Book recommendation: The Silk Brief (The Silk Tales Book 1) by John Burton
David Brant QC is a newly appointed Queenâs Counsel, a âSilkâ, a Criminal Barrister struggling against ever-dwindling legal aid funds and a lack of work. His Chambers is also suffering internal and external pressures and his Senior Clerk seems to only serve a select few. Life at the Bar is more challenging than ever before. His personal life is not much better. Having faced an acrimonious divorce after an inadvisable liaison with a female Solicitor, his life has become a mixture of enforced rest and ever increasing consumption of Claret and Rioja Reserva. However, after a night out with his Senior Clerk, he is instructed to defend in a Murder trial, leading one of the instructing solicitorâs firmâs In-House Barristers. The client is a Mr Damien Clarke, a cocaine addict charged with killing a known associate, Usman Hussain, after a night of smoking crack together in Hussainâs flat. The evidence against Damien appears almost overwhelming and as the case progresses towards trial it is strengthened by further forensic scientific evidence. David Brant QC must use all his forensic skill to combat the array of damning evidence against Damien and to pit his wits against a highly competent Prosecutor and a Judge who has a personal dislike for him. The Silk Brief takes us from before David Brant QC is instructed, through his early preparation of the case and conferences with the client in the High Security Belmarsh prison, through to the trial and verdict. It provides the day by day record of a murder trial including the examination and cross-examination of lay and expert witnesses, Counselâs speeches, the Judges summing up and finally the juryâs deliberations and verdict. Although a work of fiction, the author draws extensively on his knowledge of the Criminal Bar of England and Wales, having practiced as a Criminal Barrister for over thirty years, latterly as Queenâs Counsel, conducting many trials, including murder trials in the Central Criminal Court, known colloquially and fondly as âThe Old Baileyâ.
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