WITHOUT PREJUDICE by Nicola Williams


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The British legal system is adversarial, but Guyanese-born barrister Leanne Mitchell’s main enemies seem to be her clients and friends. Having just won acquittal for an obvious lowlife, she’s ready for richer fare: Clive Omartian, whose family firm stands accused of shorting the books by ú100,000, with Clive’s half-brother Hector looking daggers at prodigal son Clive and their elderly father painstakingly urging peace and unity on both of them. Every brief in England wants the case, it seems--Lee’s Head of Chambers, a scheming hack who’d take any route to an appointment as Queen’s Counsel, certainly wouldn’t turn it down--but they’re all wrong, though Lee fails to realize why until Clive’s got her in his grip. Meantime, the old school acquaintance she’s talked into reporting her rape by an ex-lover is convinced that Lee doesn’t really want justice for another black woman, and moves to take matters into her own hands. When half of Lee’s allies turn Judas and the other half suffer for their loyalty, Lee begins to wonder how she’ll ever survive her cases, let alone win any of them. Newcomer Williams deftly reveals a side of the British legal system as nasty as anything in the US: a world in which a barrister’s fondest hope is to get thrown off a high-profile case and go home to bed.

Pub Date: June 18th, 1998
ISBN: 0-312-18683-5
Page count: 256pp
Publisher: St. Martin's
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 1998