Wednesday, 2 August 2017

From the Shadows - Neil White

Wowsers! Never read a book by Neil White before, my loss absolutely. Thanks Nudge, for the opportunity. If you read no other legal thriller this year at least read this one. It is scrumptious!! You expect a twist at the end of thriller but at the end of the prologue?! Oh my, I never saw it coming. I am so tempted to do a spoiler here that, in spite of writing a review, I am metaphorically sitting on my hands I so want to share it!!

I loved this. Every single word of it. It’s like a one of those fireworks that explodes again each time you think its finished. Plenty of action but also plenty to think about.

Many courtroom dramas fail to strike a balance and there’s an overload, m’lord, of the courtroom protocols and procedures. Here all the narratives inside the court are so relevant and pertinent. As with most of the legal thrillers these days issues of integrity are raised. Do defence lawyers care about the truth and about real justice? I think these issues are admirably dealt with here without becoming sanctimonious at all. It comes across as very real. 

The cast of characters are diverse, many merely functional, others drawn with some depth so that we can begin to care about them. The plot is as tight as a tick. The writing flows easily and accessibly. I did find the time frames a little exasperating; it switched about more than I would like and I wasn’t entirely clear as to why. But it was a small price to pay for the quality of the rest of the story. 

There are some chilling moments. There are some hard to guess outcomes. It’s a fiction that involves the reader right to the end. The temptation to offer a saccharin conclusion is avoided, thankfully, the credibility  of the novel as whole would have been diluted. I’ve little negative to say. I really enjoyed it. So much so that I’m cutting this review short to go seek out some more Neil White.

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