Wednesday, February 12, 2014

John Mortimer. Rumpole and the Age of Miracles (1988)

      John  Mortimer. Rumpole and the Age of Miracles (1988) Rumpole’s sense of justice is in some ways merciless. That’s why the injustices of the legal system upset him so. He has no scruples when it comes to winning a case, whether it’s a brief at the Old Bailey or some developing situation in Chambers. Not that his clients necessarily like what he does for them: He demonstrates Nigel Timson’s innocence by showing that his prospective father-in-law (a Pillar of the Establishment) is a crook, which costs Nigel his fiancee. None of these stories ends in a pure happiness; in every one, someone more or less innocent is hurt.
     The saddest story concerns the Culps. The father is a small time dealer in antiques and secondhand goods. His son is middle-school boy. His place is used as a drop-off for a crate of guns, of which Culp knows nothing at all. But during the raid, a Secret Service man is killed; and someone has to pay for this affront to law and order. So Culp Sr is framed, and Culp Jr is sent “into care”, despite Rumpole’s attempt to appeal to Phillida Erskine-Brown’s maternal instincts. But Phillida has just had to steel herself against the loss of her son to Bogstead, and so the appeal fails. I didn’t read this story, because I’d seen it in the TV series, and that was depressing enough. *** (2010)

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