Author draws on legal career for sequel in crime series

An Honest Man by Simon Michael
An Honest Man by Simon Michael

A criminal lawyer and co-founder of the Ampthill Literary Festival has published a second book in a gripping legal series.

An Honest Man, by Simon Michael, has just been released and the author draws inspiration once again from some of his own cases to build the story.

It follows on from The Brief, the first in a series of Charles Holborne adventures and explores how easy it can be to find yourself turning to crime when playing a game with corrupt police officers, warring gangs and top-level career criminals.

Charles Holborne is back and his life is in ruins. Although acquitted of the murder of his wife, the damage done to his reputation has left his barrister’s practice in tatters. Charles may have escaped the hangman by proving he was framed, but now he’s alone, in debt and in need of a break.

Then, out of the blue, the biggest brief of his career unexpectedly lands in his lap - it looks like he’s been thrown a lifeline.

But far from keeping him afloat, the case drags him ever deeper into the shadowy underworld of the sleazy side of London in the 1960s. An Honest Man follows what happens when Charles comes into contact with major-league villains including the Kray brothers, with whom, in truth, he feels more at ease than he does his professional colleagues.

Charles finds himself drawn into a world of violence, gang warfare, corruption and vice, where it is no longer only his reputation at stake, but his very life.

Simon Michael was called to the Bar in 1978 and published his first novel in 1989. He retired this year to devote himself to full-time writing.