Before I wanted to be an editor, I thought about pursuing a career in the law. Funny, no? However, my poor memory and terror of public speaking put paid to that quite quickly. But, if you think about it, the jobs aren’t that different. Now apologies to my lawyer friends if this is totally reductive, but if you think about it, really, all lawyers are just story tellers. Both the defence and prosecution are given the same building blocks – the facts – but it is their job to weave these together to present their client’s side, their narrative, their story, to win the case.
This is what fascinates me about legal thrillers and why I love to read John Grisham and Steve Cavanagh. But also why I devoured the debut novel by barrister Alex Churchill, THE NIGHT LAWYER.
Sophie Angel is the night lawyer. Once a week, she’s the one who decides what the papers can and can’t say. [A concept I am very familiar with after my time in house, when I spent many hours running up and down the stairs to the legal team to check our celeb autobiographies were on the right side of sensation and libel!] During the day, she’s a barrister. She struggles for justice in a system that’s close to collapse, where she confronts the most dangerous aspects of humanity. Her life changes when a wealthy Russian offers her the biggest case of her career, a rape trial with a seemingly innocent client. But is someone manipulating Sophie from the shadows or is the danger much closer to home?
I thoroughly enjoyed this well-plotted legal thriller. Sophie is a complex character in a cut-throat world. But not only is THE NIGHT LAWYER a great story, it also highlights a legal system overworked and under strain. I do hope there are more adventures from Sophie to come.
THE NIGHT LAWYER is available now as a paperback and ebook