“Addictive reading, I couldn’t put it down. A brilliant read. The plot kept twisting and turning providing nail biting suspense. The characters were believable and very real. I felt I was a fly on the wall in East End pubs watching scenes unfold. Then I found myself hiding behind furniture in the Chambers and eavesdropping on conversations. Charles was always one step ahead of me. I look forward to reading more by Simon Michael (5 stars).” Amazon reviewer
“…a great book I recommend to anybody who enjoys a good legal whodunit.”
“… gritty, gripping and utterly compelling. Highly recommended.”
Leah Moyse, Independent Blogger
“Move over Martina Cole, you’re going to have company on the bestsellers lists (5 stars).”
“…In weaving Holborne’s adventures around legal London, Michael evokes the “pyramid of steaming cholesterol” of the all-day breakfast at Mick’s, and the “damp sheep pen” smell of Bow Street Magistrates’ Court. Michael writes excellent dialogue too… on this form Michael should cast [Holborne] in more adventures.”
Law Society Gazette
“On a par with Lee Childs and James Patterson (5 stars).” Amazon reviewer
1960s London – gang wars, corrupt police, vice and pornography – ex-boxer, Charles Holborne, has plenty of opportunities to build his reputation with the criminal classes as a barrister who delivers. But Holborne, an East End boy made good, is not all he seems, and his past is snapping at his heels. When his philandering wife has her throat slashed, Holborne finds himself on the wrong side of the law and on the run, back in the only place he thought he’d be safe, the East End.
But now he’s got caught in the middle of a turf war between the Kray twins and the Yardies. Can Holborne stay one step ahead of the police and the real murderer, discover the truth and escape the hangman?
Based upon real Old Bailey cases and genuine court documents, The Brief is the first in barrister Simon Michael’s series of compelling criminal dramas, an evocative slice of sleazy glamour from the Swinging Sixties. Simon Michael delivers an authentic and addictive read for any crime fan.
“Chilling suspense and climactic surprises”
“…well out of the ordinary and far into the realms of seriously good storytelling…superlative courtroom drama…”
New Law Journal
“The court room scenes are good… entertaining”
Author: Simon Michael
Simon Michael is the author of the best-selling London 1960s noir gangster series featuring his antihero barrister, Charles Holborne. Simon writes from personal experience: he was a barrister for 37 years and worked in the Old Bailey and other criminal courts defending and prosecuting a wide selection of murderers, armed robbers, con artists and other assorted villainy during what was often considered the “Wild West” of British justice. The 1960s was a time when the Krays and the Richardsons and other violent gangs fought for control of London’s organised crime, and the corrupt Metropolitan Police beat up suspects, twisted the evidence and took their share of the criminal proceeds. Simon weaves into his thrillers genuine court documents from cases on which he worked and the big stories of the 1960s.
Simon was a successful author in the 1980s, published here and in the USA, and returned to writing when he retired from the Bar in 2016. The first two books in the Charles Holborne series, The Brief published in September 2015 and An Honest Man published in July 2016, have both garnered rave reviews for their authenticity and excitement. The theme of Simon’s books is alienation; Holborne, who dabbled in crime and in serious violence before becoming a barrister, is an outsider both in the East End where he grew up and in the Temples of the law where he now practices, where he faces daily class and religious prejudice. He has been compared to Raymond Chandler’s Philip Marlowe and Dashiell Hammett’s Sam Spade, honourable men surrounded by corruption and violence, trying to steer an honest course.
The third book in the series, The LIGHTERMAN, will be published in June 2017 and looks set to be another bestseller.
Simon lives with his wife and youngest child in Bedfordshire. He is a founder member of the Ampthill Literary Festival and a former trustee and chairman of the Road Victims Trust, a charity devoted to supporting those bereaved or suffering life changing injury on the roads.
You can connect with Simon on:
Simon was recently interviewed on MKFM and you can listen to the full programme here
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