St. Martin's, Dec 2001, 23.95, 288 pp.
Elderly and gay Francis Richman utilizes his connections to the social and political English aristocracy to attend all the parties and galas of the rich and famous. Francis uses these events to gather gossip to record in his diary. When he dies, his boy toy inherits this titillating piece of scandal mongering. He sells the diary to Digby Price, owner of a London paper.
In one diary entry Francis claims is to have observed the Minister of Defense Procurement Richard Tancred in secret meetings with defense contractor Oscar Sleaven. Digby has a score to settle with Tancred and exposes the Minister's corruption in his paper. Tancred resigns from government service and sues Digby for libel, taking their squabble into the courtroom, a place where lies are the norm.
This British legal procedural is strong on characterizations yet contains an enigmatic plot that leaves the reader wondering what is going on. THE RICHMOND DIARY exemplifies to the audience an astute look into the British judicial system. Peter Rawlinson establishes himself as more than just a credible legal thriller author. He proves he belongs with the sub-genre's elite.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner