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Defending Elton

Defending Elton [Kindle Edition]

TJ Cooke
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description


TV scriptwriter TJ Cooke has come up with a highly original story, and a gripping plot.

DEFENDING ELTON is one of the most original and inventive crime fiction novels of recent years. It is a thrilling murder mystery, where the onus is less on 'who done it?' and more on 'will he get away with it?'

The scene is set by the murder of the enigmatic beauty Sarena.

London Lawyer Jim Harwood is tasked with defending the man accused of stabbing her and pushing her off a cliff, but nothing in this crime fiction tale is quite what it seems.

Somebody is trying to manipulate Elton's trial, and they might just get away with murder... but as we are about to discover 'playing with truth can be a very dangerous game...'

Described as a ‘devilishly clever and inventive tale’ and a ‘tense and edgy thriller’ Defending Elton is full of neat twists and turns, which keep you guessing how things will turn out, right to the unexpected end. Fay Samuels


"A compulsive thriller, built around a crime whose details are revealed layer by layer as the tale progresses. I hadn’t heard of TJ Cooke before; it’s a pleasure to discover a new crime writer of such talent. Tim Vicary – Author

"Defending Elton is beautifully constructed, with an intricate and coherent plot propelled by complex and believable characters. In short it’s one hell of a story, by a masterful writer of suspense." Mary Maddox – Author

"I love a good book, and Defending Elton certainly is one. No sluggish passive writing here, the prose has you right in the action, just as a good book should. Nothing short of brilliant. I highly recommend it." Tahlia Newland – Author

"What keeps you turning the pages faster and faster is the mystery of WHY Jim Harwood did what he did, and whether he will literally ‘get away with murder’. An inventive and ingenious narrative." Ms R. Keys – Literary Editor

"Stylish and original. Memorable characters, especially the hapless Elton. An extraordinary crime fiction tale" Broo Doherty – Literary Agent

About the Author

TJCooke was formerly a legal advisor to television dramas in the UK. Since then he has dovetailed his career between advertising copywriting, freelance journalism and screenwriting. He is also the author of two novels ‘Kiss and Tell’ and ‘Defending Elton’. He is currently penning his third novel which will see the return of the popular character Jill Shadow. Tim has written many hours of broadcast drama, notching up writing credits for some of UK's most popular series, including London's Burning, The Bill and Bad Girls. Tim also wrote for Madson starring Ian McShane and Dreamteam, which follows the ups and downs of a fictitious premiership football club. He worked on a number of overseas projects including the setting up of Eastern Europe's first daily serial drama. He’s written numerous television and radio commercials for a variety of well known companies. He is Creative Director at Sounds Sorted, which is known for its innovative radio commercials and jingles. Tim currently lives in Devon. His hobbies include cricket, badminton and table tennis, which he enjoys with varying degrees of success. For further details, and to follow his blog, please visit or follow on twitter via timcooke@timscribe

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 508 KB
  • Print Length: 276 pages
  • Publisher: KDP; 1 edition (19 Mar 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #63,736 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As a solicitor, Jim Harwood has represented Elton Spears many times over the years, for many crimes, some serious , others ludicrous. Elton has mental health problems and a learning disability and his needs have never been met by the any of the services that should have protected him. However, when Elton is charged with the murder of a beautiful young woman whose body was thrown from the cliffs at Beachy Head, Jim knows for certain that his client is innocent. Jim had been responsible for the death of the young woman, his lover, Sarena, and desperate to escape the consequences of his actions, he had framed Elton for the crime.
Jim is the narrator throughout the story, which is divided into alternating chapters. The present day chapters tell the story of the lead up to the trial and the trial itself; the back story chapters describe Jim's traumatic childhood and his strange, obsessive relationship with Sarena.
The story is filled with moral ambiguity. Jim hates what he has done and enlists the best barrister he can find to defend Elton. Part of him wishes the truth to be revealed but this is over-ridden by his fear of the consequences. Also the book is a chilling indictment of the English legal system and the social and health services, especially in their dealings with mentally disabled people.
Defending Elton is a cleverly written and compelling book and a fascinating read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A cracking read! 15 Aug 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A cracking read! If you like crime thrillers that aren't too grisly then this is perfect for you - the characters are incredibly interesting and well put together and it's a great unique plot for a book. You can't help but root for main character despite his mistakes. The book made me laugh out loud in some places, the humour both dark and light at times. A thoroughly enjoyable read from start to finish!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Morally grey legal thriller with no good guys 21 Jun 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
A very different crime novel, where a solicitor attempts to cover up a murder by blaming a client with mental health problems - to the point of representing him at the trial!

There are two parallel threads - in the present, preparing for court and at the Old Bailey, and in the past, leading up to the murder and its aftermath. Little pieces of the puzzle emerge from the two timeframes, building up to a surprise conclusion. Odd diversions in the narrative turn out to be of the greatest significance, and I like how it all slotted together to form a cohesive whole.

The morally grey tone of the book made me uncomfortable, but I think that was the point. Jim isn't an easy man to know, and that comes across in his voice. He has a difficult past and knows the legal system, how it can potentially screw him over and how to play the game for the best outcome. While he may not have much luck at the bookies, he tries his hand at gambling with both his and Elton's futures.

If you like crime fiction where there are no good guys, the lawyers and criminals are virtually indistinguishable, and taking a refreshingly honest look at criminal justive and mental health provision, this is the book for you.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing and engrossing 15 Jun 2014
A tremendous read with a really intriguing premise. What if a murderer – who is also a lawyer – uses his inside knowledge of the law to frame one of his own clients for his crime?

Allied to that, there’s a really interesting structure at work here. Perhaps because we know the identity of the murderer from the outset, the author cleverly builds intrigue and suspense by only revealing the sequence of events in sections, raising and then answering questions along the way – why, exactly, is Jim’s new girlfriend putting her own neck on the line to help him for example?

There’s also a really interesting study of guilt going on here too because Jim’s scheme contains within it a fatal flaw. He’s able to manipulate events as he’s so close to the man he’s framing – but that means (Raskolnikov-style) that he’s always disturbingly close to the consequences of his actions. Can he handle it?

Great premise, quirky structure and an interesting study of the way the law works in practice rather than theory from an author who not only writes really well but who seems to know his legal stuff too. Really excellent stuff.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent thriller 9 Jun 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I was wary, with the killer revealed at the start, but actually this was more than ok. The plot is gritty and absorbing and the character of Jim is superbly set out.I read it in one sitting and I highly recommend it to any crime fiction fan or lover of thrillers. There is no obscene violence sex or gore in it but it is edgy enough to be exciting. Great value for money!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great premise and strong characters 12 May 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Since when do you read a crime thriller from the point of view of the killer and enjoy it immensely? TJ Cooke has pulled off this rare feat with Defending Elton, a real page turner of a mystery. The characterisation is really well imagined, especially of the mentally challenged Elton who is being set up to take the fall by his own lawyer! What a premise!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Keeping boredom at bay and stimulation on tap! 6 May 2014
By Gerard
This book is quite simply one of the best crime novels I have ever read. It is very similar to "Columbo" in that you know very early on who the murderer is. Jim Harwood, a clever lawyer commits a murder and then frames one of his clients before defending him on the charge. The appeal of the book is threefold. Firstly can the sympathetic villain, Jim, pull off the perfect crime. Secondly we get an insider's view of his motives and lastly the by products of this novel inform us as to the extent of care, or rather lack of it, for the mentally handicapped in our society and lastly how someone with an unrivalled knowledge of how the legal system works can manipulate it for their own ends. This is a perfect present for a birthday or Christmas. Treat yourself.
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