‘Naomi Byron – A Legal Thriller’ by Sana Pirzada

‘Naomi Byron’ is Sana’s third book. Set in the murky legal world of Victorian London, a young woman called Naomi Byron stands trial at the Old Bailey for the murder of an prominent Queen’s Counsel, Dominic Adler. Clyde Benedict, a known public defender fights for the poor and has defended many prisoners both guilty and innocent. Having lost his previous case of the falsely accused Susan Taylor, Clyde is ever more determined to see Naomi receive justice. Sana has deliberately set the book in 1863 because it was a time when social injustices where at their peak in England and there were severe deficiencies in the criminal justice system. Defendants had limited rights and the right to a counsel was a fairly new statutory provision. Public hangings were commonplace which were transformed into spectacles witnessed by thousands. Sana has also highlighted the failings within prisons and how harshly prisoners were treated. The Guest of Honour at the book launch at Marriott Hotel, Karachi was the esteemed Tara Uzra Dawood who spoke highly of Sana as well as her books. Sana then shared a brief power point presentation explaining the context of her book, key legal terminology as well as the significant themes. Towards the end of the event, Sana then asked the audience to imagine they had travelled back in time to the Old Bailey in 1863 and were members of the gallery at the court. She then read out a chapter from her book and impersonated the voices of four characters.