My Review (5 stars out of 5)
High court Judge Wendy Joseph QC relates six cases that are characteristic of the many murder trials she presided over during a ten-year period at the Old Bailey. Her writing style is witty and highly intelligent, though never difficult to read or heavy handed. The six cases she covers are all very different but, in each account, she details the day-to-day machineries of the court, how English law works, the way evidence is presented, and how barristers represent their individual clients.
Each case is traumatic in different ways – from the reactions of the witnesses and their relatives to those of the jury. While Wendy Joseph’s writing is often clever and amusing, it is also filled with compassion and insight. Even so, sometimes juries do not return the verdicts she expects. The last case in this book is particularly difficult, being that of a woman who has apparently shot her husband – a man who dedicated his life to crime and violence.
A thoroughly absorbing and informative book.