Jacket for 'Forced Confessions'


UK - Little, Brown
Denmark - Jentas

Forced Confessions

By John Fairfax

Published Mar 2020

Shortlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger Award 2020

Convicted of murder sixteen years ago, William Benson is ostracised by the establishment and his family.
Supported by a close-knit group including solicitor Tess de Vere, he’s defied them all and opened his own Chambers.

Now he faces the case of his life – and the terminal illness of Helen Camberley who helped him leave his prison life behind
Jorge Menderez, a doctor from Spain, has been found dead in a deserted warehouse in East London. A troubled man, he’d turned to counsellor Karen Lynwood seeking help. Now Karen’s husband, John, is accused of his murder. Who is Menderez, and why did he come to London? Benson is defending the couple against seemingly impossible odds, while secrets from his own past threaten to overwhelm him…


Praise for the Benson & De Vere series:

Vivid and exciting, and the novel raises some important issues to do with prisons and the ethics of the legal system.
The Times

I hope John Fairfax is planning a long series involving Benson. [An] excellent legal thriller.
Literary Review

The courtroom scenes are brilliant, and Benson really comes alive under pressure. Stubborn, fitful and contradictory, he’s a highly individualised creation.

Assured storytelling and highly intriguing moral complexity. I tore through it.
Chris Brookmyre