CRIME | Daily Mail Online


CRIME

A successful young female black barrister from a Caribbean background, Lee Mitchell is making a name for hersel

A successful young female black barrister from a Caribbean background, Lee Mitchell is making a name for hersel

CRIME

UNTIL PROVEN INNOCENT 

by Nicola Williams (Hamish Hamilton £14.99, 320pp)

A successful young female black barrister from a Caribbean background, Lee Mitchell is making a name for herself at the criminal bar when she is persuaded, against her better judgment, to defend a notoriously corrupt, racist white Met police sergeant, Jack Lambert.

He is accused of killing a local black pastor’s 15-year-old son. The crime takes place in her part of South London, a place where she considers herself a member of the community.

Everyone is convinced that Lambert is guilty, including his own senior officer, DCI Danny Wallace. Inevitably, the slogan ‘Black Lives Matter’ is reverberating around the streets of an area known as ‘Lower Rick’. But nothing is quite what it seems as the case comes to trial — for it emerges the pastor’s other son is a notorious drug dealer.

Written by a black barrister who worked in crime and is now a part-time Crown Court judge, it oozes authenticity, honesty and grit.

Set in the wake of a fatal arson attack at St Sebastian's School in New Orleans, run by the Sisters of the Sublime Blood, this striking debut features a nun with an exotic past

Set in the wake of a fatal arson attack at St Sebastian’s School in New Orleans, run by the Sisters of the Sublime Blood, this striking debut features a nun with an exotic past

SCORCHED GRACE 

by Margot Douaihy (Pushkin £9.99, 320pp)

Set in the wake of a fatal arson attack at St Sebastian’s School in New Orleans, run by the Sisters of the Sublime Blood, this striking debut features a nun with an exotic past who turns herself into a detective.

Sister Holiday is a gay former punk rocker who still has the tattoos to prove it, which is why the Mother Superior insists on her wearing gloves to cover them. She has only been a member of the order for a year and has yet to take her final vows, but feels she can solve the mystery while the police struggle to do so.

A second blaze claims the life of a fellow nun, and Sister Holiday becomes ever more determined to discover who is targeting the order and its school, and turns to her knowledge from her former life, becoming a modern-day Marlowe in the process — in spite of her nun’s habit.

Fast, cynical and funny, it is the first of a string of stories designed to feature the punk Sister, which has ‘television series’ written all over it. We will see much more of her, and she’s worth it.

This striking debut from the Sweden-based Curran, who has written television tie-ins in the past, grabs the reader from the very first page — and never lets go

This striking debut from the Sweden-based Curran, who has written television tie-ins in the past, grabs the reader from the very first page — and never lets go

I KNOW WHO YOU WERE 

by Nick Curran (Constable £18.99, 304pp)

This striking debut from the Sweden-based Curran, who has written television tie-ins in the past, grabs the reader from the very first page — and never lets go.

Alex and Morven seem to have the perfect life, alongside Poppy, their ten-year- old daughter, when, quite suddenly, Morven disappears without an explanation. Why would she do that? Has she been abducted, or even worse? Alex is horrified, but determined to find his beloved wife, no matter what it takes. But then the police arrive and he discovers that Morven has never been what she appeared.

She was given a false identity after the deaths of two young children, and has been living a lie ever since.

Alex is not deterred for a moment and embarks on a personal hunt for her.

So begins a gripping race against time that sees him unearth all manner of secrets but never lose hope. Written with enormous panache and gentle empathy, it ratchets up the tension repeatedly before exploding into a grandstand heart-stopping finale.



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