Liberty Deller wields both a metaphorical and a real sword in her quest to uncover the truth about her father’s death in this fictional offering. Unconvinced that her dad, a partner at Warren & Hunter, committed suicide, she joins his old firm as a paralegal after learning that she would inherit £500k only if she is admitted to the roll.
Equipped with a few items left in her father’s will – an old law book, a shiny sword and a judicial robe – she comes under the wing of managing partner Lydia Bammona, who makes her life hell.
But ruthless Bammona is the least of Deller’s problems, as she recounts in her diary. A sinister group of men in black robes, who call themselves the Prohibitors and are linked to organised crime, attack Deller and demand that she hand over the book bequeathed to her by her father, The Book of Breaches. In this book, lawyer Trevor Lloyd tells Deller her father ‘logged all the material breaches of duty within the firm in there and was about to hand it over to the authorities before his death’. In fact, this book is also the roll of a secret society known as the Protectors of Justice which ‘protects justice at any cost’.
Author: Goldie Millan
Publisher: CreateSpace (£6.47)
Lloyd sheds light too on Warren & Hunter’s shady dealings with the Alexandra Group of companies, which buys and sells properties, and is ‘investing money into [Warren & Hunter] in exchange for favours’. Deller, who naively thought that ‘respect for the law would be in every lawyer’s DNA’ is determined to pick up her father’s ethical mantle. She recalls the Law Society Gazette’s tribute which said Andrew Deller’s ‘integrity was impeccable’.
Ultimately, Deller is forced to use her father’s sword to defend herself. Here the diary reads more like a fantasy adventure, which blunts the sharpness of Millan’s serious points about corruption in the profession.
While there are enough courtroom dramas and fiendish characters to keep you absorbed, Deller’s voice is not distinctive enough for a diary. Perhaps a longer book told in the third person would have been better.
Nicholas Goodman is a sub-editor at the Law Society Gazette