The Waxwork Corpse by Simon Michael #BookReview #BlogTour #SapereBooks #5*

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The Waxwork Corpse tour poster

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A deadly crime has been dragged to the surface…

London, 1965

Charles Holborne, maverick barrister, will never fit in at the Bar; he is too working-class, too Jewish and too dangerous.

But that makes him the perfect outsider to prosecute a shocking murder case which has already made its way to the press.

By chance, a body was found, dumped in a lake. It had clearly been there for some time, but the conditions in the water have meant that it was nearly perfectly preserved.

The police have managed to match this ‘waxwork corpse’ to a missing woman and if her husband — a senior judge — was the one who killed her, the scandal threatens to rock the British justice to its foundations.

The waxwork corpse is not the only thing to be raised from the past.

The investigation also dredges up a violent mistake made by Charles in his youth which, if revealed, could put his own life at stake…

THE WAXWORK CORPSE, based on a real Old Bailey case, is the fifth crime novel in an exciting historical series, the Charles Holborne Legal Thrillers — gritty, hard-boiled mysteries set in 1960s London.

The Charles Holborne Legal Thrillers Series

Book 1: The Brief

Book 2:  An Honest Man

Book 3: The Lighterman

Book 4: Corrupted

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An Absolutely Stunning Novel!      stars 5

What a read; thrilling from beginning to end!

Charles Holborne, barrister, is taunted on a daily basis by his peers for being Jewish, working class and too damn good at his job. When a body is discovered in a lake, the powers that be approach Charles for advice on how to proceed. The corpse has been, unusually, almost perfectly preserved so now begins the process of building a case to hopefully take to court, but Charles’ attention is divided by a blast from his past – and not a very welcome one . . .

I’m ashamed to say that I read the first book in this series and have skipped the next three. I really must go back to them as this is a stunningly good read! I’m not surprised that the author was himself a barrister as his legal knowledge shines through. Many years ago I saw a film starring Glenn Close called Jagged Edge which I’ve never forgotten, and this is every bit as thrilling and exciting. The tension was palpable when the accused was giving evidence; I even missed the tv news (something I watch religiously each lunchtime) and I was on the edge of my seat until the final word. This is one novel where it isn’t all over til the fat lady sings and, trust me, she sings loudly! The story itself is very skilfully crafted, easing out the necessary information bit by bit and the writing flows beautifully. Gripping, amazing, cracking – there really aren’t enough words to sum this one up. My highest recommendation and five sparkling stars, and worth each and every one of them!

My thanks to the publisher for my copy; this is – as always – my honest, original and unbiased review.

Tags: legal thriller
  • Format: ebook, paperback
  • Size: 355 pages
  • Publisher: Sapere Books
  • Publication Date: 23 December 2019
  • Links: Goodreads
  •              amazon

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Author Bio


Simon Michael is the author of the best-selling London 1960s noir gangster series featuring his antihero barrister, Charles Holborne. Simon writes from personal experience: a barrister for 37 years, he worked in the Old Bailey and other criminal courts defending and prosecuting a wide selection of murderers, armed robbers, con artists and other assorted villainy. The 1960s was the Wild West of British justice, a time when the Krays, the Richardsons and other violent gangs fought for control of London’s organised crime, and the corrupt Metropolitan Police beat up suspects, twisted evidence and took a share of the criminal proceeds. Simon weaves into his thrillers real events of the time, the cases on which he worked and his unusual family history in the East End.

Simon was published here and in America in the 1980s and returned to writing when he retired from the law in 2016. The Charles Holborne series, The Brief, An Honest Man, The Lighterman, Corrupted and the latest, The Waxwork Corpse, have all garnered strong reviews for their authenticity and excitement.

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