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Although this book may be thought from its title to be a light-hearted legal romp, like its predecessors Brothers in Law and Daughters in Law, it is a good deal more than that.
From time to time the courts have heart-rending decisions to make about a child. The simplest example is when a mother, who has at first consented to have her illegitimate baby adopted, changes her mind and demands the return of the child from the proposed adopters, who have become devoted to it.
There may also be cases where a natural father has legal rights which are overlooked when an adoption order is made. When he learns what has happened, he may apply to revoke the adoption order and he may have a very strong case.
This book is about such a situation and the efforts of the court to decide between the conflicting claims. More than a little light-heartedness has crept into Fathers in Law, almost as though the author regretted his serious theme. For example, Mr Tewkesbury returns to defend a blackmailer, and two eminent psychiatrists, each of whom talks admirable sense in his examination-in-chief, are almost re¬duced to the ranks of stuttering half¬wits by experienced cross-examiners, and with a semblance of truth.
This combination of tense drama with comedy is a new and welcome addition to the wide range of successful novels by Henry Cecil now in print.