Without Prejudice

Overview

No One Dreamed Lee Mitchell would ever be a London barrister. Black, working-class, a woman, she has little on her side except determination and intelligence. But she's been practicing law for seven years, building up a reputation. All she needs now is a big, prestigious case. Lee is finally offered a high-profile City trial, defending fast-living financier Clive Omartian who has been arrested for fraud. It's a case any self-respecting barrister would kill for, including her own under-performing Head of Chambers,...
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New York, NY 1998 Hard cover Us ed. New in fine dust jacket. lt shelfwear-Book Appears Unread Sewn binding. Paper over boards. 256 p. Audience: General/trade.

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Overview

No One Dreamed Lee Mitchell would ever be a London barrister. Black, working-class, a woman, she has little on her side except determination and intelligence. But she's been practicing law for seven years, building up a reputation. All she needs now is a big, prestigious case. Lee is finally offered a high-profile City trial, defending fast-living financier Clive Omartian who has been arrested for fraud. It's a case any self-respecting barrister would kill for, including her own under-performing Head of Chambers, Giles Townsend, and George Amery, the most vicious defense lawyer at the bar. Lee however is more than a little wary: what's slick, confident Omartian doing with a low-rent, if talented, solicitor like Brendan Donnelly for a start? Her first trial conference confirms her every suspicion: her co-defenders have clearly already formed an alliance against her client. Then Lee receives some startling information that puts the whole case in a different light. Forced to make a decision that could jeopardize not just her career but also the personal safety of those close to her, she realizes she's unwittingly pushed her friend Simone Wilson, victim of a date rape, into a trial that could destroy her. For defending Simone's ex-boyfriend is none other than her new-found enemy George Amery, the most brutally effective rape trial specialist in London.
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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Readers without a tight grasp on the workingsand wordingof the British legal system may find themselves initially at a loss in Williams's debut suspense novel. Thirty-year-old black barrister, Lee Mitchell, is persuaded by a solicitor friend, Brendan Donnelly, to take the high-profile case of London millionaire playboy Clive Omartian, arrested along with his father and stepbrother for fraud. Unsettled by her client's high-handed manner when she first meets him, Lee is further distressed as the case proceeds by his lifestyle of drugs and underaged women, his habit of manipulating facts and his intrusions into her personal life. Realizing that the case threatens her integrity, self-respect and even her job, Lee learns that even friends like Brendan can be turncoats and that other barristers have become enemies. Williams constructs a taut and enthralling tale of Lee's crumbling life and her sticky situation in the Omartian case, capturing the tenuous place of minorities, the poor and unprivileged in the social and legal establishments. (June)
Kirkus Reviews
The British legal system is adversarial, but Guyanese-born barrister Leanne Mitchell's main enemies seem to be her clients and friends. Having just won acquittal for an obvious lowlife, she's ready for richer fare: Clive Omartian, whose family firm stands accused of shorting the books by œ100,000, with Clive's half-brother Hector looking daggers at prodigal son Clive and their elderly father painstakingly urging peace and unity on both of them. Every brief in England wants the case, it seems—Lee's Head of Chambers, a scheming hack who'd take any route to an appointment as Queen's Counsel, certainly wouldn't turn it down—but they're all wrong, though Lee fails to realize why until Clive's got her in his grip. Meantime, the old school acquaintance she's talked into reporting her rape by an ex-lover is convinced that Lee doesn't really want justice for another black woman, and moves to take matters into her own hands. When half of Lee's allies turn Judas and the other half suffer for their loyalty, Lee begins to wonder how she'll ever survive her cases, let alone win any of them. Newcomer Williams deftly reveals a side of the British legal system as nasty as anything in the US: a world in which a barrister's fondest hope is to get thrown off a high-profile case and go home to bed.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312186838
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Press
  • Publication date: 5/1/1998
  • Edition description: 1st U.S. Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 5.76 (w) x 8.58 (h) x 0.95 (d)

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