9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Short and sharp for a courtroom drama,
This review is from: The Collini Case (Hardcover)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)The author of The Collini Case, a prominent German defence lawyer himself, honed his writing on short stories - case histories of gruesome and shocking crimes, of people who get away with murder and the like. His first novel, a courtroom drama, isn't long either, but he does pack a whole story into its 160 pages.
It starts with a murder. A prominent German businessman is killed by Fabrizio Collini, a quiet Italian who has worked for Mercedes Benz for decades. Caspar Leinen, a young defence lawyer takes on the case - a good result will make his name. However, after accepting it, he finds out that the victim was known to him and he is unable to get out of the case. Collini admits guilt, but refuses to give a motive - it doesn't look good for Leinen's reputation. We read about how Caspar got to where he is, and his relationship with the deceased. We see how the German justice system works; Leinen's case is surely doomed - and before we know it, we're at page 100. Then he makes a discovery. Everything changes and the rest of the novel is turbocharged by its results towards a dramatic conclusion.
It's a taut little novel. It doesn't get bogged down with court procedure, keeping to the essentials only, and not over-dramatising the lawyers' performances - there's no melodrama here, yet the book works brilliantly as a gripping legal thriller. I enjoyed it so much I almost wished it had been longer, but its brevity is a large part of why it was so good.