Book Review: The Trial by John Mayer

I was fortunate to be given a copy of this book in return for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

I have always been drawn towards law dramas from books to TV to radio plays. This book which focuses on Scottish law sounded exactly my cup of tea, although I do not pretend to have any inside knowledge of the UK legal system! I did sit in the viewing gallery of the Old Bailey as a student, but I don’t think it counts!!

When an eminent Scottish judge is found dead in suspicious circumstances, the inner circles of the law lords actively look for a suspect ahead of any police investigation. A likely candidate is found in the shape of Brogan McLane, a working-class boy from Glasgow who has succeeded in entering the elite world of the law and been called to the Bar. He will never truly fit in with the Edinburgh elite law families, nor would he want to, but this sets him apart and singles him out. He is set up for the murder and calls upon all his strength and resources from his Glaswegian upbringing as his old friends help him to uncover enemies and evidence…..no spoilers!!

I thoroughly enjoyed the fast pace of this novel and was able to hear the different voices and accents of the characters – surely an indication of just how well the book is written. It is action packed and follows many twists and turns, uncovering a seedy world that infiltrates so many walks of life. The main character Brogan is tough yet believable, and the author gives us some glimpses of his tender side in scenes with his wife and a back story about their family. Yet he is never intimidated by the powers who consider themselves to be above the law and I think that his sense of justice is what sends him some unlikely sources of help as he tries to uncover the true identity of the murderer.

The information about the law courts are supplemented part way through the book with photographs of these Scottish buildings which I found to be a nice touch, along with a glossary of legal terms to help the reader out. This is my first book by John Mayer and I will definitely be looking out for his other titles. A great intriguing crime thriller that I give 5 stars. 

Thanks to The Book Club on Facebook.

Publisher: John Mayer

Available on Amazon here:

Author Biography

John Mayer (b. 1952) was born in Glasgow, Scotland at a time of post-WW2 austerity. But in 1963 when he heard The Beatles on Radio Caroline, his life path was set. Aged 14 he walked out of school because, in his opinion, he wasn’t being well taught. Every day for the next year, in all weathers, he cycled 9 miles to and 9 miles from the Mitchell Library in central Glasgow where he devoured books of all kinds. John Mayer
While still an apprentice engineer he was soon teaching men two and three times his age.
But in the 1970s he ‘dived off a cliff’ and set out to become a Record Producer. He built his own record company trading in 14 countries. After a court battle with global giants, he went to the University of Edinburgh and became an Advocate in the Supreme Courts of Scotland. He acted for the downtrodden and desperate as well as Greenpeace International. His specialism was in fighting international child abduction.
As an author, John has written non-fiction, legal texts and articles; broadcasting to tens of millions of people on US and UK radio, TV and print media.
The Trial is the first novel in his Parliament House Books series. Set in Edinburgh, it’s an homage to Franz Kafka’s book of the same title. The Trial sees crusading Scottish Advocate, Brogan McLane, fight injustice casually delivered by Low Life in High Places in the Old Town.

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