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Interview with T. J. Cooke, author of Defending Elton


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Tell us about Defending Elton.
The British legal system – the best in the world – fair, just and robust… or is it? What happens when a skilled player can manipulate the system… are the guilty as ‘guilty’ as they seem, and are the innocent all too easily framed?

When the hapless Elton Spears finds himself on trial at the Old Bailey, for the brutal murder of a budding law student, everything about the case points to his guilt… with her blood on his clothing and fibres from her dress. And to top it all off there’s even a full blown admission in his police interview. Elton is sure to be convicted…

… but Elton was nowhere near the scene of crime, had never even met the deceased, and had his gullible mind influenced by the real murderer.

When we learn who that ‘real murderer’ actually is, the shocking truth begins to unfold. Defending Elton is a bitter twist on the classic courtroom drama…. and keeps you guessing as to how things will turn out, right up to its surprising end.

What genre is it?
As reviewer Mr Spock famously said, ‘it’s crime fiction Jim, but not as we know it’…

What kind of readers will it appeal to?
…This is not a ‘copy and paste’ serial killer investigation… this is a highly original and inventive tale, full of classic twists and turns, and laced with black humour. It also has a serious message pinned on its wall… never take ‘the truth’ at face value.

Complete this sentence for us: if you like _________________, you’ll love Defending Elton.
Fargo, The Usual Suspects, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest and L.A.Confidential then…

Have you written any other books that we should read next?
Kiss and Tell, also by TJ Cooke, introduces us to Jill Shadow… a maverick lawyer, from a poor background, who had to struggle to qualify the hard way, and who takes on the most challenging and sometimes dangerous of cases….

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I was formerly a legal executive and then legal advisor to BBC drama. I went on to become a TV scriptwriter, penning some popular drama scripts for the likes of The Bill, London’s Burning, Family Affairs and Bad Girls. I am also an advertising copywriter at

Do you have a website where we can keep up with your work? And how can readers contact you?

What’s next?
The return of Jill Shadow from ‘Kiss and Tell’… in a brand new adventure.

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