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Summary

The last time Tess de Vere saw William Benson, she was a law student on work experience. He was a 21-year-old, led from the dock of the Old Bailey to begin a life sentence for murder. He'd said he was innocent. She'd believed him.

Sixteen years later Tess overhears a couple of hacks mocking a newcomer to the London Bar, a no-hoper with a murder conviction, running his own show from an old fishmonger's in Spitalfields. That night she walks back into Benson's life. The price of his rehabilitation - and access to the bar - is an admission of guilt to the killing of Paul Harbeton, whose family have vowed revenge. He's an outcast. The government wants to shut him down, and no solicitor will instruct him. But he's subsidised by a mystery benefactor, and a desperate woman has turned to him for help: Sarah Collingstone, mother of a child with special needs, accused of slaying her wealthy lover. It's a hopeless case, and the murder trial, Benson's first, starts in four days. The evidence is overwhelming, but, like Benson long ago, she swears she's innocent.

Tess joins the defence team, determined to help Benson survive. But as Benson follows the twists and turns in the courtroom, Tess embarks upon a secret investigation of her own, determined to uncover the truth behind the death of Paul Harbeton on a lonely night in Soho. True to life, fast-paced and absolutely compelling, Summary Justice introduces a new series of courtroom dramas featuring two maverick lawyers driven to fight injustice at any cost.

©2017 John Fairfax (P)2016 Little Brown Book Group

What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Best book for a very long time. And I'm 67.

LIke other reviewers, I couldn't put this down. It's clear, fast paced and sounds good.

16 of 18 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Superior, Superb, Sublime

Would you listen to Summary Justice again? Why?

I have already, and will never delete this compelling novel, with a heart, from my library.

What other book might you compare Summary Justice to, and why?

I'm unable to answer your question. This is a book that stands on its own merit.

What does Daniel Weyman bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

Divine voice, compelling character voices; one cannot fault Daniel Weyman, one of the best narrators on audible.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Not a question I would give importance to.

Any additional comments?

Read the reviews, I did and took a chance. If you truly love a good book, this will not disappoint.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Excellent excellent excellent

This is my first 5 star review and I've been listening to audible books for 7 years! This story was clever interesting emotional. Characters and plot well drawn. Better than any court room drama I've read. Especially good as it has been written by a barrister so you feel it is based upon genuine procedure. Narration complimented the story well. I have genuine remorse that the next book hasn't been written yet!

18 of 21 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Brief Encounters!

I think Audible have a real gem here and they really need to give it some air. This book introduces a quite unique protagonist. William Benson is a convicted murderer who has fought his way to the heights of the legal profession. What unfolds includes what is in part a traditional British courtroom drama with what to me were very fresh twists on staple evidential plot lines such as DNA and eye-witness sightings.

The legal process was clearly well understood, although I thought the author had got one point wrong . . . until I looked it up! Since then I have discovered that John Fairfax is a new pen name for the award-winning William Brodrick who of course worked as a QC himself which explains his depth of understanding.

The reason I really liked this book though is that it never feels dry and dusty like some courtroom dramas can. Fairfax weaves a clever plot with a number of ingenious twists populated by characters of interest and depth. The intrigue surrounding Benson himself is considerable and clearly set to continue as the series develops. There is warmth, very occasional humour and the author displays an instinctive empathy with his characters.

Daniel Weyman is a narrator that I am familiar with through the Roy Grace series and C J Sansom's excellent "Dominion". He is always good but this is just a notch above his other performances with excellent voicing of each of the characters.

In summary even though it does not seem to be getting a lot of publicity at the time of writing this feels like a series with real potential. An almost made for TV feel pervades some of it. I'm definitely aboard for the ride and to see if Fairfax can develop it further.

27 of 32 people found this review helpful

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Accurate,humane,clever

Enjoyed this very much.Its such a change to find someone who has the little details right...like "burn" and it's central part on prisoner s lives.Iam a probation officer working in Court.Of course Barristers are not in the least like this rather marvellous protagonist ...if only..but a good light read and sans gore.I read this authors other book The Seventh Lamentation..totally different but so moving and humane.Recomend both books...and I never write reviews usually.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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A great listen!

Very engaging story and superb narration. More than one mystery to solve and a protagonist you want to hear more of.

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Hope this is first of a series!

Really pleased to have found this author and only did so because Daniel Weyman is one of my favourite narrators. It's a well-plotted story with very convincing court scenes and an intriguing main character. Some questions about him still to be answered, so hoping that there'll be a follow-up!

Recommend this book to anyone who likes legal dramas and complex characters. As always, extremely well interpreted by Daniel Weyman, who has a real gift for bringing stories to life.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

An intriguing and gripping court-room drama

I have a penchant for court-room dramas and this one kept me gripped such that I devoured most of it in one day. I don’t recall ever coming across a novel that has an ex-con becoming a barrister. First we get the background to William Benson’s life and how he ended up in prison and then through hard graft became a barrister. It’s after this introduction, to what I hope will be a series, that the court-room drama really takes off and the tense to and fro of prosecution and defence takes off. The listener is kept on tenter-hooks for hours as the balance between possible guilt or innocence is played out.

I really enjoyed this book and, on the strength of top reviewer Simon’s recommendation, have down-loaded the follow-up novel Blind Defence, that has just been published.

The narrator adds to the pleasure of the book by his admirable ability to give the characters different voices.

6 of 7 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Simply riveting

Brilliant from start to finish, always a surprise and a twist at every turn. Superbly narrated each character clearly defined, with so many accents!!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Linda
  • London, United Kingdom
  • 15-03-18

Excellent

Thoroughly enjoyable listen. This is a mix of William Benson's own tale alongside that of the accused he is so admirably defending. With our hero an ex convict himself it's certainly something a little bit different and tantalisingly leaves some questions unanswered. I found this impossible to put down and only didn't give it 5 stars on every front because I felt the end rambled a little in comparison to the tightly written bulk of the book. I would certainly recommend downloading - and I for one am looking forward to that 2nd instalment that's waiting to be released.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful