About the Book
When Charlie Walden took on the job of Resident Judge of the Bermondsey Crown Court, he was hoping for a quiet life. But he soon finds himself struggling to keep the peace between three feisty fellow judges who have very different views about how to do their job, and about how Charlie should do his.
And as if that’s not enough, there’s the endless battle against the ‘Grey Smoothies’, the humourless grey-suited civil servants who seem determined to drown Charlie in paperwork and strip the court of its last vestiges of civilisation.
No hope of a quiet life then for Charlie, and there are times when his real job – trying the challenging criminal cases that come before him – actually seems like light relief.
I would like to thank the publisher for the copy received.
I read a lot of crime fiction, some of which is court based, but I have never read a book where the main character is a judge. Where There is Smoke is the first of six cases that features Charlie and I enjoyed every minute of it. Whilst there is the storyline featuring the case, which involves an arson attack on a church, I felt that the aim of this novella was to introduce the reader to all of the different characters which feature.
All of the judges have differing views on how their job should be done and what sentences should be given. Charlie is the one who decides which judge gets which case and also has to answer to the ‘grey smoothies’ who are intent on making the job harder than it need to be. As well as the court staff we also get to meet Charlie’s wife, the Reverend. I expect to see quite a lot of her in future books and it is easy to see who wears the trousers in their house.
You do see the entire case go through the court system and it is intriguing, but I enjoyed meeting everybody much more. I’m looking forward to reading the full novel soon.