2019 · Blog Tour · Book review

Beyond Reasonable Doubt by Gary Bell @garybellqc @BloomsburyRaven @EmmaFinnigan @damppebbles

I have the great pleasure of sharing my review today for Beyond Reasonable Doubt by Gary Bell as part of the blog tour. Huge thanks go to Emma at Damppebbles Blog Tours for the invite and Bloomsbury Raven for the copy of the book.

About the book

Elliot Rook QC is one of the greatest barristers of his generation. 

He is also a complete fraud.


Elliot Rook is the epitome of a highly successful, old Etonian QC. Or so everyone believes. In fact, he is an ex-petty criminal with a past that he has spent decades keeping secret. Until now.


An unidentified young woman of Middle Eastern origin has been found murdered on the outskirts of Rook’s home town. Billy Barber – a violent football hooligan and white-supremacist – is accused of her murder. Barber insists that Rook must defend him. If Rook refuses, Barber will expose him, bringing crashing to the ground the life and career that Rook has spent his life building.


The truth is there for the finding. But at what cost?


The start of a thrilling new legal series, perfect for fans of Robert Galbraith and The Secret Barrister, written by an acclaimed QC.

Beyond Reasonable Doubt is available to purchase now – Amazon UK | Amazon US

My thoughts

Elliot Rook is a respected QC but he has a troubled past and it’s a past he would like to remain hidden. Billy Barber is an old acquaintance of Elliots and when Billy is accused of murdering a young woman Elliot finds himself blackmailed into defending the violent and racist Billy. With only two weeks to prepare for the trial Elliot and his assistant, Zara Barnes, have a difficult job on their hands investigating what happened the night the girl was killed. Billy has no alibi but claims his innocence, so what did happen that night?

It’s been absolutely ages since I read a legal drama/thriller and if I remember correctly I didn’t particularly enjoy it, it was quite boring which put me off a bit but when I read the description for Beyond Reasonable Doubt I got that little thrill you get when you know it’s going to be good and I have to say this was a cracker.

Elliot Rook is a great character, he’s still not come to terms with the break down of his marriage and his divorce, he likes the drink a bit too much and his work seems to be the only stable thing in his life so when Zara becomes his junior assistant she brings a breath of fresh air along with her. Zara is of mixed race, shes bright, enthusiastic and from Elliot’s home town and he sees a bit of his younger self in her. She may not quite fit in but she has a determination and passion to succeed.

I thoroughly enjoyed Beyond Reasonable Doubt, it held my attention from beginning to end and I devoured it. It’s very different to any legal thrillers I’ve read before and it’s a very exciting start to a new series. I have absolutely no idea about the legal system but this was easy to follow and I liked how the author really gave you an insight into what goes on behind the scenes.

This is a book that I’ll definitely be recommending and I can’t wait for the next in the series.

Follow the tour

About the author

Born into a coal mining family, Gary Bell QC left school without any qualifications and was an apprentice mechanic, fork lift truck driver, production line worker, builder, fireman and door-to-door salesman, as well as a notorious football hooligan, before being arrested for fraud aged 18. After a brief stint in prison he set off to seek fame and fortune abroad and, after two years drifting around Europe ended up penniless and homeless. He next enrolled in a FE College to study his O and A levels, and then went on to study law as a mature student at Bristol University where he ‘became’ an Old Etonian. After graduating he spent a year as a litigation lawyer in Beverly Hills before coming back to England to become a barrister. He has spent over thirty years at the Bar, specialising in defending in major fraud and murder trials, becoming a QC in 2012. Always on the look out for challenges and opportunities he has also been an award winning stand-up comedian; an after-dinner speaker (when at University he won several national debating competitions and was runner up in the World’s Humorous Debating Competition at Princeton); he has learned to fly a plane, hosted his own TV show (the Legalizer) on BBC1; writes regularly for national newspapers; has a column in The Spectator and wrote his best-selling autobiography, Animal QC.

Connect with Gary Bell on Twitter

One thought on “Beyond Reasonable Doubt by Gary Bell @garybellqc @BloomsburyRaven @EmmaFinnigan @damppebbles

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