Tuesday, 22 October 2013

A Fatal Verdict by Tim Vicary

Reviewed by Chris Longmuir

crime novelsI’m an avid crime reader but must admit I don’t normally read court-room dramas. I’m not sure why that is, maybe it’s because I can’t get rid of the feeling that because the setting is a formal one, this will detract from the suspense of the story. However, I won this book in a competition, so it follows that I had to read it.  Well, I’m glad I did, because this was one of the most thrilling, page-turners I’ve read for some time.

The characters were completely realistic, and I was completely drawn in by Sarah Newby, who was no formal, dry as dust QC. She was a living, breathing character with her own family problems, and dilemmas. She dispelled the image of wig and gown, although she did wear them in court, but she also travelled to court on her high-powered motor bike, and when she was angry she revved the bike and drove dangerously at high speed.

The book starts with the discovery of the body of a young girl in the bath of her boyfriends flat. She is partially drowned and has slit wrists. It soon transpires that she hasn’t committed suicide, she has been murdered, with her boyfriend the main suspect. Sarah has the job of prosecuting him, and the resultant court case is full of suspense.

The girl’s family are destroyed by her death, and when the boyfriend is killed they become the prime suspects, and Sarah has the job of defending the mother who is charged with the murder.

It has to be said that the identity of each murderer is never in doubt, but the events leading from these murders provide enough suspense to satisfy the most dedicated crime reader.

This was the second book in the Sarah Newby series but it is not necessary to read them in order as this book did well as a stand-alone crime story. Needless to say I’ll now read the first book in the series, although I’ll have to buy that one, as it would be a fluke if I won that one in a competition as well.

Chris Longmuir

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