harles Holborne is approaching desperation. He’s getting no legal cases at chambers, except where he can tag along with junior barristers. He’s behind on his rent and overdrawn at the bank. He survived being charged with the death of his wife (The Brief) but it seems he’s become untouchable. And then Sally, the clerk from his former chambers falls into his life, and what had been a dearth of work becomes a flood.
The big cases is defending an elderly attorney accused of conspiring with criminals in a diamond heist. The attorney is known for close connections to various criminal enterprises, but the evidence looks planted. Charles takes the case on.
In the meantime, his father becomes ill and appears to have had a small stroke. Charles has been estranged from his family; in college, he turned his back on his Jewish heritage and changed his name. His mother is still unhappy with him.
An Honest Man is the second in the Charles Holborne Legal Thriller series by British author Simon Michaels. Set in 1960s London, it’s a time of the Profumo / Christine Keeler scandal bringing down a government, of when criminal gangs were almost out of control, and of when there were almost as many crooked as honest police officers. It’s a top-notch story, with an account of a trial that makes the book almost impossible to put down. Michael draws upon his extensive experience in and knowledge of criminal law, and he knows how to tell a riveting story.
Michael is the author of five novels in the Charles Holborne series. He studied law at Kings College, London University and was called to the Bar in 1978. He worked primarily in the field of criminal law until the late 1990s, when he focused his practice on clinical negligence. He began writing in the 1980s and resumed it when he retired from legal practice.
An Honest Man is an outstanding legal drama story, and Michael manages to keep several mysteries and story threads going simultaneously. The conflicted Jewish-by-heritage attorney will not be bought and will not be compromised, and Michael knows exactly how to play that in a criminal and often dangerous world.