In the 60s London of gangsters, prejudice and terrifying gang wars, Barrister Charles Holborne spends his life dealing with the worst examples of violent criminality. After successfully winning a number of high profile cases, he is building a reputation among Soho’s criminal classes as a man who gets the job done, a reputation that doesn’t endear him to his establishment colleagues.
Yet Charles is not all he seems, and is battling both personal demons and his own past. When his philandering wife Henrietta is found with her throat slashed, Charles finds himself on the wrong side of the law and in serious trouble of the murderous kind. Arrested for her murder, can Charles discover the truth of her brutal slaying and escape the hangman’s noose?
Based upon a real case and genuine court documents, The Brief is a compelling criminal drama, and an evocative slice of sleazy glamour from the Swinging Sixties. Simon Michael delivers an addictive read for any crime fan.
I’m not usually a big fan of court room dramas but believe me the actual court side of it is only a smallish section and even then I was well and truly gripped by the questioning of Charles’ client.
The story starts off with events leading up to Charles’ first court case as well as the court case itself. After that things start to spiral out of control for poor Charles when he is set up for murdering his wife.
Things actually get quite tense as it’s a race against time for Charles to prove his innocence before he is found and arrested, worst of all if he is found guilty, it is at a time when the death penalty is still around. Even though Charles knows he is in the wrong for going on the run, with a police sergeant in charge of the case who doesn’t do things by the book, he really doesn’t have any other choice.
The Brief was such an entertaining read. It starts off at a steady pace then picks up speed as it progresses. My heart was literally in my mouth many a time as Charles uncovers information leading him towards the person who has tried framing him and it certainly made for some edge of your seat reading. A highly enjoyable read that will appeal to all fans of crime thrillers.
My thanks to the author and Urbane Publications for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Goodreads rating 4/5 stars.
The Brief is available to purchase from Amazon.