A Matter for the Jury
It is 1964 and Ben Schroeder, first introduced in A Higher Duty, is building his career at the Bar; juggling the demands of different challenging cases, while trying to allow a little romance into his life.
Ben is already defending a vicar, accused of indecent assault on a choir boy, when he is plunged into a capital murder case. The accused is Billy Cottage, charged with murder after a frenzied attack on a young courting couple aboard a houseboat. The young man, Frank Gilliam, dies in the attack, while his girlfriend, Jennifer Doyce, is raped and seriously injured. The attacker steals a gold cross and chain from Jennifer, which makes the crime a capital offence.
When the police recover the cross and chain from Billy’s sister, and find his fingerprint inside the houseboat, things start to look ominous. But then comes the crucial piece of evidence of his propensity to sing a particular song. To make matters worse, Ben is being led by Martin Hardcastle, an arrogant QC with a serious drinking problem.
In his fight to save Billy Cottage’s life, Ben finds that he has both the law and the facts against him; and the tide of public opinion has not yet turned against capital punishment. This novel recreates the drama and tension of a capital murder trial in England before abolition in 1965.
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A Matter for the Jury is available in paperback and ebook formats
Publisher: No Exit Press
Publication Date: 24th July 2014
PB ISBN: 978-1-84344-285-1
Format: B (198 X 129mm)
ePub ISBN: 978-1-84344-286-8
kindle ISBN: 978-1-84344-287-5
Critical Acclaim for A Matter for the Jury
In A Higher Duty Peter Murphy wrote more about the barristers themselves. Here the spotlight is on the defendants, the witnesses, the judges, and even the hangman since this is 1964 and capital murder means what it says.- David Wurtzel, Counsel Magazine [read the full review]
You have ruined the Lincolnshire Poacher for me in the same way Reservoir Dogs ruined Stuck in the Middle with You- Irene
An utterly compelling and harrowing tale of life and death- David Ambrose [read the full review]
An utterly compelling and harrowing tale of life and death. With an insider's insight Peter Murphy has recreated the intensity and drama of a capital murder trial in the early 1960's. He has dropped Ben Schroeder into a legal nightmare as he fights to save a client's life with both the law and the facts against him. This sequel to A Higher Duty is that rare thing, a genuinely good read.
One of the subplots ... delivers a huge and unexpected twist towards the end of the novel, for which I was totally unprepared- Helen Walters, Fiction Is Stranger Than Fact [read the full review]