#Blogtour Beyond Reasonable Doubt @garybellqc @bloomsburyraven @emmafinnegan @damppebbles #damppebblesblogtours #BeyondReasonableDoubt #EliottRookQC


Beyond Reasonable Doubt by Gary Bell    Bloomsbury Raven June 13th 2019

Elliot Rook QC is one of the greatest barristers of his generation. 

He is also a complete fraud.

Elliot Rook is the epitome of a highly successful, old Etonian QC. Or so everyone believes. In fact, he is an ex-petty criminal with a past that he has spent decades keeping secret. Until now.

An unidentified young woman of Middle Eastern origin has been found murdered on the outskirts of Rook’s home town. Billy Barber – a violent football hooligan and white-supremacist – is accused of her murder. Barber insists that Rook must defend him. If Rook refuses, Barber will expose him, bringing crashing to the ground the life and career that Rook has spent his life building.

The truth is there for the finding. But at what cost?

My Review

I so often start crime thriller novels and hope against hope that the author wouldn’t churn up the usual plotlines and characters and  I was very pleasantly surprised to discover that this novel took a differing angle and gave us some brilliant insights into the life of a Barrister or QC

What struck me most was the snobbery, and old boy network mentality, Eton and Oxford almost a prerequisite to the inner sanctum of Chambers.

Elliott Rook was the anomaly, the bad boy turned good, who never lied about his background but was somewhat economical with the truth!

Here was a recently divorced man, who drank and smoked too much and was a veritable workaholic, waiting for that kick up the backside to restart his life. The kick came in the form of Billy, a blast from his past and one that he hoped would not reappear. With no option but to represent Billy and get him off the violent murder of a young Asian girl in order to conceal his past, Rook returns to Nottingham and the town where he grew up, coming face to face with long lost friends and acquaintances.

He is joined on his quest by Zara, his junior, again not from Oxford but from his hometown and most importantly black, from a minority background. She is the perfect foil, light and airy compared to the gruff brusqueness of Rook, adding some light into what could have been a gloomy and quite depressing novel.

The story itself, was mired in racism, prostitution and the problems minority groups face in today’s society. Bell did not pull any punches, the narrative threaded with violence and darkness, however it was well placed and not there just for effect. His themes raised some interesting thought provoking questions and were obviously drawn from his own personal experience as a QC.

The court scenes could have been quite tedious, but were actually very well done filled with tension and some great drama, in fact for me it was one of the highlights of the novel.

Beyond Reasonable Doubt had all the usual ingredients of a good thriller but what raised it above the parapet, was the intelligent and informative narrative, Bells’s insights were brilliantly done, showed a world that may seem glamorous but was  filled with hardwork and graft to achieve success and results. It is not a lifestyle I myself would want but i rest assured that should I need a barrister or QC  i would be in safe hands.

I would like to thank Bloomsbury Raven for a copy of Beyond Reasonable Doubt to read and review and to Emma Welton of Damp Pebbles Blogtours fro inviting My Bookish Blogspot to participate in the blogotur.

About the

Gary Bell

Born into a coal mining family, Gary Bell QC left school without any qualifications and was an apprentice mechanic, fork lift truck driver, production line worker, builder, fireman and door-to-door salesman, as well as a notorious football hooligan, before being arrested for fraud aged 18. After a brief stint in prison he set off to seek fame and fortune abroad and, after two years drifting around Europe ended up penniless and homeless. He next enrolled in a FE College to study his O and A levels, and then went on to study law as a mature student at Bristol University where he ‘became’ an Old Etonian. After graduating he spent a year as a litigation lawyer in Beverly Hills before coming back to England to become a barrister. He has spent over thirty years at the Bar, specialising in defending in major fraud and murder trials, becoming a QC in 2012. Always on the look out for challenges and opportunities he has also been an award winning stand-up comedian; an after-dinner speaker (when at University he won several national debating competitions and was runner up in the World’s Humorous Debating Competition at Princeton); he has learned to fly a plane, hosted his own TV show (the Legalizer) on BBC1; writes regularly for national newspapers; has a column in The Spectator and wrote his best-selling autobiography, Animal QC.

Social Media:
Twitter: https://twitter.com/garybellqc

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