The Aladdin Trial by Abi Silver
|The Aladdin Trial by Abi Silver|
|Reviewer: Sophie Diamond|
|Summary: Smart, relevant, sensitive and immensely readable. An all round brilliant book.|
|Buy? Yes||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 288||Date: June 2018|
|Publisher: Lightning Books|
|External links: Author's website|
When elderly hospital patient Barbara Hennessy is found dead on the pavement outside the hospital, a police investigation is launched into whether she jumped or was pushed. Having just have surgery on her foot, there is sufficient grounds to think this was no accident, but the only suspect the police can link to the death is the hospital cleaner, a Syrian refugee, Ahmad Qabbani. Solicitor Constance Lamb and barrister Judith Burton reunite to defend Ahmad, but with an uncooperative hospital staff, Barbara's self interested children and Ahmad keeping secrets, it's going an increasingly difficult task to prove to the jury and the media, that he is innocent.
I loved this book! Silver is a wonderful writer, being a lawyer herself she obviously has a very thorough understanding of the legal system but she never once talks down to the reader or loses you in the technicalities. I haven't read Silver's first novel, where Lamb and Burton are introduced so I can't say how it follows on, but what wonderful characters. It's great to see smart, successful women taking on the real hero role of a story. I found myself willing them on as much as Ahmad.
This story is really gripping, it had me from page one. There a lots of nefarious characters, but Silver's real skill is leaving you initially unable to distinguish the 'baddies' from the characters you just don't like. I had a working theory of how this novel would play out from about half way through and I was completely wrong. I didn't see the end coming at all! Silver has woven together such a rich story with so many strands that it was really easy to follow the wrong one. It's been a while since a thriller/detective story has thrown me so much and I have to take my hat off to the author.
The media attention and subsequent abuse Ahmad receives is really sickening and sadly such an accurate reflection of our tabloids. His story is so relevant to everything going on the news and it's all so sad. Silver was clever to write Ahmad in to the story the way she did; she showed a lot of sensitivity around the topic and doesn't shy away from any of the brutality. Ahmad is on trial in court for murder and on trial in the media for being a refugee and to win his freedom it is not enough just to prove his innocence to one of them.
There isn't anything I didn't like about this book. It's relevant and meaningful, but also exciting and so easy to read. I'll be reading Silver's first book with haste and highly recommending this author to everyone I know.
To read more of Silver's work, please check out her first book The Pinocchio Brief and to read other work like this, please pick up the incredible The Widow by Fiona Barton.
Thank you to the Bookbag, the publisher and the author for my review copy.
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