Title: No Lawyers in Heaven: A Life Defending Serious Crime
Author: Henry Milner
Audiobook Length: 6 hours and 43 minutes
Rating: 5 out of 5 stars
Genre: Nonfiction, True Crime, Autobiography, Memoir
Read Start Date: August 13, 2022
Read Finish Date: August 17, 2022
Brief Summary of the Plot from Netgally (link to Goodreads): The life of a criminal defence lawyer is shrouded in mystery. Outsiders might wonder about how to deal with potentially dangerous clients; what happens behind the scenes when building a defence; and, that age-old moral dilemma, how a lawyer can defend someone they think is guilty. But what is life really like for those tasked with representing the shadowy underbelly of society?
For over forty years, criminal defence solicitor Henry Milner has been the go-to lawyer for some of Britain’s most notorious criminals including Kenneth Noye and the Brink’s-Mat robbers, Freddie Foreman, John ‘Goldfinger’ Palmer and the gang behind the Millennium Dome raid.
Here, the lawyer referred to in the Sunday Times as ‘The Mr Big of Criminal Briefs’ offers a fascinating insight into life at the top of the profession, lifting the lid on the psychology of those who end up on the wrong side of the law and those who defend them. By turns shocking and hilarious, this remarkable memoir takes us deep into the enigmatic criminal underworld, delivering a wry personal commentary on the most extraordinary aspects of a life spent amongst the accused.
My Review: I received this audiobook from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. I have to say, from the very beginning of this book I just loved it.
In 1967 the author, Henry Milner is in the College of Estate Management when he is essentially told by the school that he is not very good (as he had come at the bottom of his building construction class twice because he “can’t draw”), and that he should think instead of becoming a lawyer, as he had excelled in legal classes such as property law. And so he did.
Milner eventually becomes a defense attorney and he tells the stories of when he was practicing in the 70s and 80s. The stories are told with wit and humor and at times had me laughing out loud. His clients, some guilty, some acquitted are characters unto themselves. Even though they are criminals, many of their antics were funny (maybe not haha funny, but at least shake your head in astonishment funny).
I had never heard of these cases because they were before my time, and also this takes place in England and not America.
I also really liked the narrator. He told the stories in an animated way, like you were at a party, engaged in a conversation with him and he was regaling you of that one time when he represented this guy…
The crimes that are discussed are not heinous in nature, mostly robberies, and so I didn’t feel drained by reading this book like with some true crime books about murder.
All in all, I highly recommend this book.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.