Publication Date: Available Now from Canelo
In a razor-sharp legal thriller, Jack Kowalski must win two challenging trials to save his reputation and his career
Junior barrister Jack Kowalski is crushed. His client Timothy Smart appears to have committed a monstrous crime while on bail – a bail application Jack fought hard to win.
When a high-profile Polish footballer is charged with rape and demands a fellow countryman represent him, Jack must overcome his guilt and get back to work. Before long he takes on a second case, a GBH for instructing solicitor Lara Panassai, who Jack remains desperate to impress. But neither case is what it seems, and Jack will face an extraordinary uphill battle to see that justice is done…
I love a good legal thriller me, usually ones set in the US with the exception of one or two British based settings – Neil White (of course) and since I read the brilliant Cut-Throat Defence, also Olly Jarvis.
So this is the second Jack Kowalski novel and I love this character – he is beautifully layered and has a strong moral centre – in this story he is juggling several cases none of which are clear cut and all of which have strong social issues at the heart of them. This is very intelligent storytelling here, walking the line between entertainment and authenticity extremely well and balancing character and action perfectly.
Plus on top of all that it’s a right proper page turner and no mistake. Some of the themes are bang in the public eye right now, which gives it an added edge – and honestly I was just as interested in Jack’s relationship with family and his possible romantic entanglement with Lara (who ticks all the boxes on strong female characters (this one takes no prisoners) – as I was in finding out whether he would win his cases.
There are twists and turns but they come in very subtle ways and are twists of character as much as event – Olly Jarvis dissecting the centre of those involved in the cases as he goes, until we get to the very heart of things.
In a nutshell this is highly entertaining, thought provoking crime drama with a legal twist and a whole host of beautifully engaging characters.