Paperback: 272 pages
Publisher: Lightning Books
Launch date: August 2017
A 15-year-old schoolboy is accused of the brutal murder of one of his teachers.
His lawyers – the guarded veteran, Judith, and the energetic young solicitor, Constance – begin a desperate pursuit of the truth, revealing uncomfortable secrets about the teacher and the school.
But Judith has her own secrets which she risks exposing when it is announced that a new lie-detecting device, nicknamed Pinocchio, will be used during the trial. And is the accused, a troubled boy who loves challenges, trying to help them or not?
The Pinocchio Brief is a gripping courtroom thriller which confronts our assumptions about truth and our increasing reliance on technology.
“Pinocchio takes lie detection to another level.”
He tapped his laptop mouse, exaggeratedly, and a second image filled the screen. The word “Pinocchio” appeared at the top in bold red letters and beneath it was the Disney version of Pinocchio’s face, replete with extended nose, sprouting leaves and a bird’s nest at the very end with two feathered inhabitants. Underneath it read “the LIE is as plain as the nose on your face”. The audience giggled politely.
“Now, in the story, when Pinocchio told lies his nose grew. That isn’t quite what happens here. This Pinocchio, my Pinocchio software, watches how people move, not what they say but how they say it and it works out all by itself whether someone is telling the truth or not. No wires, no time wasting, no training. Just sit those criminals in front of the screen and let Pinocchio ‘read’ their faces. The report is ready straight away, every word assessed for truthfulness, every lie exposed.”
“Intelligently conceived and cleverly constructed; The Pinocchio Brief is a good read. Its themes are topical and relevant and its characters are very engaging. Abi Silver’s legal background has, I am sure, been of value to her in writing this novel.”
Ted Childs, creator of Kavanagh QC, executive producer of Morse, Lewis, The Brief and The Sweeney
“An evocative and gripping thriller, where present day meets the technology of the near future. Abi Silver raises startling questions about the dependence and interdependence of technology in our lives in this pacy courtroom drama.”
Maha Khan Phillips, author of The Curse of Mohenjodaro
For regular blog posts pertaining to The Pinocchio Brief, visit www.abisilver.co.uk.