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The Trial: Dark Urban Scottish Crime Story (Parliament House Books Book 1) Kindle Edition
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About the Author
- ASIN : B00SYZRN12
- Publisher : John Mayer; 3rd edition (January 29, 2015)
- Publication date : January 29, 2015
- Language : English
- File size : 5183 KB
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 503 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,027,459 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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The accused, Brogan McLane, is thrown into jail on the flimsiest of circumstantial evidence. After a few days of incarceration, his first taped meeting with his lawyer and a police interviewer begins with McLane cursing and threatening to break someone’s neck. Bear in mind that McLane is an Advocate (in the author’s definition, “…equivalent to an English Barrister.” It is hard to believe that someone familiar with the law would (in this instance) potentially incriminate himself with this initial part of his interview.
There are more inconsistencies, both with the plot as well as characterizations. McLane is initially painted as tough, brought up on the streets and someone who could have been a hoodlum, yet he breaks down and cries as soon as he is put in a cell. This is not the same person who saw a man have his hand anchored to a table with a knife and didn’t so much as blink. This uneven portrait makes it difficult for a reader to identify with a main character of the book. Brief looks at some other characters offered little to justify some of their actions.
Near the middle of the book, author John Mayer began to hit his stride. His background as an Advocate helped the descriptions of the trial, and this section of the book turned out to be the best, even though hampered by the contrived case against McLane. The ending was satisfactory, the unexpected twist tying everything together and making me feel much better about my decision to read the entire story and not set the book aside. Three-and-a-half stars, with the trial and story wrap-up helping to round it to four.
Was he guilty of this crime? His trial was nothing short of the obstruction and perversion of Justice in the Criminal justice system of the Parliament House in Scotland. His case was decided from the very beginning by this special clique of advocates and judges who made a mockery of the trial. First, they set him up, then, evidence was destroyed or rendered useless, witnesses were denied hearing, and in the end, his life hung on the line. Dear God!
The story started quite slowly and built up from the middle to the actual trial. From there, the pace became quite feverish until a surprising ending. I stayed up all night to read to the end of the story to know the fate of Brogan McLane. You would do the same too if you read this book. The story is very well written. The only problem I found with it is with the style of writing, which is, with the frequent use of the present participle in starting sentences. Otherwise, I will recommend this book to all book lover. It is quite a read!
With attention to detail that can only have come from thorough research, Author John Mayer walks the reader through the travesty of a rigged investigation, resulting in trumped-up charges and a jury trial. All the while, Brogan’s friends are working in the background (not necessarily with kid gloves) to clear his name.
I enjoyed the twists and turns of the plot. Although the Scottish dialect spoken by some of the characters was a bit difficult for me (born in Canada, living in the USA) to absorb at first read, it added authenticity to the dialogue. My only cavil is that I would have liked to see more depth of character development for the major players. We learn very little about Brogan and Joanne (his wife) beyond the actual events driving the story. They felt two-dimensional to me.
Overall, this was an enjoyable read that held my attention to the end.
Top reviews from other countries
Bring in a case of old, powerful men, thinking they can do whatever they want and corrupt others in a sex scandal and these men have to find someone to blame when one of their group, a High Court judge is found murdered in his home, after one of these ‘sex’ parties. These connected friends close ranks and choose the outsider amongst them as an appropriate scapegoat. So Brogan finds himself charged with the murder of this judge, on some very dodgy circumstantial evidence.
He has to use friends from his past and present to try and help him catch the real murderer and fight his way through all the legal shenanigans the other side throw against him. They are more powerful and have been manipulating the law to their own needs for years. The power they have as judges and advocates has twisted and warped many of this elite group. They no longer follow the law as they should, nor follow the laws of the land that they are supposed to uphold!
Lots of legal twists and turns, evidence being produced from bent lawyers and sex parties, makes for an interesting read. The start of the book, I found a bit too technical, with all the talk of Parliament House and all the different levels of law and how it works in Scotland. I could have done without quite so much technical ‘law’ stuff as it made the start hard to get through. Once you managed to get through that and meet Brogan’s old mates and allies, as they try to investigate for themselves, who is setting Brogan up, it gets a lot more interesting.
So, stay with it, and it will end up as a good read overall. I received a copy of this book from Hidden Gems and I have freely given my own opinion of the book above.
The plot follows Brogan McLane in his quest to clear his name in a murder for which he is being made a scape goat. McLane is a fascinating character in that he has made a successful career in a profession that doesn't accept someone from his background. He may be an Advocate but he doesn't forget his roots and it is these roots that play a big part in helping him. The use of the Scottish dialect adds realism and grit to this book, and the characters.
As a character I grew to like Brogan McLane, he has a padding for his job and for justice to be done. He doesn't really fit in at Parliament House, he is not a member of the old boys club, and probably never will be, but that is what makes him stand out and likeable; lets face it we all like the underdog in a book. I will be interested to see how his character grows through the other books in the series. I also liked his wife, Joanne, who seems the complete opposite to him; she is delicate and quite reserved and very reliant on her husband. I am led to believe that there are also prequel books that show McLane's life prior to his calling to the Bar.
I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed The Trial, it was really drawn into the plot, it was pacy, with plenty of twists and turns to keep you on your toes and memorable characters. If you love a crime/legal novel, I can highly recommend this book and I look forward to reading the next book in the series, The Order.
The Trial is a pretty fast paced thriller so, other than Brogan McLane himself, I didn't feel we got bogged down in really getting to know the other characters. Rather I had impressions of a type with enough hints of individuality to mostly identify everyone as we met them again. I did find it easier to remember the Glaswegians than the Edinburgh Advocates and Judges. Perhaps that's just me! At times I would have liked more explanation of just how certain things occurred - who found a particular piece of evidence and how? McLane's clever legal arguments are fun to unravel and, overall, this is a tense and very enjoyable thriller. I am glad to already have a copy of its sequel awaiting me!
Mayer is a good writer, he cleverly bobs and weaves truth with half-truth until you are not quite sure if what you think you know is, in fact, what you know! Advocate Brogan is stands accused of the murder of a high court judge. With the evidence stacked against him, McLane pursues the truth with a gritty determination which I enjoyed. Mayer has drawn his characters well, they are flawed and believable. The plot twists and turns with good effect. For me, the pros were – good writing, good twists, and believable characters. The cons – too much dialect which slowed the pace, the amount of legalese meant I had to keep going back to the beginning to figure out who, what, where – doing this on a Kindle is not easy and I kept losing my place. All in all, I enjoyed this book and would read another from this author.
When High Court Judge Lord Aldounhill is found brutally murdered in his home, Brogan McLane is set up as a patsy to take the fall for it. The career he worked so hard for is hanging by a thread along with his freedom. A conviction for murder will mean life in prison. After being released on bail he and his remaining true friends set about proving his innocence, but with evidence going missing as quickly as it is discovered, it will be an up hill battle. Something that isn't new to him and his friends.
This is the first book in a new series for author John Mayer and my what a super start. I liked the glossary of terms in the beginning of the book which made reading much easier rather than finding it at the back when I have done. It really is worth giving this a once over before you start reading. One other thing too is the book is written with some Scottish dialect which for me gave it real true grit.
I really took to Brogan from the start, you just have to love a character that excels but still has his feet planted firmly on the ground. This murder mystery is quite a little cracker to work on too as there is the continuing investigation going on along side of the trial for murder. I was totally engrossed in it all.
There are two further books in this series which will be definitely on my TBR list.