Book Review: Cut-Throat Defence, by Olly Jarvis.

17 Oct
Book Review: Cut-Throat Defence, by Olly Jarvis.

You may have noticed last week, I posted about a brilliant new book just released by one of my favourite Authors Olly Jarvis. Last week, I published a short interview with the Author as part of his blog tour. You can read the interview HERE!

I mentioned in that post that this was my top book of 2016 so far, well today I’m sharing with you my review and why I loved Cut-Throat Defence so much. 



There is no man richer than a man without a price.

Jack Kowalski is a young and newly qualified barrister, who finds himself working on the biggest drugs importation trial ever played out on English soil. With the assistance of his equally inexperienced instructing solicitor, Lara Panassai, Jack argues a savage ‘cut-throat’ defence – a risky tactic where the defendants blame each other – and quickly embroils some of the most eminent QCs in the land.

As the son of Polish immigrants, the sensitive Kowalski has always found it hard to fit in, with a sense of inferiority and constant nervousness in Court. Now he must face his demons and fight not only for his clients, but for his very future at the Bar.

But when the defendant then unexpectedly absconds, Jack and Lara must fight on regardless, following a tip that leads them out of the courtroom and into Manchester’s seedy underworld – crime bosses, strip clubs, corrupt lawyers and all manner of hidden sins.

As the case grows darker with each new discovery, who in this viper pit of deception can Jack and Lara trust?

Ingeniously plotted and embellished with real-life insider expertise, Cut-Throat Defence is a story of rivalry, ruthlessness and – above all – survival.



Published October 3rd 2016 by Canelo


My Thoughts:

In Olly Jarvis’ interview last week, he told me that he wanted to show that a Barrister’s life is not an easy one. He said that the media can portray “Barrister’s as champagne quaffing oafs“. Olly wanted this book to portray what it is really like to work in a high pressured job i.e  no champagne, but maybe you will meet a few oafs along the way! Well, mixed in with Olly’s legal knowledge and experience, his amazing talent for fictional words and characters, we are lucky enough to enjoy his second fantastic novel Cut-Throat Defence. To put it simply, I loved it, I devoured all the pages, all the characters and it is ……….my top book of 2016 so far.

The characters were perfectly developed, especially the two main characters Jack and Lara. Jack being the Underdog that we root for, and Lara giving us that slightly mysterious hardened outside but soft hearted soul. Jarvis’ knowledge and experience of ‘people’ shines through, especially through Lara’s eyes:

“..Scared people behave unpredictably”.

One of my favourite side line characters was Jack’s father – Tata, he has a good mindset, is so positive and gives some great advice to Jack, but also advice we can take as a reader.

“Don’t worry, you have a lifetime to be a better man”.

As with Jarvis’ first book, I loved that it was a legal thriller set in Manchester. A lot of these types of books are based in America. For the British readers amongst us, you will know that when Jack enters the criminal underbelly of Moss Side, he is into hardened territory. 

This book is filled with excitement, anticipation, twists and tension. I read it with eagerness and thoroughly enjoyed it. 

Jarvis certainly showed us through this book that a barristers life does not include “being a champagne quaffing oaf”, most certainly these ones are not anyway. I wait in eager anticipation for the next book by Olly Jarvis. For all you lucky ones that have still to read it, I can’t recommend it highly enough. The links are below for you to get yourself a copy.







Posted by on October 17, 2016 in Books


Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

10 responses to “Book Review: Cut-Throat Defence, by Olly Jarvis.

  1. florence

    October 17, 2016 at 8:21 pm

    Cut Throat Defence is definitely on my ‘to read’ list. I read Death by Dangerous after reading your review and it was one of my top reads this year. Ollie Jarvis is one of the best crime writers around and I have read many. Thank you for introducing me to this brilliant author.

    • chocolatepages

      October 18, 2016 at 10:17 am

      More lovely compliments for a brilliant Author. Hope you like this book as much as I did. Thank you Florence.

  2. Anne

    October 18, 2016 at 10:44 am

    Yaay! I was wondering when your review would be up :). Awesome stuff! Getting myself a copy Just got myself a copy of it ^^.

    • chocolatepages

      October 18, 2016 at 11:20 am

      That’s great to hear. I hope you love it as much as I did. I look forward to your thoughts.

  3. irena_bookdustmagic

    October 18, 2016 at 3:25 pm

    Wait, is Jack’s father name Tata, or is it nickname?
    Because here in Croatia tata is the word for father (actually, it’s word for dad, otac is for father, but you know what I mean…), I assume it’s the same in all slavenian languages.
    Anyway, I’m so glad you enjoyed the book so much. Best of the year so far, you say?! That’s amazing! 😀

    • chocolatepages

      October 18, 2016 at 7:34 pm

      Yes definitely best book of the year. Jack was calling his father Tata which I was assuming is Dad in Polish. X

  4. Donna

    October 20, 2016 at 12:47 pm

    I did not wait to get my copy, and I am glad the review confirmed your previous post, I can’t wait to read it. I admit I have a little more difficulty understanding the British legal system than the US one because we are exposed to so much American material, but I’m confident I can enjoy this just as much!

    • chocolatepages

      October 20, 2016 at 1:07 pm

      I really hope you do and I look forward to hearing your thoughts on it. Thank you.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: