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Review: The Burden Of Lies by Richard Beasley

on December 11, 2017

The Burden Of Lies (Peter Tanner #2)
Richard Beasley
Simon & Schuster AUS
2017, 448p
Copy courtesy of the publisher

Blurb {from the publisher/}:

Cocaine. Construction. Corruption.
The unholy trinity of Sydney

Self-made property mogul Tina Leonard has already lost her business, her home and custody of her children because South East Banking Corporation left her bankrupt. Now it appears she is being framed for the murder of her banker Oliver Randall, a senior executive of the corporation. Her motive? Revenge for ruining her life and her business.

When maverick lawyer Peter Tanner is brought in to represent Tina, he bends the law to learn the truth. Was the real killer employed by the bank to silence Randall, who knew too much about their corrupt clientele and business dealings?

As Tanner digs deeper the truth is harder and harder to find. Drug dealers and dodgy cops are a breed apart from corrupt corporate bankers, who’ll do anything to keep their names in the clear.

Who really silenced Randall? Tanner gets more than he bargained for as he tangles with craven bent banks and a client who can’t talk, and danger lurks far too close to home.

Bestseller Richard Beasley’s latest sharp-edged, gritty Peter Tanner thriller.

I’m not sure how I missed the first Peter Tanner book – Cyanide Games which was released last year. I read one of Richard Beasley’s other novels, Me & Rory Macbeath a couple of years ago and loved it so it’s definitely my loss that I didn’t discover the wonder that is Peter Tanner a year earlier.

Oliver Randall was a banker that had it all – a big salary and a lifestyle “taking care” of big clients that involved parties, girls, coke. When he’s executed six months after serving time in jail, Tina Leonard is charged with orchestrating the crime. Oliver Randall cost her everything – her home, her business, even her children. And it seems the perfect sort of revenge. But Tina claims that Randall was better use to her alive than dead. Peter is called in to represent Tina and it’s his job to present a different truth to the prosecution.

This book had me absolutely hooked  from the start. I love Peter – he’s a bit of a loose canon but that’s what I like about him. There’s a scene with him, a hedge fund manager and a cricket bat that might be one of my favourite scenes, maybe ever. Because I haven’t read the first one (yet – I bought it immediately after finishing this and I’ll be catching up asap) I had to piece together a few things, what makes Peter so….well, Peter. He’s definitely got a few self-control issues and he doesn’t play the straight faced lawyer listening to his client’s bullshit. Sometimes he snaps back and when he does….it’s just great. But Peter isn’t all flashy outbursts, there are a lot of sides to him – widower, father, son. I get the feeling that in reading this book, I barely scratched the surface of Peter.

The story was excellent. I don’t know a lot about construction, or banking – or cocaine, I might add. So it was interesting to be caught up in this world, to experience a place where taking out hundreds of millions of dollars in loans is the norm. I can’t say I cared much about the demise of Oliver Randall but I was intrigued by his murder and whether or not Tina Leonard was the culprit, as was claimed by the killer or if she really was a convenient scapegoat for a far larger corporate machine. Beasley did a great job in teasing this out and having us see everything through Peter’s eyes. Sydney is such a fascinating city and provides a great backdrop for this story. There’s a lot of political stuff – greasing palms to get developments through, the idea of boutique vs cheap knock ups, casinos, etc. There’s a lot of money at play here and wherever there’s a lot of money there’s plenty of corruption. I also loved how it was about more than just business – there was a lot of family dynamics driving this story as well. Tina Leonard and her father and brothers have a fantastic backstory, something that adds a lot to her character. There’s also Tina’s sister, her husband as well as Oliver Randall’s ex-wife and their family dynamics too and of course Peter and the relationships he has with his son and his father. Both of those make up a large portion of who he is and I think the reader learns a lot about Peter as a person from those interactions and his thoughts and feelings about his family.

This is a tight, incredibly well written legal thriller that details the process of a court case and the way in which a lawyer goes about presenting an argument to the jury. I enjoyed this, but I will also admit that it made me a bit uncomfortable as well because I couldn’t decide if Tina was guilty or not. I did appreciate getting to read Peter in action because he’s obviously very good at what he does. He’s unorthodox and obviously incredibly frustrating for his opposing counsel but he’s clever and quick and very entertaining. He thinks in really interesting ways, outside of the box but he’s not without morals, despite all the jokes he cracks about the people he’s gotten off charges. I feel as though even he questions the validity of what he does at times, the people that might walk because he’s good at his job, just that little bit better than the other side.

I loved this. One of my favourite reads of this year and I can’t wait to go back and read Cyanide Games. Please let there be more Peter in 2018!


Book #196 of 2017


One response to “Review: The Burden Of Lies by Richard Beasley

  1. […] The Burden Of Lies by Richard Beasley. I read this just the other day and seriously fell in love with it. It’s the second in a series about Peter Tanner, a criminal defense lawyer and he is the best. End of story. […]

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