The last time Tess de Vere saw William Benson she was a law student on work experience. He was a twenty-one year old, led from the dock of the Old Bailey to begin a life sentence for murder. He'd said he was innocent. She'd believed him.
Sixteen years later Tess overhears a couple of hacks mocking a newcomer to the London Bar, a no-hoper with a murder conviction, running his own show from an old fishmonger's in Spitalfields. That night she walks back into Benson's life. The price of his rehabilitation - and access to the Bar - is an admission of guilt to the killing of Paul Harbeton, whose family have vowed revenge. He's an outcast. The government wants to shut him down and no solicitor will instruct him. But he's subsidised by a mystery benefactor and a desperate woman has turned to him for help: Sarah Collingstone, mother of a child with special needs, accused of slaying her wealthy lover. It's a hopeless case and the murder trial, Benson's first, starts in four days. The evidence is overwhelming but like Benson long ago, she swears she's innocent. Tess joins the defence team, determined to help Benson survive. But as Benson follows the twists and turns in the courtroom, Tess embarks upon a secret investigation of her own, determined to uncover the truth behind the death of Paul Harbeton on a lonely night in Soho.
True to life, fast-paced and absolutely compelling, Summary Justice introduces a new series of courtroom dramas featuring two maverick lawyers driven to fight injustice at any cost.
Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for the fabulous page-turner, Summary Justice by John Fairfax. Summary Justice is the first in a new series featuring William Benson and Tess de Vere, one a high flying lawyer and the other with a murder conviction behind him.
Determined to pursue a career in law Benson comes to the Bar after being released from prison on license and immediately walks into one of the most sensational murder cases of the year. Sarah Collingstone is an innocent woman, accused of killing her boss because everyone thought she was having an affair with him. Benson is sure that he can get a 'not guilty' verdict but he needs help. This is where Tess steps in, even though she hasn't seen Benson in the decade he's spent inside.
This is not your regular run of the mill legal thriller although the first few chapters of the book may seem like it. The emphasis is on the relationships between the multitude of characters which gives especially the story much more depth, although the actual bones of the story make for a page-turning read.
Summary Justice is a great start to the series and I can't wait to read more about both Tess and Benson's journeys in their legal careers and their personal lives. I'm intrigued to see how the connection between the two main characters goes, whether it remains professional or becomes something more. I can also see why this and future books have been optioned for television as it was a truly gripping story with well developed characters.
Summary Justice - John Fairfax
ISBN - 9781408708729
Publisher - LittleBrown UK
Release date - March 2nd, 2017