The first three quarters of this book was gripping. To borrow the blurb, James, a high-profile politician becomes embroiled in a torrid affair, breaks it off, and is accused by his lover of rape. The prosecutor, Kate, takes the case seriously – with good reason as we find out. James’s wife, Sophia, is distraught, and faced with the choice between being a faithful wife to a philandering husband, or abandoning him and all his prestige brings.
This was gripping stuff. The characters were engaging, and the premise was all too believable. Just to add to the mix, James was one of England’s clique of Oxford PPE graduates – a clique that dominates England’s political life on both sides of the House of Commons in real life – and the sense of entitlement was a nice element to have in the background.
Where the book fell down was the courtroom itself. There is an old adage amongst barristers that you should never ask a question unless you know the answer, and it seemed both Kate and James’s defence counsels had taken this to heart. The courtroom drama was almost entirely lacking in drama.
And then we came to the final quarter – and this was where the book left me high and dry. For the preceding 225 pages, there had been a build up to the big reveal which would land James in it. The big reveal was, for me, a very damp squib. Believable, but nothing that would destroy a career, and nothing that an able political spin-master couldn’t get James out of.
Be that as it may, it was an entertaining three-evening read on the sofa.