Tuesday, 20 February 2018

The Order by John Mayer


The Order (The Parliament House Books #2) by John Mayer
Self published in November 2015.

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How I got this book:
Received a review copy from the author

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Brogan McLane QC uncovers the despicable deeds of The Earl of Marchion who owes £7.8m in Death Duties and who thought he could kidnap an 11 year old African girl and use her to smuggle and cheat his way out of paying those taxes. Hiding in his world of privilege, he didn't reckon on the strongest ties of all: the love of a new mother and the legal skills of her husband Brogan McLane in Parliament House.

The story begins in an African forest with a desperate father trying to save his children from being butchered. When faced with no other choice, he sells the children to a diamond smuggler.

Through dark days of prostitution and slavery in Edinburgh one of those children comes under the protective wings of Mr and Mrs McLane. The battle between justice and injustice rages for months until, finally faced with deportation of the child they've come to love, McLane has an idea of how to play a legal Ace card.


I read The Order almost back-to-back after its predecessor, the first Parliament House book The Trial. In their timeline however about two years have passed for Brogan McLane since he managed to overcome a nefarious plot to wrongfully imprison him for murder. Now McLane is called upon to save a little girl, Ababuo, who was trafficked to Scotland with a rare diamond in her stomach before being abandoned.

Dealing as it does with the issue of child trafficking makes The Order a far more emotional read than I thought The Trial was. I believe elements of the novel are based in the sad reality of a case with which Mayer himself was involved - both author and fictional Advocate are specialists in Child Abduction Law. Ababuo herself is sensitively portrayed and I really felt for this child lost thousands of miles from her home and with no one who even knew what her language was, let alone how to communicate in it. A terrifying prospect for anyone.

Much of The Order becomes very personal to McLane and, despite enjoying the story as a whole, I did sometimes wonder if the narrative contortions needed to bring everything so close to home detracted from its plausibility. That said, this is otherwise an engrossing and exciting tale. We again have the juxtaposition of affluent Edinburgh society against McLane's mostly-legal Glasgow cronies, this time with a high-technology flash too. Karla's scenes added a lightness and McLane's legal twisting is again fun to follow.

Meet The Author

John Mayer was born in Glasgow, Scotland, a war-zone where violence and poverty reigned. In 1963 when he heard The Beatles on Radio Caroline, he decided to change his life. Aged 14 he left school because, in his opinion, he wasn't being taught. For the next year, in all weathers, he cycled 9 miles to and 9 miles from the Mitchell Library in central Glasgow where he devoured books of all kinds and began to understand what more the world had to offer. He became an Apprentice engineer, and soon was teaching men twice his age. In the early 1970s his love of music led him to set up as a Record Producer. He built his own record company trading in 14 countries. After a disheartening court battle with global giants, he left the business world and went back into further education at the University of Edinburgh, becoming an Advocate in the Supreme Courts of Scotland. There he acted for the downtrodden and desperate as well as Greenpeace International. His specialism was in fighting international child abduction.

John has written non-fiction, legal texts and articles; broadcast to tens of millions of people on US and UK radio, appeared on TV and in print media. Since retiring from the Law, John has enjoyed using his years of very colourful experience to create The Parliament House Books series.

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Books by John Mayer / Crime fiction / Books from Scotland

2 comments:

  1. Tales that include human trafficking are sad but interesting. Glad to hear you found this one exciting and engrossing.

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    Replies
    1. I thought Mayer balanced the emotional and the mystery aspects very well. It's a difficult subject, but sensitively handled.

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