‘The Brief’ by Simon Michael
‘The Brief’ was published last year by Urbane Publications. I was very kindly sent a copy of this book to review.
The story is set in 1960s London. In a city of gangsters, prejudice and terrifying gang wars, Barrister Charles Holborne seems to spend the majority of his time dealing with the worst examples of violent criminality. Having successfully won a number of high profile cases, Charles is building a reputation amongst Soho’s criminal classes as a man who gets the job done. This unfortunately doesn’t endear him to his establishment colleagues.
However, Charles isn’t all he seems and is in fact battling personal demons and his past. When his philandering wife Henrietta is found dead with her throat slashed, Charles suddenly finds himself on the wrong side of the law and in serious trouble. Arrested for her murder, can he discover the truth and escape the hangman’s noose?
I started reading ‘The Brief’ late last Saturday night and from the very first page I was totally engrossed. It was literally a case of having to read one more chapter, followed by another one and another one. After two late nights and many more hours besides I have now finished this wonderful book and want to shout out how great it is.
I thought ‘The Brief’ to be an extremely addictive read. Split into five parts it is fast-paced, gripping and very exciting. I love crime fiction and was most interested in learning more about the legal side of things. Simon Michael has himself had a career at the Bar and has drawn on his experiences to write this book which makes it all the more real. I really liked that court documents were included in the story. I read the Transcript of Evidence with great interest and at one point even felt as if I was in the court too.
There were certainly some very dodgy characters in the story and it was hard to know at times who to trust. I really liked Charles and hoped that he would get off his murder charge. He was stitched up good and proper and he soon knew what it was like to be on the other side.
‘The Brief’ will keep you up for hours. It will play on your mind and you’ll be dying to know what happens next.
I am really looking forward to Simon Michael’s new book, ‘An Honest Man’, which is due out next month and I will be eagerly following his future work. Simon is already a firm favourite of mine. I hope he writes many more books.
I give this book 5 out of 5.