Yes, there is a new Tolkien book just out, but it’s not by J. R. R. Tolkien but his grandson, Simon Tolkien, a barrister in London. It’s a legal thriller called Final Witness, published as a hardcover at $24.95.
The publisher’s blurb reads:
One summer night, two men break into an isolated manor house and kill Lady Anne Robinson. Her son, Thomas, convinces the police that his father’s beautiful personal assistant sent the killers, but Thomas is known for his overactive imagination, and he has reasons to lie.
Thomas’s father, Sir Peter Robinson, the British minister of defense, refuses to believe his son. Instead, he marries his assistant, Greta Grahame, and will be giving evidence for the defense at her trial. He will be the final witness.
Author Simon Tolkien successfully combines legal suspense and psychological tension in this sharply etched portrait of four people whose lives are changed by a murder. Alternating between the trial in London’s Central Criminal Court and private moments among the characters, Tolkien expertly describes the art of the trial, the clash between Britain’s social classes, and, most notably, the complexity of family relations.
Who is telling the truth – the new wife or the bereaved son? What will Sir Peter tell the court?
With tantalizing ambiguity, Tolkien keeps readers guessing about the true motivations of these characters until the final witness.
On the back of the book there is a personal note from Simon Tolkien which reads:
Many people may think that being related to a famous writer would make it easier to become a writer yourself, but I have found the opposite to be true. I always unconsciously felt that I would be measured against my grandfather’s huge achievement, and this kept me away from fiction for a very long time.
I have always loved The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit, and my grandfather’s mastery of the art of storytelling remains an inspiration to me, but my novel is set in the world of criminal law–obviously an entirely different realm from my grandfather’s work. A courtroom is an extraordinary place. Witnesses often tell their own stories in the most dramatic fashion. My experiences as a criminal barrister in London have provided me with many ideas for stories, a wide experience of human nature, and an insider’s knowledge of the courts, which means I can make my fiction true to life.
Simon Tolkien was born in 1959, the only child of Faith and Christopher Tolkien. He was educated at Trinity College, Oxford, and lives in London with his wife Tracy, and their two children.
For more information visit http://www.SimonTolkien.com
To purchase the book jump over to Amazon.com or your local bookstore. [Purchase at Amazon]