Without Prejudice

Nicola Williams, Author St. Martin's Press $21.95 (256p) ISBN 978-0-312-18683-8
Readers without a tight grasp on the workings--and wording--of the British legal system may find themselves initially at a loss in Williams's debut suspense novel. Thirty-year-old black barrister, Lee Mitchell, is persuaded by a solicitor friend, Brendan Donnelly, to take the high-profile case of London millionaire playboy Clive Omartian, arrested along with his father and stepbrother for fraud. Unsettled by her client's high-handed manner when she first meets him, Lee is further distressed as the case proceeds by his lifestyle of drugs and underaged women, his habit of manipulating facts and his intrusions into her personal life. Realizing that the case threatens her integrity, self-respect and even her job, Lee learns that even friends like Brendan can be turncoats and that other barristers have become enemies. Williams constructs a taut and enthralling tale of Lee's crumbling life and her sticky situation in the Omartian case, capturing the tenuous place of minorities, the poor and unprivileged in the social and legal establishments. (June)
Reviewed on: 06/01/1998
Release date: 06/01/1998
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