Criminal barrister Charles Holborne may have just escaped the hangman by proving he was framed for murder, but his life is now in ruins. His wife is dead, his high-flying career has morphed into criminal notoriety, and bankruptcy threatens. When the biggest brief of Charles’s career unexpectedly lands on his desk, it looks as if he has been thrown a lifeline.
But far from keeping him afloat, it drags him ever deeper into the shadowy underworld of 1960s London. Now, not only is his practice at stake, but his very life. Can Charles extricate himself from a chess game played from the shadows by corrupt police officers and warring gangs without once again turning to crime himself?
Based on real Old Bailey cases and genuine court documents, An Honest Man is the second in the series of Charles Holborne novels by barrister, Simon Michael, set in the sleazy London of the 1960s.
An Honest Man is the sequel to The Brief where we catch up with criminal barrister Charles Holborne. If you haven’t already read The Brief, I would recommend reading it first as it will give you full knowledge of certain characters, as well as giving you more insight into things that happened to Charles which is mentioned in An Honest Man.
Charles luck seems to be down, he is struggling for money and his father has fallen ill, leaving him needing an operation, which even in the 1960’s, see’s the usual long waiting list. Rachel has gone to America through work and his life in general is pretty dismal and shows no signs of getting better.
His luck seems to be on the up when he bumps into Sally, a junior clerk who he used to work with as well as an affluent client, who by representing, could solve Charles’ money worries.
The whole story is the perfect blend of crime thriller/legal thriller. I enjoyed the parts in court as much as I did outside of it. The author certainly doesn’t go over board with legal jargon and does it in a way that Joe Bloggs would understand, which for me was great as with legal thrillers especially, I can find myself losing interest if they go to ‘technical’. Simon Michaels does it in a way though that keeps it all feeling very authentic whilst not taking anything away from a truly gripping story line.
I love how with the books being set in the 1960’s, that the author incorporates the story around the Kray’s, which makes for an even more intriguing read. You certainly get the whole 1960’s vibe through the makes of cars alone. For anyone around in that era, I think it will certainly take you back in time.
An Honest Man is a novel that thriller fans do not want to miss out on. With plenty of surprises in store, this is one author who makes sure he captivates his audience. A gripping read that has left me desperate for more.
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.
An Honest Man is available to purchase from Amazon.