Death by Dangerous – Olly Jarvis

death by dangerous cover

Published by Matador on 8th June 2015

Death by Dangerous is a compelling legal thriller set in Manchester and Bradford.

John Anderson is one of the North West’s most dedicated and successful prosecution barristers. His career is going from strength to strength and he is on the verge of becoming Queen’s Counsel. But the life he once knew suddenly comes crashing down following a fatal road traffic accident…

“They’re saying it was your fault. Someone died.”

Recovering from his injuries, he has no memory of the collision. Was he responsible for the death of a child? Who was his female passenger? Facing charges of causing death by dangerous driving, the professional and personal life he once knew now lies in tatters. Depressed and taking refuge in alcohol, Anderson refuses, in the face of so many unanswered questions, to accept his guilt. He becomes convinced that the gangster he was prosecuting at the time of the crash is in some way involved.

The mystery deepens as his search for the truth draws him into Manchester’s sordid criminal underworld. Shunned by his former colleagues, Anderson finds help from an unlikely source, enabling him to confront his prejudices and re-evaluate his past life. He embarks on a journey of self-discovery and, ultimately, the path for his own redemption.

Anderson knows that defeat means deliverance to a prison full of violent criminals he has prosecuted over the years. He now has to find the strength to fight the most important trial of his life.

My thoughts

Want a strong northern legal drama, that feels authentic and will blow your mind? This is the one for you. Death by Dangerous is the debut novel by Olly Jarvis.

We follow the journey of a man who seems to have it all. John Anderson is a gifted prosecution barrister, who shines in the legal profession. His life starts to crumble around him, after he is accused of causing death by dangerous driving. The only problem is that John has no memory of the accident. How can John prove his innocence, when all of the evidence is stacked against him?

Beautifully paced and utterly exciting; it did not take many pages for me to become drawn into John’s life and the legal world in Manchester. Initially, it is hard to understand John and this is a deliberate ploy by the author. He seems to be arrogant and hard to empathise with. A product of his environment. As we follow his life disintegrate, he evolves and become rather fascinating.

The author uses his legal background superbly, to create some rather tense scenes and lovely twists. I was not overwhelmed by the legal jargon or the court settings. I felt the humanity of John’s experiences, as his world turns against him and his life falls apart.

If you don’t usually read legal thrillers, make an exception. Recommended.


My thanks to the author for sending me a copy of his book to review.


About Northern Crime

Reviewer with a mind of her own. This is a collection of book reviews, which started in 2014. Mostly crime and odd other genres thrown in. Some I loved. Some I loathed. You get the picture.
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