Crime of Privilege by Walter Walker

crime of privilegePower corrupts…

😀 😀 😀 😀 😀

When Assistant DA George Becket is asked for help by the father of a murdered girl, he finds himself up against not only one of the most powerful families in the state but also his own guilt about an episode he helped cover up in his past.

This is a thoughtful legal thriller, more Turow than Grisham, and with some echoes of the world of The Great Gatsby – a parallel the author himself hints at; a world where the powerful use their position, patronage and wealth to protect themselves from the consequences of their actions; a world where corruption distorts every part of the system.

George is a flawed hero and knows it. As he finds more and more people whose silence has been bought to cover up a crime, he knows that he is no better than they are. And he knows that if he succeeds in finding evidence of guilt, he will be putting his own future, and perhaps even his life, at risk. But will his conscience allow him to make the same mistake he made once before? Or by finding the truth will he also find some form of personal redemption?

Walter Walker
Walter Walker

Written in the first person, we see the story through George’s eyes. His character is very well drawn as a fairly ordinary person struggling as much with his own weaknesses as with the corrupt world he inhabits, and struggling too to know whom he can trust. Well written and thought-provoking in its look at how power corrupts, the book also has plenty of action and humour to keep the story moving along. An enjoyable and interesting read and one that will encourage this reader to backtrack to the author’s previous work – highly recommended.

NB This book was provided for review by the publisher.

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14 thoughts on “Crime of Privilege by Walter Walker

  1. It does indeed sound like a good ‘un. I always like sleuths who are normal (if can put it that way) people, who have their own strengths and needs, just like the rest of us. And I do like the kind of thoughtful legal novel that Turow writes. Glad you enjoyed this and thanks for sharing.

    • Yes, ‘normal’ sleuths are so much more believable than the superhuman ones that show up in some thrillers, and it’s much easier to empathise with people when we’re allowed to see their weaknesses too.

  2. Gatsby is coming up in one of my reading groups in September so I may well put this to one side marked to be read as a companion piece and see just what the commonalities are.

    • I’ll be interested to see your take on it. For me , it was the power and corruption aspects that echoed, rather than the glitz and superficiality. It’s not as obviously Gatsby-ish as Rules of Civility though – I couldn’t read that one without seeing Jay Gatsby in my head. Have you read it? I enjoyed it a lot but couldn’t help making comparisons and in the end that worked to the detriment of RoC.

  3. This theme rings so true. I met a woman of “privilege” a little while ago. She told me how she had gotten a traffic ticket, driving something like 40mph over the speed limit and then going through a stoplight. It was a “first offense,” so she could get the ticket dismissed if she took a safe driving class. She agreed to do that and then had her personal assistant take the class. Interesting, eh? Makes my blood boil.

    Yes, Gatsby is coming up quite a bit. Perhaps I will have to do the same.

    • Try living in a monarchy! Nice though our lovely new Princess Kate seems to be, I just can’t get my head round why we’re suddenly all expected to curtsey to her! Not that I’m suggesting she’s corrupt (just checking my head is still firmly attached to my shoulders, there) but it shows our society hasn’t really moved very far towards equality. It’s the differences when they get caught breaking the law that get me – the ‘working-classes’ get stuffed into Victorian prisons where they can learn 100 new ways to commit crime, while the upper-classes go to ‘open’ prisons, which seem to be like a form of country club stuffed with accountants and business men, and then come out and make a fortune writing books about prison reform. Grrr!

      • Yes. It is maddening. The poor to middle class get “railroaded” and do their time while the rich pay the authorities to lose their glasses and print ‘get out of jail free’ cars.

        • Ernest Saunders is my favourite. Head of the Guinness company, he got banged up for manipulating share prices (and making himself a fortune in the process). Once inside, it was ‘discovered’ he had Alzheimer’s so he was released on compassionate grounds. Miraculously, he was then cured of this incurable condition! That was in 1991 and he’s had a happy and lucrative little career ever since as a business consultant and company director…

    • You can’t possibly be thick – you’re a professor!! However I do question the wisdom of kissing Bob unexpectedly…make sure you’re wearing safety goggles.

      Your chuckling smiley 😆 impressed me so much that I’m thinking I’ll go back and redo my rating for Three Men in a Boat as 5 chucklies instead of boring old smileys.

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