A Higher Duty

Overview

A page-turning legal thriller with an authenticity that only an insider could convey

In Harold Macmillan's Britain of the early 1960s the Bar is dominated by white, privileged, Oxbridge men. Underneath a profession which proudly flaunts its integrity and traditions lies a world of hypocrisy and ruthless self-interest. When scandal threatens, self-preservation is the only goal and no one is indispensable. Ben Schroeder, a talented young man from an East End Jewish family, ...

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Overview

A page-turning legal thriller with an authenticity that only an insider could convey

In Harold Macmillan's Britain of the early 1960s the Bar is dominated by white, privileged, Oxbridge men. Underneath a profession which proudly flaunts its integrity and traditions lies a world of hypocrisy and ruthless self-interest. When scandal threatens, self-preservation is the only goal and no one is indispensable. Ben Schroeder, a talented young man from an East End Jewish family, has been accepted as a pupil into the Chambers of Bernard Wesley Queen's Councile (QC). But Schroeder is an outsider, not part of this privileged society, and he encounters prejudice, intrigue, and scandal. Kenneth Gaskell, a rising star of Wesley's Chambers has become involved in an affair with a high-profile client and the relationship, if known, could ruin his career, and the careers of all those around him. But Bernard Wesley has some information—he knows about a student prank that went terribly wrong. Can he use this knowledge in a desperate gamble to save his Chambers and turn the tables on his old rival, Miles Overton QC? Ben Schroeder has proved his ability, but he is no more than a pawn in this game. Can he survive in this world where nothing, not even justice, is sacred?

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
08/19/2013
Skillful prose and a powerful opening aren’t enough to save this contrived legal drama from Murphy (Removal). In December 1960, at Cambridge University, a student dumped in a freezing river drowns, and the ringleader of the “prank,” undergrad Clive Overton, is arrested for murder. But before the case can proceed much further, the fix is in, and Overton, whose father is one of the British bar’s leading lights, gets off with a slap on the wrist. Flash forward to October 1962. Anne Dougherty’s divorce case looks promising. Since her husband not only assaulted her but tried to break into her parents’ home, where their young son was staying, she has every reason to expect she’ll end up with sole custody of the child. But a rash, unethical act by one of the lawyers involved has repercussions beyond the case. Fanciful plot developments irreparably erode suspension of disbelief. (Oct.)
From the Publisher

"Weighty and impressive."  —Barry Forshaw, Crime Time

"Peter Murphy’s novel is an excellent read from start to finish and highly recommended." —The Historical Novels Review

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781842436684
  • Publisher: Oldcastle Books
  • Publication date: 10/1/2013
  • Pages: 352
  • Product dimensions: 5.10 (w) x 7.70 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter Murphy has had a career in the law, as an advocate and teacher, both in England and the United States. His legal work included a number of years in The Hague as defense counsel at the Yugoslavian War Crimes Tribunal. He is the author of Removal.
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