Sunday, November 8, 2009

A Rumpole Christmas


Horace Rumpole is idealistic.  He is always talking about how people are not guilty until a jury of their peers has declared them so.  It is not the role of the police, the judge or the barrister to make the judgment of guilt.  That judgment belongs to the jury.


In one of the stories in John Mortimer's A Rumpole Christmas, Mortimer writes: "It was only, it seemed, Rumpole who stuck to the old-fashioned belief that the most outrageous sinner deserves to have his defense, if he had one, put fairly and squarely in front of a jury."


In the final story, "Rumpole and the Christmas Break," Rumpole defends a Muslim "terrorist."  


At the close of the story, he says, "The terrorist got a fair trial.  And the whole truth came out in the end.  The day when a suspected terrorist doesn't get a fair trial will be the day they've won the battle."


Talk about heavy idealism disguised in seemingly innocuous Christmas murder mysteries!


I enjoyed this short book of five Christmas stories.  Reading it was a good way to begin my Christmas reading season.

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