The Lightermen

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 23 Sep 2019

Member Reviews

This book was a bit different for me but I really enjoyed it. It is set in 1964, in London at the time of the Kray brothers. It forms part of a series, but it doesn't matter if you haven't read the other books.The main character is Charles Holborne, a barrister, who has recently lost his wife. 

There are flashbacks to the second world war and events that took place then. This reveals what happened to Charles and includes references to the Blitz and also covers members of Charles' family. This gives the book historical context and adds atmosphere.

Charles finds himself on the Kray's hitlist and is aware of someone following him and  Charles is also called upon to defend his cousin for murder. You get a good sense of the 1960s underworld. police procedure and how life was then.

A good read, lots of twists and turns, and a man fighting for his and his cousin's life. Thank you net galley for my copy.
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The Lightermen is set in London 1964, Charles Holborne a barrister is called upon unexpectedly to defend an individual charged with murder and facing the death penalty. It seems his client isn't a stranger and things go from bad to worse when Charles realises both of their lives are at risk.  Holborne has found himself on the Krays 'list'.

Can he get the verdict he wants to save his client and stay alive himself?

Holborne is a great character, he's not your usual barrister and doesn't fit in with his colleagues. 

The trial scene was fantastic, I found myself holding my breath for the verdict. 

The Lightermen is the third in the Holborne series but I didn't feel like I'd missed part of the storyline. It's such a great story, great characters and a great piece of writing. This book made me want to keep reading all the way to the end. I'll be adding the previous books to my TBR list. 

Thank you to NetGalley and Sapere Books for the opportunity to read this in exchange for my review.
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Thanks Netgalley for introducing this author. I love how he tells a story, they are well written and build the characters up in a way you feel like you know them. Holborne is a likeable character and the story kept building. Loved it
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Over the last few months I have found the Charles Holborne series by Simon Michael and thoroughly enjoyed reading the first two books in the series.

The Lightermen is the third book and like the previous ones it is another excellent legal thriller with a great cast of characters.

Set in London in 1964 Holborne not only faces challenges in the court room but he has managed to upset the Kray Twins which can seriously impact on your health. 

Holborne is a complex character with the author revealing more with each story.

This is an excellent series and The Lightermen is thoroughly recommended.
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For fans of Historical Mysteries and who are trying to fill the void after Philip Kerr’s unfortunate passing, try The Lightermen. Like Bernie Gunther, Charles Holborne is a flawed, dark and brooding main character. His life is like a rip pool and he’s trying to keep his head above water. 
Exquisitely researched, the book paints a detailed portrait of 60’s London, the East End and the River Thames. Fast paced, engaging,and entertaining, this is a book you’ll find hard to put down.
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‘All eyes in the court turn to Charles.’

London, 1964: gang warfare and police corruption are part of the landscape.  Last year, Charles Holborne won an important case: could his life be finally settling down?  He’s in touch with his estranged family, things seem to be going well with his girlfriend Sally, and his court work is picking up.  But, as readers of the last book in this series will remember, Charles has upset the Kray twins and they want revenge.  Charles’s success could be short-lived.

A chance encounter, a dock brief, leads to Charles accepting a capital case which takes him into the past. The Krays loom large, as a lighterman on trial for murder is made promises.  

‘I can’t hang twice.’

Can Charles win this case, against the odds?  And what about the Kray twins?
As in the previous novels, the courtroom scene is the highlight. Will truth be a casualty in the pursuit of justice?  

There are a few twists in this story, and to write much more about it will spoil the suspense.  Suffice to say, it ends with a cliff-hanger, which leaves me keen to read Book 4 in the series.  I’m starting to wonder just how many lives Charles Holborne has.

While the case itself is independent of the earlier books, I recommend reading them in order.  We learn more of Charles Holborne’s backstory.

Note: My thanks to NetGalley and Sapere Books for providing me with a free electronic copy of this book for review purposes.

Jennifer Cameron-Smith
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I’ve been avidly reading this historical thriller series set in 1960s London and this third book is, as ever, a compelling and interesting read.
Charles Holbourne, barrister extraordinaire, is called on to represent someone from his past who is accused of murder. Whilst trying to come to terms with his wife’s recent death and trying to mend bridges with his estranged family, Charles is forced to use all his skills to stop a death sentence being handed out to his client. He is also embarking on a new relationship with Sally, his former clerk, but although things appear to be going well, there are matters that Charles cannot discuss with Sally which leads to some major problems as the novel progresses.
Charles is trying to avoid the Kray twins who are keen to kill him as they believe he is responsible for their bent lawyer languishing in gaol. Charles has a lot on his plate!  There is much in the plot to get your head round but one thing I can say is that this book is never dull!
I enjoyed The Lightermen- I really liked the period feel of the London East End in the 1960s. This book also reveals some of Charles’s early life in the Blitz and his life on the River Thames as a Lighterman during the war. Although a native Londoner, I knew nothing about this job and lifestyle so it was interesting to read about it in the book. Simon Michael has obviously done a lot of research on this subject.
As ever there is an edge of your seat court scene and a cliff hanging end to the novel which left me desperate to read the next book in the series.
5 stars from me for this excellent legal thriller, particularly as , like any good book, it left me wanting more!
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