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‘Members of the jury, the case is now before you to decide on the evidence . . . There is no alternative plea of manslaughter or justifiable homicide; your verdict varies only between innocence and guilt . . .’
It is the final day of the Claude Levy murder trial, about which everyone has an opinion – friends and enemies, bar-stool experts and neighbourhood gossips. The question is clear: did Levy murder his friend and patient Christopher Hall by poisoning him? But the motive is murky: was jealousy over a woman really at the root of events? Prosecution and defence are equally coherent. Gradually, as if through fog, the figure of Levy acquires definition. Meanwhile in the jury room it falls to twelve men and women to decide his fate.
Published in 1933, About Levy was the second novel by Arthur Calder-Marshall (1908-92), a rich and brilliant variation on the courtroom drama.
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