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ASBOs may be the pride and joy of New Labour, but they don't cut much ice with Horace Rumpole - he takes the old-fashioned view that if anyone is going to be threatened with a restriction of their liberty then some form of legal proceeding ought to be gone through first.
Not that Hilda agrees, of course, but she's too busy completing her memoirs to dissuade him from taking an interest when one of the Timson children is given an ASBO for playing football in the street. And pretty soon he realizes something fishy is going on. Why are the residents pursuing their vendetta against the Timson boy quite so strongly? Could they have a sinister reason for not wanting him on their street?
John Mortimer's delightful new Rumpole novel sees the magician of the Old Bailey, and Pommeroy's Wine Bar, at his implacable best as he defends our ancient freedoms, even as he remains uneasy about what it is exactly Hilda is writing.