A Life of Crime by Harry Ognall

Published October 28, 2021

A Life of Crime by Harry Ognall

Book info

  • Title A Life of Crime
  • Author Harry Ognall
  • Year 2017
  • Genre Memoir

For many years, Harry Ognall enjoyed a formidable reputation as an advocate at the criminal Bar. As counsel, and later as judge, he was involved in numerous high-profile trials, both in Britain and abroad. Thoughtful and provocative, Sir Harry has advice for the aspiring young advocate, and invests this penetrating memoir with warmth, humour and understanding. His frank portrait of a lifetime in the criminal law offers unique perspectives on some of the most notorious cases of the twentieth century, as well as fascinating insights into a colourful professional life and the burdens and responsibilities that come with the privilege of high judicial office.


This is an odd one, another workplace memoir, this time from a life in the criminal courts. It was interesting but I don’t know if it went in depth enough. Obviously you have to be careful of the law, but it felt very light, skimming the surface of a handful of trials. I think there was also a lot of implied knowledge, I didn’t really understand the career trajectory of our narrator, thinking he was a judge before he’d actually made it, etc. Good but not perfect.

Rating: 3 / 5

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