The bestselling barrister is back—and ready to take on his most timely case yet
When Rumpole and the Penge Bungalow Murders—John Mortimer’s first Rumpole novel ever—debuted last year, devoted fans came to it in droves. Now, just in time for Christmas, Mortimer returns with another Rumpole novel to tackle a truly relevant topic with his signature wit and style.
While defending a mind-numbingly dull theft charge, Rumpole finds that the new terrorist laws have hamstrung his beloved courts. Meanwhile, a Pakistani doctor has been imprisoned without charge or trial under suspicion of aiding al Qaeda in its plans for a terrorist attack. With the doctor’s wife begging him to help her husband, the Great Defender is determined to bring the case before a jury.
Trouble is also brewing at home as Hilda—She Who Must Be Obeyed—sits down to write her own memoirs describing her view of Rumpole and her own love life. Rumpole’s battle on the home front threatens to derail his case but where there’s a Rumpole, there’s a way!
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John Mortimer is a playwright, novelist, and former practicing barrister who has written many film scripts as well as stage, radio, and television plays, the Rumpole plays, for which he received the British Academy Writer of the Year Award, and the adaptation of Evelyn Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited. He is the author of twelve collections of Rumpole stories and three acclaimed volumes of autobiography.From Booklist:
*Starred Review* Mortimer expanded his Rumpole range from short story to novel form with Rumpole and the Penge Bungalow Murders in 2004. In this, the second full-scale Rumpole novel, Mortimer launches an all-out attack on Britain's Anti-Terror Act, which he characterizes as aiding and abetting terrorists by doing away with the hard-won rule of law. Rumpole's disturbing encounters with the devastations of the Anti-Terror Act come through his bread-and-butter connection with the Timsons, the criminal family who, through the years, has sought Rumpole for their defense. A distant Timson relative now comes to Rumpole. This woman is married to a Pakistani doctor who has been imprisoned on suspicion of terrorism. Rumpole's attempts to free this man are met with horror from Rumpole's wife ("She Who Must Be Obeyed"), disapproval from his colleagues at 4 Equity Court, and disavowal from the Timsons, who drop him as their QC of choice. Rumpole, reduced to offering advice at the Free Legal Clinic, pursues his client's right to a fair trial even as he battles his own doubts about the accused. All the usual Rumpolean marvels of language and characterization are here, with the addition of searing social commentary on racial prejudice and Britain's current government. A bracing, upsetting, inspiring David-and-Goliath Rumpole. Connie Fletcher
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