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Although Audible is not listing it as such, "Blind Justice " is a William Monk story, the 19th in the series. The story focuses primarily on Monk and Hester's friend, Oliver Rathbone, former brilliant barrister who has recently been elevated to the Bench.
The case being heard in Judge Rathbone 's court is a charge of fraud brought against a minister for pressing his parishioners to give large sums to provide food and housing to the homeless, primarily those in Africa, and then pocketing most of the money. After hearing the prosecution's case, Rathbone is sure the man is guilty. However, the defense produces a persuasive witness to discredit the prosecution witntsses by painting them to be feeble minded, naive and unbalanced. Rathbone realizes that he has incriminating evidence in his possession which would totally discredit this defense witness. Because he feels so strongly about the wrongs done to the fraud victims, all in the name of God, Rathbone turns the evidence over to the prosecuting barrister without notifying the defense. The witness changes his story and it is clear that the case will end in a guilty verdict.
Rathbone is arrested the next day for "perverting the course of justice, " and the remainder of the story concerns Rathbone's trial and Monk and Hester's search for any evidence which might mitigate Rathbone's act. It is clear that Rathbone is guilty of the charge against him, so they can only hope to find information that could lesson the punishment by keeping him out of prison.
Many of Anne Perry's books have plots which depend on an investigation, a criminal trial, and a verdict as the climax. Rather like a Victorian Law & Order UK. It is often during the trials that the most dramatic moments occur. I enjoy these fictional trials as a type of puzzle, trying to figure out how the trial will get turned on its head to reach the desired verdict.
As a former law professional, I must warn those who don't know (if there are any) that you sometimes need to suspend disbelief when it comes to the technical aspects of the criminal courts in these books. For me the enjoyment of the puzzle, the well-drawn characters and the masterful depiction of Victorian London make the suspension well worth while. And, of course, the superlative narration by Davina Porter doubles the pleasure.
23 of 23 people found this review helpful
Would you try another book from Anne Perry and/or Davina Porter?
I read all of Anne Perry's Victorian mysteries. I enjoy Davina Porter's layered and intense performance and would listen to another of her readings.
What was your reaction to the ending? (No spoilers please!)
I expected it.
What about Davina Porter’s performance did you like?
I like her voice and her accent. She adds atmosphere, interest and tension to the book.
Was Blind Justice worth the listening time?
It isn't one of her best. There is little investigation. The legal story is a bit dull. The internal monologues are interminable and repetitive. I don't regret listening to the book. I like the characters. I love Scuff. I am happy that Hester, Monk and Scuff are a family.
Any additional comments?
I look forward to the next book.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful