In crime and thriller novel, Blackmail, Michael explores the lives of a group of criminals who pull off a daring robbery. However, one of them becomes involved in a struggle with a security guard who is shot and seriously injured. The gang leader, Michael Doyle, establishes a seemingly perfect alibi to escape, but their carefully prepared plans begin to unravel when the DNA of the robber who struggled with the injured guard is detected. The investigators are able to link him with Doyle through CCTV and both of them are arrested.

Clever lawyers seek to exclude the DNA evidence but Doyle’s girlfriend, who has some legal knowledge, is sceptical that the ploy will work. Desperate measures become necessary…

Then, things take a turn for the worse when a judge’s home is raided and his wife and young son kidnapped. It turns out they will only be released if he rules against the prosecution. Will the judge do what the kidnappers demand?

Will Blackmail reveal who was behind the kidnapping? Was it Doyle’s girlfriend or someone from his past? Someone he had crossed? Only time will tell…

Blackmail will appeal to fans of chilling crime and thriller novels.
Available on Amazon

Book prize for this new author?”

Five Star Review on Amazon By Bruce Houlder

This book is a real find. Having myself spent 47 years in the practice of a criminal law both as an advocate and as a judge, I have nothing but admiration for the detail, avoidance of cliche, and the fine drawing of real characters. Most of us with similar experience will have met all of these characters from time to time – the corrupt solicitor’s clerk, judges who are irascible, wise and thoughtful, barristers who are driven and committed, testosterone fuelled – the class act, and the dilettante. Each such character finds its dark side when contrasted with ruthless criminal, and their easily led accomplices. The quiet skill of the professional, some understated violence, fear, sexual intrigue, low cunning, betrayal and human folly interweave together into a thoroughly satisfying read. Add to this the mix of old-school court usher, and the many smaller but skilfully drawn characters that we encounter as lives and fortunes interweave and unravel, and you have book, albeit a long one, which is very hard to put down. Perverted loyalty, vanity, greed, pride, forensic art and ambition fill the book, but the style is nuanced and avoids sensationalism. The book maintains its hold on the reader through many twists and turns, and always kept me guessing. Chief Inspector Hood is a finely drawn British policeman of the kind every force deserves. If he get his promotion in the next book I hope he is still allowed do the detective work, and that Julia Hamilton continues to tease. I can’t wait for the sequel.

About the Author

Michael Stokes was born in Preston and educated at Preston Catholic College and Leeds University where he read law. He was called to the Bar by Gray’s Inn in 1971 and practised at the criminal Bar until 2001, becoming a QC in 1994 before becoming a judge in 2001. He was appointed Recorder of Nottingham in 2007 and retired from the bench in 2016. He is married with two children, was appointed a Deputy Lieutenant for Nottinghamshire in 2016 and continues his interests in the law as an Honorary Professor at Nottingham Trent University. The sequel to’Blackmail’ is well underway and will hopefully be published at the end of this year. Look out for it – ‘A Private and Convenient Place’. It features the trial of the single individual whose fate remains unknown at the conclusion of Blackmail’ as well as uncovering a number of fascinating insights into the lives of others intimately connected with her.

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