By Rama Gaind
PS News Books
Harry Curry: Counsel of Choice
By Stuart Littlemore (HarperCollins, $29.99, softcover, 291 pages)
It would be a misnomer, in part, to call this crime fiction. While Harry Curry is a criminal defence lawyer, this book is less about the crimes and more about his feats in extricating his clients off all their charges.
‘Ugly. Irascible. Intolerant. Clever.’ It doesn’t take long to realise that Curry is also one of the sharpest legal minds to grace the NSW bar. His arrogant, devil-may-care attitude masks the brains of a brilliant legal eagle, but he does not count himself to be a friend of the judiciary.
He is impertinent, easily annoyed, sensitive and totally assured that he is unbeatable. He is also a ladies’ man.
As the book opens, Curry defends himself on charges of professional misconduct—and is suspended. A beautiful young barrister accuses him of participating in a “bit of a self-inflicted bloodbath”.
He is irresistibly attractive to Arabella Engineer “tall, elegant and obviously of Indian heritage”. After she convinces him to act as her “consultant strategist”, they wreak havoc in trials across the state’s courts.
Through the sequence of five short stories, Harry Curry not only provides slight insight into law, but creates a gloomy picture of the hierarchy of the social order among Sydney’s legal fraternity that over-charge and are often found “praising themselves”.
This is not autobiographical, but Littlemore has taken the cases and placed them in Harry’s hands who is daring and seditious.
Stuart Littlemore, QC and barrister, is remembered for his incisive, dry wit as the inaugural presenter of Media Watch since its inception in 1989, a position he held for eight years.
He went on to forge a remarkable career, specialising in defamation, criminal law and personal injury.
His first novel is a nonchalant witty little meander through the extreme of law-breaking techniques.
Edition 321, 10 July 2012
To find out more about Rama Gaind click here.