John Fairfax, Summary Justice, October!

Reminder #1: We’ll be discussing the John Fairfax novel, Summary Justice, the first two weeks of October — you have all of this month to buy and read it. In the third week of October, we’ll start in on the second Benson and de Vere courtroom drama, Blind Defence, and begin speculating about the third, Forced Confessions, that will be published in March 2020.

Why? Please read my explanation from late last month: ‘What to Read While Waiting for Strike5.’ In short, the book is written by a renowned novelist under a transparent pseudonym and has quite a few ‘striking’ similarities to the Cormoran and Robin murder mysteries.

Here is the book blurb from the publishers:

The last time Tess de Vere saw William Benson she was a law student on work experience. He was a twenty-one year old, led from the dock of the Old Bailey to begin a life sentence for murder. He’d said he was innocent. She’d believed him.

Sixteen years later Tess overhears a couple of hacks mocking a newcomer to the London Bar, a no-hoper with a murder conviction, running his own show from an old fishmonger’s in Spitalfields. That night she walks back into Benson’s life. The price of his rehabilitation – and access to the Bar – is an admission of guilt to the killing of Paul Harbeton, whose family have vowed revenge. He’s an outcast. The government wants to shut him down and no solicitor will instruct him.

But he’s subsidised by a mystery benefactor and a desperate woman has turned to him for help: Sarah Collingstone, mother of a child with special needs, accused of slaying her wealthy lover. It’s a hopeless case and the murder trial, Benson’s first, starts in four days. The evidence is overwhelming but like Benson long ago, she swears she’s innocent. Tess joins the defence team, determined to help Benson survive. But as Benson follows the twists and turns in the courtroom, Tess embarks upon a secret investigation of her own, determined to uncover the truth behind the death of Paul Harbeton on a lonely night in Soho.

True to life, fast-paced and absolutely compelling, Summary Justice introduces a new series of courtroom dramas featuring two maverick lawyers driven to fight injustice at any cost.

When I wrote this post, the best prices for Summary Justice were $4.65 for the hardcover at and $3.65 for the paperback on eBay, and, yes, those prices include shipping and handling. Go to and search for either US or UK bookstores to find the best price today. Or download the Audible audiobook for $14 and change. Or just go buy it at your local bricks and mortar bookstore — time’s a’wastin’!


  1. Louise Freeman says

    Ordering first as we speak. Need new selections for my commute.

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