A Higher Duty
by Peter Murphy
Set in the 1960s, A Higher Duty is a complex tale of law, crime, passion and ambition.
We follow the fortunes of members of Bernard Wesley’s chambers throughout the book. In particular we meet Kenneth Gaskell, who lets his emotions get the better of him in a potentially disastrous way, and Ben Schroeder, a pupil whose background threatens to make him an outsider in the privileged world of the bar.
The story starts with a shocking incident which resonates throughout the book, but which you will probably feel differently about before you reach the end, and along the way touches on some dark areas of human life.
The author has had a career in the law and this shows in the richness of detail about life in chambers and in court which is threaded through the book. I liked this aspect of the book, and found the details convincing and absorbing.
A large number of significant characters carry the story and a couple of times during the reading I felt that I was being pulled in too many directions and that my ability to sympathise with all the characters was in danger of being diluted. However, in the end all the strands are pulled together successfully and do need to be there.
The author pulls off a very effective job of making the reader sympathise by the end with characters who at the beginning seem wholly unsympathetic. Again, this makes for a very satisfying read.
Overall, I recommend this as a novel for those who enjoy crime and/or law stories complete with some excellent and unexpected touches.
Many thanks to the publisher for a review copy of this book.
You can find out more and buy a copy here.