The Pinocchio Brief

Abi Silver

£8.99, Lightning Books

This story features a machine that could make us all redundant. It can tell whether a person is lying or not. Leaving aside the obvious uses in personal relationships, we are told that this device saves the government millions in legal aid and court costs, as everyone has to tell the truth or be found out. Trials collapse and everyone is happy.

The role of such a machine is a vital part of this crime thriller and obviously… well, I will not spoil it. It is a very good courtroom story about a young schoolboy who is accused of murder, the school where the crime is set and the lawyers who defend him. The characters are well-drawn and it is a good, pacy tale. I found the most interesting part of the book to be what is going on in the head of the (probably autistic) schoolboy. There are some details which a criminal lawyer might take issue with, but this is a minor niggle. 

David Pickup is a partner at Pickup & Scott Solicitors, Aylesbury