The police say she’s guilty.
She insists she’s innocent.
She’s your sister.
You love her.
You trust her.
But they say she killed the person you care about most.
I was a big fan of Gillian McAllister’s first two novels, Everything but the Truth and Anything You Do Say so I was looking forward to starting her third. No Further Questions is an intense courtroom drama that peels back the layers of a shocking, tragic event, and it has a devastating twist. I was utterly gripped from the first page. Gillian’s books keep getting better and better.
We are introduced to Becky and Martha who are sisters. Martha is a compassionate individual and has recently set up her own charity, based in Kos, Greece to help refugees. After having her daughter, Layla, Martha asks Becky to look after her so she can carry on her important work, and after leaving the country, things soon begin to take its toll on Becky. And it isn’t long before Martha has to rush back to the UK after her daughter is found dead; Becky is on trial for her murder. Martha can’t bring herself to think of the possibility that Martha killed Layla. But as the evidence is stripped away, she realises that she may soon have to accept this as reality.
Gillian McAllister writes her characters so well. Although I could see why Martha wanted to go to Kos and help the refuges, I was shocked that she chose to leave her newly born daughter behind in the UK, and I felt for Becky who already has a young son, Xander to look after. There are lots of emotions that run through this book, and this comes across so well in Gillian’s writing. We are taken into the heart of the action. The case of Layla’s death has already been brought to trial, and we see all the intensity of preceding events unfold, as it is re-lived through the minds of people directly involved in the crime and the witnesses. I could never quite be sure how everything was going to come together at the end. Would Becky be found guilty? This was the question that kept me turning the pages.
The drama in the courtroom comes across very well on the page. I loved that we got to see past events through the minds of different witnesses, who all add something new to the case, and they did get me thinking as I tried to examine the evidence that Gillian put forward as well. This is what made this book so absorbing. What I thought was also interesting, was that parts of the book are told from the viewpoint of the judge. Often, when a trial is taking place, I don’t think of the judge who has to pass sentence, I only really think about the people involved in the case, the police and witnesses, and the jury who have to come to a decision. So it was fascinating to see the case from his perspective as well.
If you enjoy reading novels that will make you think, then I definitely recommend this book. It is a powerful and emotive read that I think will stay with me and in the minds of many readers for a while.
Publication date: 2nd July 2018
Print length: 421 pages