Given in Evidence

Jonathan Davies, Author Trafalgar Square Publishing $26 (0p) ISBN 978-0-340-63230-7
The legal thriller gains an English accent in Davies's smart first novel. Jeremy Scott is a divorced, striving, 30-ish London barrister. During the first half of the novel, he acts as a defense attorney, primarily on behalf of a drug dealer. Sometime later, Jeremy is working for the prosecution, building a case against a gang of Pakistani drug runners, battling a xenophobic criminal system, some slimy lawyers, a judge who is ""barking mad"" and John Howard, drug kingpin and mystery man. Davies includes a fascinating tour of London's courts and a large, colorful lineup of characters that stand on either side of the law, and sometimes both. The usual cut-and-slash of legal thrillers is often superseded by the author's subtle sensibilities. Some scenes will remind readers of Evelyn Waugh--the courtroom interplay of the mad judge and two chatty Pakistani interpreters is particularly hilarious. For all the wit, however, the story turns out very darkly, ending with a cynical, noirish jolt. If Davies, a London lawyer and judge, knows the law as well as he knows writing, London justice is in very good hands. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1996
Release date: 04/01/1996
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