Author: Gary Bell
Genre: Legal Thriller
Format: Hardcover 352 pages
Release Date: 13th June 2019
Publisher: Bloomsbury Raven
My thanks to Emma Welton for the invite on this blog tour and the publisher for the copy of the book provided for review. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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?
It’s no secret that I absolutely love legal thrillers and anything with a courtroom drama aspect to it so I had a sneaky feeling that I would enjoy this book before I even started it. What intrigued me is that this is the first in the series to feature the lead character Elliot Rook and there is a hole in the market for a good legal series at the moment. Providing this book lived up to my expectations I was really excited at the prospect of finding a new legal series to look forward to!
Elliot Rook is within the top echelons of his industry practicing law as a QC (Queens Counsel) within an esteemed Chambers in the heart of legal London. But life hasn’t always been so fortunate to Elliot and as I read through this book I actually learned his upbringing was far from the Etonian facade he presented to his peers. This actually made Elliot much more relatable knowing that he wasn’t this perfectly moulded character born with a silver spoon in his mouth.
Elliot teams up with Zara, a young pupil barrister desperately looking for a break after constantly being turned away because her face and background don’t ‘fit’. Elliot sees something in Zara and together they start to investigate and prepare for a trial involving an old friend from Elliot’s past. This old friend, however, is one Elliot would rather forget and by taking on his case Elliot is forced to face some truths from his past.
I absolutely can’t wait for the next instalment in this series and I’m so intrigued to see how the author builds upon these two characters in particular. Thank you Gary for writing the legal series I have been eagerly awaiting!
About the Author
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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