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Tuesday, 17 July 2018

‘The Aladdin Trial’ by Abi Silver

Published by Lightning Books,

28 June 2018.
ISBN: 978-1-78563075-0 (PB)

The body of an artist, Barbara Hennessy, who had entered hospital for an operation on a bunion, is found on the ground outside the London hospital.  The suspicion is that she was pushed from a high window.  The cleaner at the hospital, a Syrian refugee called Ahmad Qabbani, is arrested for her murder.   Constance Lamb is asked to be his lawyer when the police want to ask questions about the case - he mistrusts any police questioning.

Constance Lamb enlists Judith Burton to help in formulating a defence.  The Press has already decided on his guilt and he does little to counteract their stories.  He and his wife, Aisha, are obviously suffering from a trauma - he has attacks of uncontrollable shaking when stressed and she refuses to speak.

The information that Constance and Judith unearth reveals a great deal about Barbara’s family and her lawyer and about Ahmad’s past.  They also find some anomalies in the stories of hospital staff.  The tale climaxes in a dramatic trial process.  The building up of evidence in court is very well shown and the trails that lead to an accurate idea about Barbara’s death are well traced.

A title with a teasing reference to events in the story!
Reviewer: Jennifer S. Palmer
This is the second legal thriller about Constance and Judith.

Abi Silver grew up with a house full of books and was inspired from an early age to believe she could join the ranks of her heroes.  Abi accepts that she probably could not have produced The Pinocchio Brief without her experience as a lawyer to guide her along the way.  She says being a lawyer is just like being a detective, often required to construct the whole jigsaw puzzle of a client’s case from its constituent pieces.  Also, being a good judge of character too; the motivation behind people’s actions (which must be gleaned from their words and conduct) is key to understanding what really happened and why. Abi read Law at Girton College Cambridge before wanderlust sent her off travelling through Asia, Australia and South America as a student.  She also lived overseas in Israel for 5 years. Abi now lives in Radlett, Hertfordshire with her husband and three sons. 

Jennifer Palmer Throughout my reading life crime fiction has been a constant interest; I really enjoyed my 15 years as an expatriate in the Far East, the Netherlands & the USA but occasionally the solace of closing my door to the outside world and sitting reading was highly therapeutic. I now lecture to adults on historical topics including Famous Historical Mysteries.

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