Walden of Bermondsey by Peter Murphy
Walden of Bermondsey
No Exit Press
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It would appear that Peter Murphy’s own career in the law exercised his sense of humour to Olympic standard because this book is cleverly constructed and fiercely droll. In creating the character of Charlie Walden, Resident Judge of Bermondsey Crown Court, Peter Murphy follows in the hallowed footsteps of John Mortimer’s Rumpole of the Bailey.
You’ll feel as if you’ve known Walden for years, and his stories are the ones you look forward to hearing in the pub. Similar to Rumpole, Walden wryly details the dramas of the courts system and the often ridiculous situations that play out there. Some days Walden just yearns for lunchtime, “an oasis of calm in a desert of chaos”, despite the frequent inedible quality of the food in the judges’ mess.
Added to the courtroom palaver is the ever-tightening cord of bureaucracy, administered by the “grey smoothies”, whose aim seems to be to gum up the wheels of justice in the name of increasing efficiency, as well as getting on Walden’s nerves.