The escort undid the cuff on Charles’s wrist and was about to unlock himself when Charles whirled round and with all his strength caught Bricker with a perfect right-handed uppercut on the underside of the sergeant’s chin. The blow snapped his lower jaw closed with such force that the sound was like a ceramic tile breaking.
The policeman’s eyes rolled up, his knees buckled and he dropped. Charles recognised the look from many a boxing match; Bricker was out of it. He continued in his spin and grabbed the trailing end of the handcuffs still attached to his escort. He yanked hard, spun the man around, and pulled the officer’s own arm round his throat. He heaved with all his might, and the young man gagged, his face suddenly red.
‘Don’t come anywhere near me,’ Charles said to Wheatley, ‘or I’ll break his neck!’
In the 60s London of gangsters, prejudice and terrifying gang wars, Barrister Charles Holborne spends his life dealing with the worst examples of violent criminality. After successfully winning a number of high profile cases, he is building a reputation among Soho’s criminal classes as a man who gets the job done, a reputation that doesn’t endear him to his establishment colleagues.
Yet Charles is not all he seems, and is battling both personal demons and his own past. When his philandering wife Henrietta is found with her throat slashed, Charles finds himself on the wrong side of the law and in serious trouble of the murderous kind. Arrested for her murder, can Charles discover the truth of her brutal slaying and escape the hangman’s noose?
Based upon a real case and genuine court documents, The Brief is a compelling criminal drama, and an evocative slice of sleazy glamour from the Swinging Sixties. Simon Michael delivers an addictive read for any crime fan.
“Chilling suspense and climactic surprises”
“…well out of the ordinary and far into the realms of seriously good storytelling…superlative courtroom drama…”
New Law Journal
“The court room scenes are good… entertaining”
About the author
Simon Michael was called to the Bar by the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple in 1978. In his many years of prosecuting and defending criminal cases he has dealt with a wide selection of murderers, armed robbers, con artists and other assorted villainy.
A storyteller all his life, Simon started writing short stories at school. His first novel (co-written) was published by Grafton in 1988 and was followed in 1989 by his first solo novel, The Cut Throat, the first of the Charles Holborne series, based on Simon’s own experiences at the criminal Bar. The Cut Throat was successful in the UK (WH Allen) and in the USA (St Martin’s Press) and the next in the series, The Long Lie, was published in 1992. Between the two, in 1991, Simon’s short story “Split” was shortlisted for the Cosmopolitan/Perrier Short Story Award. He was also commissioned to write two feature screenplays.
Simon then put writing aside to concentrate on his career at the Bar. After a further 25 years’ experience he now has sufficient plots based on real cases for another dozen legal thrillers.
The Brief, a reworking of The Cut Throat, now set in sleazy Soho of the 1960s, will be published in September 2015 and Simon has almost completed the next two books in the series.
Simon still practises law countrywide but now works only part-time. He lives with his wife and youngest child in Bedfordshire. He is a founder member of the Ampthill Literary Festival.