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Prima Facie

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I’d heard about this book during a podcast and it piqued my interest. I’m generally more into scifi or fantasy but it sounded like a strong book that had a real impact on those in the legal profession.

I had no idea what to expect – my only recent foray into non scifi had been Grace Tame’s book, which I only made it partway though due to her writing style.

It’s interesting how little detail the legal scenes go into (compared to typical legal procedural dramas). However that’s because it focuses more on the feel of living in that world, and it does a superlative job of painting the picture of the character’s life.

It’s pacing is excellent, and while halfway through I worried it would just jump from the key incident to years later, it managed to jump back and forth in time without becoming disjointed.

I found I needed to digest it in small morsels as it was a heavy story – in topic, not as a chore to read.

Anticipating (dreading) the key incident and with such a detailed portrayal of her daily life, there are so many moments where you recognise daily mundane things that could be turned against her during her in court.

I don’t know what changes this story can catalyse, but there are many moments during her ordeal in court where it’s well illustrated how the method of cross-examination makes no consideration for the effects of the traumatic experience on her capacity to withstand the prolonged rapid-fire onslaught of questions.

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