Calling Down the Storm

Calling Down the Storm

The Fifth Ben Schroeder Novel

April 1971. When DI Webb and DS Raymond respond to a 999 call at Harpur Mews in Bloomsbury, a horrific scene awaits them. Susan Lang is lying on the ground, bleeding to death. Her husband Henry is sitting nearby, holding a large, blood-stained knife. In shock, Henry claims to have no memory of the events that led to his wife’s death, leaving his barrister, Ben Schroeder, little with which to defend a potential murder charge.

Unbeknownst to his strict Baptist wife, Deborah, Justice Rainer has a secret life as a gambler. In his desperation for money to fund his habit, he has already raided his own and Deborah’s resources, and now he has crossed another line – one from which there is no return.

To his horror, as the trial of Henry Lang starts, Rainer discovers a sinister connection between the trial and his gambling debts which could cause his world to unravel. In a rare case in which the judge is in greater peril than the defendant on trial, both Lang and Rainer have called down the storm on their own heads. Their lives are on the line, and time is running out…

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Publisher: No Exit Press

Publication Date: 29th June 2017

PB ISBN: 978-1-84344-673-6

Format: B (198 X 129mm)

Extent: 416pp

Price: £8.99

CRITICAL ACCLAIM for Calling Down the Storm

I enjoyed this book - the twists and turns in the plot were really good, and the story was well put together. I would definitely choose another book by this author.- Julie Hosford, Netgalley [read the full review]
In the pages of this novel, notorious historical figures like Lord Lucan rub shoulders with the complex characters of Murphy’s fictional legal world: the clients and lawyers, the police and expert witnesses, and above all of them, the judge. There is time, too, to discuss the subtleties of psychology and the ethics of legal privilege, in a story in which the patient workings of justice compete with the gathering storm of a bloody tragedy. - Paul Magrath, Barrister [read the full review]

What an interesting idea for a plot – this blurb had me hooked from the second I saw the press release! How great that the judge in a murder trial is almost as criminal as those he presides over in his courtroom!?- Emma The Little Book Worm [read the full review]
The writing is competent and confident. - Gill Chedgey , NudgeBooks.com [read the full review]

READER REVIEWS FOR CALLING DOWN THE STORM

Utterly compelling, fascinating, surprising and downright wonderful. - Joan Alston, Read More
Wow I have actually been blown away by Calling Down the Storm. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and there was enough conclusion at the end to satisfy the case, with just a hint of 'what happened next?' - thepageturnersbookblog Read More
Calling Down The Storm is a steady and intriguing read. The author certainly knows how to captivate his audience and would certainly recommend that readers give it a go - Sarah Hardy, By the Letter Book Reviews Read More
I loved the flow of the narrative and how one chapter just lead to another…..A good old fashioned legal thriller that we don’t see enough of nowadays! I was sucked into the drama until the final verdict. - Jo Robertson, MyChestnut Reading Tree Read More
I was in heaven with this book, if I could have given it more stars I would. What a brilliant courtroom drama - Cheryl Bellingham, NetGalley Read More
Exceedingly engaging police procedural that turns into much more than that: what looks like cut and dried crime turns out far more complicated. The story unravels into. complexity after it seems a man has killed his wife, fighting over custody. But we learn more about her character and back ground and shady figures emerge. In court, it becomes apparent much was going on .. figures in the courtroom at highest level seem implicated. Great shocking ending with twists and turns years later .. really much more than immediately expected by plain straightforward, adept strong writing; good value - Leslie Gardner, NetGalley Read More

I loved the flow of the narrative and how one chapter just lead to another…..A good old fashioned legal thriller that we don’t see enough of nowadays! I was sucked into the drama until the final verdict.

- Jo Robertson, MyChestnut Reading Tree Read More

I received this book free from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for a fair and honest review. Written by Peter Murphy and published by No Exit Press in 2017, this starts out looking like a traditional British police procedural, but that changes quickly. The story begins with the stabbing, in the middle of the day and on a public street, of an estranged wife by her husband. It then quickly morphs into a description of the private life of a barrister who wears silk (Queen’s Counsel — QC), and who develops a serious gambling problem before becoming a judge who will eventually preside in the trial of the accused husband. A third minor thread deals with the barristers who will handle both sides of the murder case.

The setting is London in 1971. The author goes into a great amount of detail regarding the gambling habits and sex life of the QC who later becomes a judge, and the story’s dialogues are accurate depictions of the way lawyers speak — especially in courtrooms. English speakers who reside in any one of the countries that share the British legal system will probably have no trouble following the story line, but Americans might not find it so easy. Barristers and solicitors might be unfamiliar to Americans, but not to anybody acquainted with the British legal system. This isn’t the place for a lesson on the subject, but a simplistic explanation for Americans might be that barristers are akin to trial lawyers in the United States, and solicitors are like lawyers who practice law and deal with clients, but do not present cases in courtrooms. The role of barristers in the UK has changed, and this is probably why the author set the book in 1971.

Mr. Murphy did his research well. The gambling game that gets the judge into trouble (Chemin de Fer) is presented accurately, as is the real Clermont Club where the gambling takes place. There really is a Clermont Club in London, and the author actually visited it while writing the book. There really is a game called Chemin de Fer, and it is the forerunner of the game we now call Baccarat. The dialogue and events described in the book are very detailed and realistic.

The three major plot lines come together seamlessly before the end of the book, and the author is careful to tie up loose ends. The ending will come as a surprise to many. It did to me. On the negative side, there was a bit too much unnecessary detail that could certainly have been omitted without detracting from the story. Some of the dialog is repetitious. Some of the details of the judge’s sexcapades could have been omitted without seriously detracting from the story. All in all, however, I very much enjoyed the book and would recommend to anybody who might like a realistic British legal story with a touch of murder.

- Richard Clemmons, NetGalley Read More
The first time I can remembering a book giving me a physical jolt. A 6 star book! Peter Murphy is now definitely one of my must read author - Roy Brocklebank, Amazon Read More
April 1971. When DI Webb and DS Raymond respond to a 999 call at Harper Mews in Bloomsbury, a horrific scene awaits them. Susan Lang is lying on the ground, bleeding to death. Her husband Henry is sitting nearby, holding a large, blood-stained knife. In shock, Henry claims to have no memory of the events that led to his wife’s death, leaving his barrister, Ben Schroeder, little with which to defend a potential murder charge.Unbeknownst to his strict Baptist wife, Deborah, Justice Rainer has a secret life as a gambler. In his desperation for money to fund his habit, he has already raided his own and Deborah’s resources, and now he has crossed another line - one from which there is no return.To his horror, as the trial of Henry Lang starts, Rainer discovers a sinister connection between the trial and his gambling debts which could cause his world to unravel. In a rare case in which the judge is in greater peril than the defendant on trial, both Lang and Rainer have called down the storm on their own heads.Their lives are on the line, and time is running out. This was a fantastic read with brilliant characters. Full of twists and plots. I had a feeling there would be a twist. But I had no idea it would be that. 5*. - Sue Wallace, NetGalley Read More
Firstly this is book 5 in a series- I enjoyed the mix of legal and spy story set in the 1970s. A superbly atmospheric read, perhaps I would have enjoyed more by reading the earlier books, but nonetheless really entertaining, very visual in a way, I could see this as a TV drama! Well written and well paced you can't ask more from a thriller! - Karen L-J, NetGalley Read More
Brilliant book, would recommend! - George Ladds, NetGalley Read More