnull

Foyles: https://www.foyles.co.uk/witem/fiction-poetry/beyond-reasonable-doubt-elliot-rook,gary-bell-9781526606129

Waterstones: https://www.waterstones.com/book/beyond-reasonable-doubt/gary-bell/9781526606129

GoogleBooks: https://books.google.co.uk/books/about/Beyond_Reasonable_Doubt.html?id=cwlivwEACAAJ&redir_esc=y

Apple Books: https://books.apple.com/lu/book/beyond-reasonable-doubt/id1457759503

Publishing Information:

Published in hardcover and eBook formats by Bloomsbury Raven on 13th June 2019.

Beyond Reasonable Doubt by Gary Bell (Elliot Rook, QC Book 1)

#BeyondReasonableDoubt #ElliotRookQC @garybellqc @BloomsburyRaven @EmmaFinnigan @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours