Crash Course: To Hell in a Handcart
by Alan Barrington

"Serious Sam had me on my back on the bed. His free hand was on my throat, and he was squeezing the life out of me, gradually but surely."

From the mundane to the bizarre, from the golf course to the courtroom, Barrington has crafted an often-times humorous look at his life as a solicitor in the Welsh border town of Abergavenny. After forty-three years of practice, he has a lot of personal and legal situations to draw upon, and it shows.

This legal thriller begins routinely enough as Barrington is called upon in the middle of the night to the police station to represent defendant Craig Williams on a charge of armed robbery. Barrington does his due diligence by questioning his client, advising him on his best course of action, as well as examining the evidence at hand and prepping for court. Between court dates, Barrington meets with a plethora of other clients on cases ranging from drawing up a simple cohabitation agreement for a set of wills, all while doing his best to maintain a healthy relationship with his wife and children. His somewhat cynical view of things results in an amusing anecdote to life as a solicitor.

Things take a dramatic turn when Barrington is targeted in a series of assassination attempts. Whether by chance or by some rather fortuitous self-defense skills he’d picked up, Barrington eludes death each time. All of the events ultimately coalesce as Williams’ trial ensues.

Barrington’s prose is sharp and witty and instantly inviting. Readers cannot help but be amused, shocked, and thrilled as the events, and stakes, ramp up. At times, Barrington’s tongue-in-cheek, cavalier attitude in the face of deadly threats seems a bit far-fetched and you hope for a bit more realistic sense of worry and concern. Even so, you can’t help but reading on to see what happens next and who is behind the attempts on Barrington’s life.

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