A Death in Custody

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Pub Date 28 Jan 2022 | Archive Date 05 Jan 2022

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Description

Brixton in the late 1990s. Delroy Brown, a young black man being held in police custody, dies in a confrontation in his cell with a police officer.

The officer claims to have acted in self-defence but fails to give a satisfactory explanation for being in the dead man’s cell.

Chief Inspector Elliott conducts an investigation into Delroy’s death, but his enquiries are obstructed by a lack of co-operation from police officers, the activities of a corrupt private investigator – and the legal system itself.

Alison French, a young journalist, Neeta Patel, Delroy’s family’s solicitor, and Ben Weekes, a black youth worker, join forces to try and find out the truth about Delroy’s death, but find themselves in growing danger, as they are drawn into a murky world of violent criminals and police informants.

Brixton in the late 1990s. Delroy Brown, a young black man being held in police custody, dies in a confrontation in his cell with a police officer.

The officer claims to have acted in self-defence...


A Note From the Publisher

T. S. Clayton is a retired solicitor. In the 1990s he practised criminal law in and around Brixton, South London, working for the Crown Prosecution Service as a Crown Prosecutor, and later Senior Crown Prosecutor, before becoming a freelance defence advocate.

T. S. Clayton is a retired solicitor. In the 1990s he practised criminal law in and around Brixton, South London, working for the Crown Prosecution Service as a Crown Prosecutor, and later Senior...


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ISBN 9781803138329
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Average rating from 11 members


Featured Reviews

This was an enjoyable book that made for an easy read. I liked the writing style, the chracters and their development and the storyline. It was such an interesting read especially with the BLM movement being so at the forefront at the moment. I really enjoyed it.

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A Death In Custody - T.S.Clayton

I didn't think I would enjoy legal thrillers, but I read some great books by Gillian McAllister and Kia Abdullah, I'm always open to trying new authors so this caught my eye.

Set in Brixton in the 90's, a young black man, arrested for dealing crack, dies in a Police Station cell.

The writing style is straightforward, which creates a feeling of honesty and trustworthiness. The author's legal knowledge is very apparent.

It's an interesting book, with various characters investigating the case from different angles and with varying agendas. There are also those trying to hinder the investigation.

It is a brave balancing act between the unraveling thriller elements (exciting) and the legal procedure (a little dry), and I think the book just about pulls it off.

I was interested rather than compelled, but I'm glad I read it.


Thanks to Netgalley and Matador

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This is a very good read of the death in custody of a young black man, Delroy Brown. Set in Brixton in the 1990's, it has all the action and suspense of a thriller and gives an insight into the criminal justice system in Britain. As the investigation into Delroy's death is conducted, a world of violent criminals, danger and police corruption is exposed and the investigators find themselves in danger. A realistic and well written book. Thanks to Net Galley for my ARC.

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The author resists what must have been the temptation of his lived experience and does not weigh the balance of the book too heavily towards technical or legal detail. Rather, they bring to the fore the story - which I a, sure was based strongly in truth - of race and rights in 1990s Western society. A fascinating and engaging book, which skirts on the edges of the thriller genre, this will appeal to those who like strong alignment with reality in their reading,

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A young black man, Delroy Brown, is found dead while in custody, with a police officer, McKinnon, claiming the smaller man had attacked him when McKinnon had gone to speak to him in his cell. This sets off an investigation, with the police and the Crown Prosecutor’s office unwilling to delve too much into the matter and move on quickly.

Brown’s family’s public defender Neeta Patel works hard to prove McKinnon went to the cell with the intent of questioning, and likely intimidating, Brown, while a green reporter, Alison French, chases potential leads after getting pulled into the case on the words of a homeless man, and potential witness to the attack. Soon, a youth worker, Ben Weekes, also becomes involved, and a much more complicated picture of the relationship between Brown, McKinnon, and the Brixton criminal world emerges.

The text reads a little on the dry side, and though there are exposition dumps, they were useful in understanding some the legal constraints at play, as well as the relationships between police, and the Crown Prosecuting Service (CPS).

The characters were also a little flat, but I found the description of British legal wrangling interesting.

I found Alison’s cluelessness about how race affects how one moves through life and interacts with institutions a little frustrating to read, but this story was set in the 1990s, so likely her naïveté was realistic.

Other than these small issues, I sped through this book, the whole time wondering if there would be any justice for Delroy Brown’s family, or whether the whole situation would play out with depressing realism.

Thank you to Netgalley and to Matador for this ARC in exchange for my review.

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Great read.
Set in the 1990's in Brixton, the death of Delroy Brown in Police custody and the story then of the investigation and uncovering of information by a young journalist.
This book was realistic and believable and set at a pace that does not have you wondering and not being bogged down in legal matters, but tells the tale from start to finish.
Thoroughly enjoyed this and hope there is more to come from T S Clayton.

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A story that is as relevant in todays world as it was in the years the book is set in. The death of a young black man in 1990s Brixton while in police custody. The policeman claiming self-defence but has no reasonable explanation to back his story. We follow the events that follow his death and the resulting investigations.
T.S Claytons' experience within the U.K legal system is very clear as you read this story. He has written about an emotive subject that absolutely everyone has had an opinion of in one way or another over the last few years. I myself was doubting the explanation for the 'self defence' of the officer right from the start. As the story developed, I didn't change my mind at all.
The heavy and sensitive issues that this book delves into have been handled in a way that avoids just reams of information. T.S Clayton writes in a way that it feels more relaxed. This does help the book flow easily, from chapter to chapter.
We are given every possible angle on the story. From the dead man's family, police, and the courts, no one's points of view are missed. We are even given the homeless reaction, too. Everyone is important; no matter their walk of life, I have to say, I loved the inclusivity. One thing I felt this book definitely highlighted one thing: the poor are always the losers. The rich manage to get out of anything and everything. It angers me always has.
Not a quick read; this book is more slow paced, but I liked that. I was able to digest everything that was happening and also get to know the characters and the issues without feeling rushed.
This is a fantastic read for anyone who has any interest in law and justice at all. It puts the legal system under a microscope for the readers to make their own conclusions on this case. If you don't mind a slower pace, I recommend this book.

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Alison French, a young journalist, Neeta Patel, Delroy’s family’s solicitor, and Ben Weekes, a black youth worker, join forces to try and find out the truth about Delroy’s death, but find themselves in growing danger, as they are drawn into a murky world of violent criminals and police informants.
This book had me reading to the end itching to find out if justice was done.

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A death in custody by T.S. Clayton.
Brixton in the late 1990s. Delroy Brown, a young black man being held in police custody, dies in a confrontation in his cell with a police officer.The officer claims to have acted in self-defence but fails to give a satisfactory explanation for being in the dead man’s cell. Chief Inspector Elliott conducts an investigation into Delroy’s death, but his enquiries are obstructed by a lack of co-operation from police officers, the activities of a corrupt private investigator – and the legal system itself. Alison French, a young journalist, Neeta Patel, Delroy’s family’s solicitor, and Ben Weekes, a black youth worker, join forces to try and find out the truth about Delroy’s death, but find themselves in growing danger, as they are drawn into a murky world of violent criminals and police informants.
An ok read. Found it slow but readable. 3*.

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