Meet the true face of British justice.
Nazir Afzal knows a thing or two about justice. As a Chief Prosecutor, it was his job to make sure the most complex, violent and harrowing crimes made it to court, and that their perpetrators were convicted. From the Rochdale sex ring to the earliest prosecutions for honour killing and modern slavery, Nazir was at the forefront of the British legal system for decades.
But his story begins in Birmingham, in the sixties, as a young boy facing racist violence and the tragic death of a young family member – and it’s this that sets him on the path to his groundbreaking career, and which enables him to help communities that the conventional justice system ignores, giving a voice to the voiceless.
A memoir of struggle and survival as well as crime and punishment, The Prosecutor is both a searing insight into the justice system and a powerful story of one man’s pursuit of the truth.
The Prosecutor is a punchy, quick read from former Chief Prosecutor Nazir Afzal, telling the stories of his time in various roles but mainly working with the CPS.
Nazir is really relatable and tells the stories in a frank, interesting and engaging way. It doesn’t feel like he is sensationalises the cases he’s worked on but instead explains the context, why it was so important to him and what happened as a result. I am fascinated by all things criminal, and read so many crime novels (and watch many crime series on TV too), so I was aware of the CPS and what they did, but hadn’t really thought about how much responsibility they have on a day to day basis and how hard they work to ensure trials and cases are fair and carried out properly.
There are some really interesting cases here, and some that I found really upsetting – particularly the honour killings that Nazir takes such an active role in trying to prevent during his career. It made me so angry to read about, and Nazir does a great job conveying the horror for those caught up in this kind of case.
Nazir also gives a background to his career and experiences growing up as a muslim in 1960/70s Britain, and I finished the book thinking Nazir is definitely someone I’d want to have on my side! He’s brilliantly sharp, fair and passionate about doing the best he can. Definitely recommended.
Many thanks to the publisher, Ebury, for providing a copy of this novel on which I chose to write an honest review.