I was sent a free proof copy of this book in return for an unbiased review. It is due out on 28th June 2018
‘The body lay unnoticed for hours. This was not startling; the area behind St Mark’s Hospital was hardly a magnet for revellers or a main thoroughfare, and it had been night time when she had fallen. But it might have surprised the corpse – before she died of course – given the manner of her launch from the platform above and the spectacular splintering of her skull against an exposed tree stump.’
An elderly local artist plunges 100 feet to her death at an overstretched London hospital and the police immediately sense foul play. The hospital cleaner, a Syrian refugee and loner, is arrested for her murder. He protests his innocence, but why has he given her the story of Aladdin to read, and why does he shake uncontrollably in times of stress?
Judith Burton and Constance Lamb reunite to defend a man the media has already convicted. Together they uncover not only the cleaner’s secrets, but also those of the artist’s family, her lawyer and the hospital.
What I thought:
I really enjoyed this book. I’m not a big crime or thiller reader so I was unsure as to what I was going to think. I enjoy watching crime shows and procedural cop dramas that are slightly different (such as Life on Mars, Castle, and Limitless to name just three) but for some reason have never really got behind reading things in that genre. It took a couple of chapters to get going as all the different characters had to be introduced but once it started going I found it hard to put down. It’s a slightly different type of book as the main characters are defending lawyers, so instead of trying to work out who is the killer it’s about trying to prove that someone isn’t the killer. This small twist on the norm kept me interest as it’s much harder to prove that someone didn’t do something, especially when there is circumstantial evidence to potentially prove otherwise.
Ahmad, the suspected killer and man on trial, is persecuted in the media and on the papers. The minute the press learn that the cop’s suspect is a Syrian refugee they turn against him claiming that he’s connected to the taliban. Even the partner of one of the lawyers doesn’t want her defending him because of what he has read, innocent until proven guilty is a vital part of the justice system in our country. But it’s something that the media doesn’t seem to agree with. The police might have charged someone but it’s still doesn’t make a person guilty.
As a quiet hard working man trying to keep his family above water Ahmad is an unassuming man who doesn’t want to make things hard for anyone. He keeps quiet about the fact that as a refugee cleaner he’s not respected in the hospital and that no one cares about him about one other cleaner.
Why I read it:
I was sent a free proof copy but was still slightly iffy about it, simply because it’s not a genre I would normally touch at all (although it’s one that my dad loves). It took me a while to start as there were other books that I wanted to read instead. But once I got past the first few introductory chapters I loved it.
I enjoyed how different this book was, with the later half of it was in the court setting it meant the focus of the book was different. Proving someone didn’t do anything is a difficult thing to do, especially because of Ahmed’s unassuming and quiet way meant that he hadn’t told his lawyers everything. If they didn’t ask the question he didn’t tell them. The prosecuting lawyer kept bringing up strong arguments and you could almost see the jury swaying to his point of view.
I didn’t see the end coming although I had half guessed some of the twists. In the way that you don’t fully realise you think something until it happens and it’s not fully a surprise. (Huh… I’d guessed that).
Since reading this book I’ve bought Silver’s other book and am looking forward to reading it.
Would I recommend: Definitely. It’s a different kind of crime book and I’ve already passed my copy to my dad who reads a lot of crime. Even if this isn’t your genre I’d pick this one up.
Popsugar: About death/grief, a book you borrowed/given as a gift, published in 2018, problem facing society today.
I really didn’t mean to leave the blog for so long, but I’ve been busy reading books and getting a new job.
I’m planning on getting back to putting up a blog post every other day. And in other exciting book related news my Waterstones card now has £209 on it. Which is more than a bit mad and I could go mad buying books and still be in triple figures!!
See you soon and please let me know if my blog has made you interested in picking up this book when it comes out in June