Brogan McLane, may have come from the wrong side of the tracks, but after many years of university education and legal training he joins the most prestigious club in Scotland; The Faculty of Advocates in Parliament House.
He may not have had an easy time being accepted but his life and career are on the line when he is accused of the murder of a High Court Judge, Lord Aldounhill. On bail and with his career on hold McLane contacts his old friends to help find the truth about Lord Aldounhill’s murders. They come across Russian controlled transvestites clubs, and reveal corruption at Parliament House, but every time they keep coming up against obstacles.
Can McLane save his career when the real killer is protected by those in high places?
The Trial is the first book in The Parliament House Series by John Mayer, an Advocate in The Supreme Courts of Scotland himself. His knowledge and expertise are evident in his writing. There is legal language but John Mayer does include a reference to these at the beginning of the book so you don’t have to worry if you forget something or want to double check. About half way through the book there is a lovely section that shows the reader the places mentioned in the book, this adds to the pleasure of reading the book as you can relate the characters better to their setting.
The plot follows Brogan McLane in his quest to clear his name in a murder for which he is being made a scape goat. McLane is a fascinating character in that he has made a successful career in a profession that doesn’t accept someone from his background. He may be an Advocate but he doesn’t forget his roots and it is these roots that play a big part in helping him. The use of the Scottish dialect adds realism and grit to this book, and the characters.
As a character I grew to like Brogan McLane, he has a padding for his job and for justice to be done. He doesn’t really fit in at Parliament House, he is not a member of the old boys club, and probably never will be, but that is what makes him stand out and likeable; lets face it we all like the underdog in a book. I will be interested to see how his character grows through the other books in the series. I also liked his wife, Joanne, who seems the complete opposite to him; she is delicate and quite reserved and very reliant on her husband. I am led to believe that there are also prequel books that show McLane’s life prior to his calling to the Bar.
I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed The Trial, it was really drawn into the plot, it was pacy, with plenty of twists and turns to keep you on your toes and memorable characters. If you love a crime/legal novel, I can highly recommend this book and I look forward to reading the next book in the series, The Order.