Calling Down the Storm is the story of two separate but strangely parallel lives: the life of a defendant on trial for murder, and the life of the judge who presides over his trial.
April 1971.When DI Webb and DS Raymond arrive at Harpur’s Mews in Bloomsbury in response to a 999 call, a horrific scene awaits them. Susan Lang is lying on the ground, bleeding to death. Her husband Henry is sitting nearby, holding a large, blood-stained knife. In shock, Henry claims to have no memory of the events that led to his wife’s death leaving his barrister, Ben Schroeder, little to defend a potential charge of murder.
Unknown to his strict Baptist wife Deborah who lives in the family home in Guildford, Mr Justice Conrad Rainer has a secret life in his London flat, a life as a high-stakes gambler. In his desperation for money to fund his gaming, he has already raided his own and Deborah’s resources, and now he has crossed another line – one from which there is no return.To his horror, as the trial of Henry Lang starts, Conrad discovers a sinister connection between the trial and his gambling debts, a connection that could cause his world to unravel. And then, there’s the other terrible secret he is hiding in his flat. In a rare case in which the judge is in greater peril than the defendant on trial in his court, both Henry and Conrad have called down the storm on to their heads. Their lives are on the line, and time is running out.
This the first book I have read by this author. I have to admit I didn’t even realise it was part of a series so it can definitely be read as a stand alone.
The legal genre is not the sort of genre I usually go for but saying that I have really enjoyed quite a few lately so as I liked the sound of the book description for Calling Down The Storm, I thought I would give it a go.
The story flicks between present day as well as the past where we learn more about Conrad and how he has managed to get himself into a heap of debt. I really enjoyed the parallel aspect of this story. How two total strangers lives are affected by a connection yet apart from them appearing in the same court room, they know nothing about each other. It was certainly an interesting journey that the author takes us on in finding out what that connection may be.
Calling Down The Storm is not a fast paced thriller by any means yet I did enjoy the slower pace at which it was set. A lot of the story is set in and around the court rooms which normally I wouldn’t like but luckily the author doesn’t bombard us with lots of legal jargon of which I would have struggled with.
None of the characters are overly likeable in this story. The male characters are self absorbed and none of the female characters, which all played a relatively small role, were cast in a good light. To a certain extent this did somewhat spoil my overall enjoyment of the novel but then that’s just more down to personal taste.
Calling Down The Storm is a steady and intriguing read. The author certainly knows how to captivate his audience and would certainly recommend that readers give it a go.
My thanks to No Exit Press for an advance readers copy of this book. All opinions are my own and not biased in anyway.
Goodreads rating 3/5 stars.
Calling Down The Storm is available to purchase from Amazon.