Criminal barrister Charles Holborne may have just escaped the hangman by proving he was framed for murder, but his life is now in ruins. His wife is dead, his high-flying career has morphed into criminal notoriety, and bankruptcy threatens. When the biggest brief of Charles's career unexpectedly lands on his desk, it looks as if he has been thrown a lifeline. But far from keeping him afloat, it drags him ever deeper into the shadowy underworld of 1960s London. Now, not only is his practice at stake, but his very life. Can Charles extricate himself from a chess game played from the shadows by corrupt police officers and warring gangs without once again turning to crime himself? Based on real Old Bailey cases and genuine court documents, An Honest Man is the second in the series of Charles Holborne novels by barrister, Simon Michael, set in the sleazy London of the 1960s.
Simon Michael was called to the Bar by the Honourable Society of the Middle Temple in 1978. In his many years of prosecuting and defending criminal cases he has dealt with a wide selection of murderers, armed robbers, con artists and other assorted villainy. A storyteller all his life, Simon started writing short stories at school. His first novel (co-written) was published by Grafton in 1988 and was followed in 1989 by his first solo novel, The Cut Throat, the first of the Charles Holborne series, based on Simon's own experiences at the criminal Bar. The Cut Throat was successful in the UK (WH Allen) and in the USA (St Martin's Press) and the next in the series, The Long Lie, was published in 1992. Between the two, in 1991, Simon's short story "Split" was shortlisted for the Cosmopolitan/Perrier Short Story Award. He was also commissioned to write two feature screenplays. Simon then put writing aside to concentrate on his career at the Bar. After a further 25 years' experience he now has sufficient plots based on real cases for another dozen legal thrillers. The Brief, a reworking of The Cut Throat, now set in sleazy Soho of the 1960s, will be published in September 2015 and Simon has almost completed the next two books in the series. Simon still practises law countrywide but now works only part-time. He lives with his wife and youngest child in Bedfordshire. He is a founder member of the Ampthill Literary Festival.