ORIGIN & CAUSE by Shelly Reuben

Let’s just say that murders happened in the middle of other things: a cop,  a lawyer, a fire investigator get up, they fight with their wives, they eat. Sometimes they think. The law is something they think about.  How it came to be what it is, where it came from, when it changed.  If you have a father who reads, who respects the history of things, who loves the Law, you think about what a lawyer should be, what the law should be, what an institution like the law allows human beings to be.

In Europe, rich people sometimes keep a modest apartment in a poor or marginal area of their city. They call it their “pied a terre”. Translated, this means “foot on the ground”. It is said that their purpose in maintaining these small apartments is to remind them of their roots and to keep them in touch with reality. And that’s exactly why I always keep my copy of Letters To A Young Lawyer in my briefcase. The words within, the philosophy, Harris’  love of simplicity and reverence for the law, this is my psychological pied a terre.

A Certain Justice by P.D. James read by Simon Prebble

It is rare to hear the barely conscious memories of a powerful woman reconnoitring the dimensions of a frustrated girlhood. The wooden, joyless father, the servile, fearful, nervous mother, the rules, the order, the manners, the placements, the positions, the positionings of the dinner table, extended to the smallest sensations of everyday life. The monstrous, unending oppression.

Is it an English oppression? Perhaps. There is the painful, unhappy education of a displaced intelligence, a displaced sex, a displaced class; the oblivion of a female among the ritual insensibilities of English law, the infinite isolation of a woman, divorced, middle-aged, groomed.

And there are the small contradictions of a rational woman, uncertain in the face of her irrationality, her daughter.