Friday 17 March 2023

Until Proven Innocent by Nicola Williams | Blog Tour Book Review

[ad/gifted - I received a copy of this book for the purpose of this review. All thoughts and opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links.]

Until Proven Innocent by Nicola Williams
My rating: 4/5
Publisher: Hamish Hamilton 
Publication date: 16th March 2023

Lee Mitchell is a young barrister from a working-class Caribbean background: in the cut-throat environment of the courtroom, everything is stacked against her.

On her doorstep in South London the 15-year-old son of the pastor at the local Black church is shot, and the local community is shattered. All evidence is pointing to infamously corrupt, racist police officer Sergeant Jack Lambert as the irredeemable suspect. His own boss - rebel-turned-copper Danny Wallace - is certain he is guilty.

Against her will, Lee is strong-armed into defending him. With cries of 'Black Lives Matter!' echoing in the streets, Lee is at the centre of the turmoil as lies, anger, and mistrust spiral out of control.

With the line between her personal and professional life becoming increasingly blurred, Lee keeps asking herself the same question: How can she defend the indefensible?

I love a crime thriller/police procedural and Williams has done this very well!

Set in South London in a Black community, Paul Matthews, the fifteen year old son of a pastor has been shot in the face at close range. Paul was innocent in this, his mistake was wearing the coat of his older brother, drug dealer Tony Matthews.

DCI Danny Williams is investigating the case but has ties to it. He was a troubled youngster and upon advice from Pastor Desmond Matthews, Paul's father, he turned his life around. The prime suspect emerges as one of their own; a racist and homophobic police sergeant, Jack Lambert.

Leanne "Lee" Mitchell works on the case and although she is a high flying barrister, she still returns to volunteer at her local law centre. I absolutely loved her character. The author is a barrister herself and this made Lee's handling of the case in the novel really come to life.

There are so many characters to observe in this book from police informants to MPs but the plot is weaved together perfectly and at a fantastic pace too. 

Until Proven Innocent touches on race, gentrification and police bias really well. I would definitely recommend!


A massive thank you to Penguin for having me on the blog tour. You can find out information on the other bloggers taking part in the tour in the graphic below.

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