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Publisher's Summary

In Harold Macmillan's Britain of the early 1960s the Bar is dominated by white, privileged, Oxbridge men. Underneath a profession which proudly flaunts its integrity and traditions lies a world of hypocrisy and ruthless self-interest. When scandal threatens, self-preservation is the only goal and no one is indispensable.

Ben Schroeder, a talented young man from an East End Jewish family, has been accepted as a pupil into the chambers of Bernard Wesley, QC. But Schroeder is an outsider, not part of this privileged society, where wealth and an Oxbridge education are essentials. He encounters prejudice, intrigue, and scandal.

Kenneth Gaskell, a rising star of Wesley's chambers has become involved in an affair with a high-profile client and the relationship, if known, could ruin his career, and the careers of all those around him.

But Bernard Wesley has some information - he knows about a student prank that went terribly wrong. Can he use this knowledge in a desperate gamble to save his chambers and turn the tables on his old rival, Miles Overton, QC? Ben Schroeder has proved his ability, but he is no more than a pawn in this game. Can he survive in this world where nothing, not even justice, is sacred?

After graduating from Cambridge University, Peter Murphy spent a career in the law, as an advocate and teacher, both in England and the United States. His legal work included a number of years in The Hague as defence counsel at the Yugoslavian War Crimes Tribunal.

©2013 Peter Murphy (P)2013 Audible Ltd

Critic Reviews

"Weighty and impressive" (Barry Forshaw, Crime Time)
"A gripping page-turner. A compelling and disturbing tale of English law courts, lawyers, and their clients, told with the authenticity that only an insider like Murphy can deliver. The best read I've come across in a long time." (David Ambrose, novelist and playwright)

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What listeners say about A Higher Duty

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The English legal system

First time author for me, the author it turns out has been. Judge.

The author weaves a story set on the early 1@60s as to the in and outs of how the English legal system works in law offices and courts. Diversity is on the doorstep and change is in the sit. Still the class system and privilege still plays a part.

The author does a good job with the different characters where you feel the different emotions.

For a book that doesn’t have very many ratings, I was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it.

1 person found this helpful

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Very good book!!

It was compelling, compassionate, insightful, I couldn’t stop listening, It was a joy to listen to. Perfect narration. I wish there were many books by this author

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  • Melanie Preston Lewis
  • 10-13-21

A lovely surprise

A Higher Duty was a suggestion given to me by a friend, and as it's in the Audible Plus Catalogue I decided to give it a go. I don't know what I was expecting but what I got was a story with seemingly disparate threads, with great characterisation that all tied together very neatly in the end. A great introduction to author Peter Murphy and Ben Elliot's received pronunciation narration was divine.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Jacky
  • 02-09-22

Intriguing book based around QC chambers

Although I enjoyed this book I did find it hard to engage, the characters were as you expect or at least the QC's quite obnoxious and were above the middle class people, the things that the solicitor, barristers and judges got up too are quite believable, narration really helped with the characters

1 person found this helpful

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  • C M Silver
  • 04-15-22

Bonnie and Clive

The multiple story lines weave in and out painting an interesting picture of the era, and shadows from past eras. We skim over alot of the lives of the MCs, their social constraints and practices, only pinching small fragments to colour the tale.

Well read with no over emphasis or over dramatizing. It was good to have an Englishman narrate so place names and intonation was correct, although accentless and neutral of class.

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  • Ian
  • 02-22-22

pretty good tale. well read

You can tell the writer has a legal background because he's so well informed about legal practices of the era. The characters are pretty well defined in that you have definite goodies and baddies. The story is a bit contrived in that everyone gains something so it's all right in the end but it doesn't leave you feeling let down so yes give it a go.

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  • Marie
  • 02-15-22

Great read

I loved this book. Great story well plotted with well formed characters, The narrator was also excellent. Definitely recommend it.

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  • Jo Wade
  • 01-05-22

A perfect reflection of the 'Old boys club'

Not my usual cup of tea but it was free so gave it a try.
It was incredibly well written and beautifully presented. Expertly woven and convoluted plot which appeared to be an accurate portayal of the times.

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  • Paul
  • 09-24-21

excellent

I loved this book and loved the narration.. top class and would highly recommend...

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  • black magic
  • 09-22-21

Excellent

Thought it was a bunch of short stories to begin with but it tied all the different stories together excellently. A good listen

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  • MONICA JONES DESIGN ASSOC
  • 09-14-21

Stick with it… it gets better

I think it would have benefitted from a good editor! It gets a little confusing in the early stages, but comes good in the end!

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  • R. Morris
  • 08-26-20

Disparate plot lines that come together satisfyingly

Great narration that disappears into the background with a range of plausible, unforced accents that highlight characters really well.
It is possible to predict the potential downfall of a couple of the protagonists, which meant I was anticipating it, but it is probably something that reflects the period quite accurately.
There’s a bad edit at just after 4 hours in (a line repeated with one word changed), but otherwise, this is well planned; thoughtfully set out and with threads that bind together pleasingly by the end.