Your Preview Verdict: Private Prosecution by Lisa Ellery

Your Preview Verdict: Private Prosecution by Lisa Ellery

Andrew Deacon is young, fit and single, a junior prosecutor at the WA DPP with a bright future and a sense of entitlement to match. That future starts to look darker when he spends the night with an attractive stranger, Lily Constantine, and she is found murdered in her apartment the following day. Andrew believes he knows who killed Lily but there is not a shred of evidence to prove it. This is a pacy, darkly comic whodunnit with a twist – Andrew knows who did it but the clock is ticking and he has to prove it before he gets himself taken out.

Read some great reviews from our Preview readers here:

This was a great story. It kept me intrigued and the plot was interesting, clever and kept me guessing. This book was an easy read and a real page turner. I had a couple of late nights reading just one more chapter. I liked the insights into the legal profession dealing with the police and how both parties can be hampered by their rules and regulations. I loved how the characters thought outside the box to get to the answers. Deb, SA, 5 Stars

Lisa Ellery’s Private Prosecution is a thoroughly enjoyable legal drama full of high flying barristers, murder, drug dealers, and hitmen. Andrew Deacon, state prosecutor finds himself unexpectedly a prime murder suspect. He embarks on a mission of self preservation and justice for Lil, encountering plenty of shady and despicable characters along the way. Near single handedly solving a bevy of crimes and nearly losing everything, this is quite a ride. Andrew is a likeable protagonist, and the characters of Lil, Jessy, Rod and Russ well drawn and engaging. My only negative was that I found Andrew’s statement that Lil was ‘nothing’ to him a little grating, but otherwise it was a fast paced legal drama which proved very difficult to put down through the second half. Thanks to Better Reading and Fremantle Press for the ARC. I would highly recommend Private Prosecution and look forward to more quality novels from Lisa Ellery. Im, VIC, 5 Stars

I loved, loved, loved Lisa Ellery’s debut novel Private Prosecution! A fast-paced and unpredictable storyline which grabs you from the first page! The main character is modern, likeable, cheeky and oh so flawed. We follow Andrew Deacon on his path from uber confident prosecutor to being a homeless and wanted prime suspect. He knows who is the true killer but must find his way back from a position of powerlessness and vulnerability in order to convince the police. Along the way he confronts truths about himself, faces his family and naturally has a love interest who may or may not send him to jail! Lisa Ellery’s detailed knowledge of the legal system and police procedures adds authenticity to the novel which is not always found in others of the genre. The characters are believable and the dialogue snappy and realistic. The West Australian setting is atmospheric and contributes to the story but does not detract or overwhelm. Finally, an update to the well-loved Police/Law Murder Genre. Lisa Ellery has managed to bring the genre into the 2020’s! I’m hoping we see Andrew Deacon turn up in another book and soon! Kayte, NSW, 5 Stars

Private Prosecution by Australian author & lawyer Lisa Ellery is her first book & reminds me a lot of the Eddie Flynn series by Steve Cavanagh. After finishing 6 books of Eddie Flynn I was glad to get an advance copy of Private Prosecution & I wasn’t disappointed. A one night stand turns Andrew Deacons life upside down as he’s first suspected of Lily Constantine death & then once cleared goes on a missing to find the killer. This book deals with a lot of dark subjects but it just adds to an already amazing book. The information in the book is so detailed you can see Lisa’s legal knowledge shining through. I would highly recommend Private Prosecution to anyone who likes a good mystery & our hero going all out to find the killer. Lisa Ellery is the new legal author for Australia that I’m hoping will have many more books in the future. Terry, NSW, 5 Stars

This book is great for those interested in the legal system, a superb whodunnit with lots to consider, a real page turner! The author has a deep understanding of all things legal and it’s refreshing to hear this perspective. Andrew works as a prosecutor for the WA DPP. A one night stand with Lily turns into a mystery, her murdered body is found the next day and the legal system turns against Andrew! Andrew is desperate to solve Lily’s murder, before being a ‘suspect’ turns into a jail term. Andrew knows he’s dealing with corruption but his naivety urges him on as he faces many twists and turns! This book is easy to read, has humour amongst the seriousness of the situation and the characters are believable! As the storyline unfolded, I found myself wanting justice then questioning the facts, it kept me wondering! Thank you to Fremantle Press, Better Reading and Lisa Ellery for the opportunity to read this very well written story, a fantastic debut Lisa! Vikki, TAS, 5 Stars

What a joy it was to preview this wonderful debut novel by Lisa Ellery, obviously with considerable experience as a lawyer this enable her to write something that put me right there into the book. The lead character Andrew Deacon comes across as a loveable guy who you just want the best for all the way through. The detail and depth that Lisa puts into the evolving story is superb. As the story unfolds, I found myself questioning all that I had believed at from the start and found myself questioning even my own thoughts. This was definitely a 5 star read and I can’t wait to recommend it to my friends. Danielle, VIC, 5 Stars

This was a captivating read from start to finish. There were plenty of plot twists and turns throughout which kept my interest until the very end. I was surprised to discover that this was a debut novel for Lisa Ellery. I’m looking forward to reading more from her. Natalie, NSW, 5 Stars

Wow, Lisa Ellery has launched Perth onto the map with this exciting look behind the scenes of criminal justice, WA style. I found myself constantly saying… just one more chapter… because of the clever chapter endings and engulfing storyline. The main character, Andrew is an arrogant lawyer who quickly finds out he is out of his depth when he is accused of murder. Now on the run from his colleagues and friends, can he find out what really happened to Lil before it costs him his freedom, or his life? Well suited to readers who enjoy the thrill of the chase and criminal thrillers. The work is easy to read and the twists and turns make you want to keep reading! Mary, SA, 5 Stars

Wow, what a wonderful debut novel from this very talented Author. The Author’s background knowledge of the legal system has definitely added to the expertise shown in this novel. The plot, which was very well constructed took the reader on the journey expertly to find out just “who had done it”. A great murder mystery with twists and turns along the way that keeps you guessing and wanting to read just one more page. Highly recommend this book. From the first page to the last I loved it. Can’t wait for more novels from this obviously highly talented Author. Christine, QLD, 5 Stars

Fantastic! A fast paced riveting read. This book was suspenseful with realistic characters and kept me up late on a few nights. Set in Perth WA and written by a lawyer who grew up in the area, Lisa has woven a fine tale drawing on her experience and knowledge of the area and the law. I would highly recommend this read and will be looking forward to more offerings from this author. Thanks to Better Reading and Fremantle Press who both know a great book when they see it. Karan, VIC, 5 Stars

Private Prosecution is a breath of fresh air for the Australian crime genre. Lisa uses her own personal and professional experiences as a lawyer to bring a real sense of authenticity to her story as we follow our hero Andrew Deacon down the criminal rabbit hole he finds himself in, all in the name of love, justice or all three? This novel was a quick and easy read as it was so captivating I was propelled through the pages not wanting to put it down. Mercury, NSW, 5 Stars

It was meant to be a one-night-stand, although Andrew Deacon, junior prosecutor with Western Australia’s DPP was hoping for more with pretty, sexy Lil Constantine. But the next day she was dead. Lil’s influential brother-in-law, Samuel Godfrey SC is the person Drew believes responsible, but the police have no case. When Drew persists, he is given an unambiguous demonstration of the man’s power to inflict pain of the physical and reputational kind. With this likeable protagonist, Lisa Ellery’s fast-paced debut is an utterly enthralling Aussie crime thriller. Marianne, NSW, 5 Stars

Private Prosecution by Lisa Ellery was an enjoyable read. Andrew Deacon, prosecutor with DPP, has a good job, good life, good future prospects. His life changes dramatically, when a girl he spent the night with, after meeting her at a bar, is found dead in her home. He is the only suspect. Despite the police finding no evidence to the contrary, Andrew is determined to prove his innocence at great cost to himself, physically, emotionally, financially. The story was well written, the twists meant you could not predict the outcome, but you had to keep reading. I read it in one sitting because I could not put it down. A great read. Fay, VIC, 5 Stars

Another brilliant pick of a debut author by the Better Reading team! The main character, Andrew Deacon, is someone you can take a dislike to due to his sense of entitlement but he’s soon put in a very unenviable position and finds himself on the run. The book is quick paced, I found parts funny and the twist is surprising. I couldn’t wait to finish it. Looking forward to the next book by Lisa Ellery. Rodney, NSW, 5 Stars

A chance meeting at a pub between Andrew and Lil leads to a one night stand but less than a day later Lil has been murdered. Andrew automatically gets the blame as his phone number was found on a slip of paper but he has a rock solid alibi. With his job as a junior prosecutor at the Western Australian DPP he tries to investigate the why and whom as he thinks he owes it to Lil’s family as he was the last person to see her alive. A fantastic debut novel by this author. Jill, VIC, 5 Stars

I found Private Prosecution a very enjoyable read, Very easy to get into. Without an over abundance of legalese gobbledygook An innocent man trying to prove that he is innocent. Highly recommend this book. A great book for a Debut Book. Bridget, VIC, 5 Stars

In this slow-burn Australian crime thriller, Andrew Deacon, a junior prosecutor, throws himself into finding out who killed his one night stand. Filled with lawyers, the court system, a ‘silk’ that seems squeaky clean, and situations that land Deacon deep into dangerous situations, Private Prosecution is a thriller that will make you think twice about investigating the next mystery that comes your way. Amanda, VIC, 4 Stars

I enjoyed this book. This is the first book I’ve read that is set in my hometown of Perth. It was nice to read about places I am familiar with, it made it easier to picture exactly what was going on in the story and where. As mentioned in the description, this is slightly different to a whodunnit as the main character, Drew, thinks he knows who killed his one-night stand, so the story is more about him trying to prove it and keep himself out of harm’s way. Despite this, there was still plenty of twists and turns and a lot going on throughout the book to keep your attention and keep you guessing. The characters came across as very real, as though, apart from the obvious “baddies” most of them were just normal people, making the story more realistic. It was a good concept that the main character was a prosecutor as this brought a bit of court room action into the story making it more than just an investigative thriller. All in all, an enjoyable, fast-paced debut crime novel. Nicole, WA, 4 Stars

Private Prosecution by first time novelist and lawyer Lisa Ellery, takes a dive into the criminal underworld, with junior prosecutor, Andrew Deacon, finding himself on the wrong side of the law after a one-night stand implicates him as a suspected killer for a murder. Andrew’s journey to find the truth and justice for the murdered girl leads him into a world of gangsters, killers, and corruption at the highest level. His obsession to bring the real perpetrators to light, sees him on the run and in mortal danger, while his relationships with friends, family and work colleagues are left in tatters. Lisa Ellery’s knowledge of the law is evident, with detailed descriptions of court proceedings and the inner workings of crime throughout the book. Andrew’s youthful and naïve character is endearing, and we want him to find his way out of a mess for which he is partially responsible. The book begins slowly but picks up pace as the story progresses and the characters develop. A quick and entertaining read. Karina, QLD, 4 Stars

I was given an advance copy by Fremantle Press and appreciate the opportunity to discover a new talent. After a one-night stand, Andrew leaves his phone number at Lil’s place and becomes the main suspect when Lil gets brutally murdered (I was not impressed when during the police interview he states that she was nothing to him, a bit cold, I reckoned). Andrew then chases up a lead that makes him think Lil’s brother-in-law, Sam (a barrister) is the murderer and Andrew makes lots of remarkably stupid decisions down the track. Mid book, I really started to get annoyed with Andrew’s behaviour. Luckily his attitude changes and the story keeps on unfolding nicely with a couple of surprises. Sandra, NSW, 4 Stars

Private Prosecution is Australian lawyer, former defence lawyer and now author; Lisa Ellery’s debut novel. This novel is set in Western Australia and follows the story of junior prosecutor Andrew Deacon and his one night stand; who is found murdered the following day. A classic who done it? Deacon now faces police interrogation, a family who does not want to hear what he thinks, and a period of time on the run from the police. The main character Deacon is a self described spoilt brat, though he will soon start to face some hard realities. Ellery’s legal background is evident within the plot line, making it a smooth and straight forward easily understandable legal plot to follow. An author to keep an eye out for in the future. Thank you to Better Reading and Fremantle Press for my ARC in exchange for an honest review. Jacinda, NSW, 4 Stars

Loved it. A fast paced page turner. A debut novel and one where the author’s legal experience shines. Andrew Deacon has a one night stand that turns his world into chaos when he becomes a prime suspect in a murder. Not a good look for an up an coming junior prosecutor. As he struggles to clear his name and bring the killer to justice he encounters many challenges – mainly staying alive. I found the characters believable. Andrew’s struggle with immaturity – knowing he needs to grow up, but on the other hand … Particularly liked his running partner, Russ – “You never feel so alive as when you’re nearly dead”. I look forward to reading more from this author in the future. Thank you to Better Reading and Fremantle Press for my copy. Pamela, QLD, 4 Stars

If this is Lisa’s first published crime novel, I can’t wait for more. The story and facts seemed well researched and I loved the Australian references, it felt homely reading it. The Australian references were just enough to keep me hooked and nostalgic but not so much that non-Australian readers would disengage. The characters were engaging and I especially enjoyed getting to know the main character Andrew and his endearing qualities. The way he problem solved and developed scenarios in his head was entertaining and kept humility to the character that could otherwise have been a little arrogant. There were a few hold your breath moments, twists and turns. This meant having to really engage with the book to navigate the author’s plot. I wish Lisa all the best in her writing endeavours and I look forward to her next novel. Renae, QLD, 4 Stars

Private Prosecution is an enjoyable legal thriller. Its chapters are short and quick drawing you easily into the story. Andrew a young prosecutor gets caught up in a murder investigation when a one night stand ends up dead. He must put his wits to the test against his suspect Sam as he fights his way through life threatening attacks and drug addiction. Good storytelling and interesting look into the legal world. Great debut and look forward to hearing more from this author. Kristy, NSW, 4 Stars

A fabulous Debut Novel from Lisa Ellery. From the very first paragraph the author grabs the readers attention. Private Prosecution is a book all lovers of crime fiction can lose themselves in. An easy read and page turner, it will keep you reading late into the night. Lisa Ellery writes in first person, which brings her main character “Andrew” alive. Great storyline and a very good read. I look forward to reading more of Lisa’s books in the future. Sue, NSW, 4 Stars

Andrew Deacon is a junior prosecutor at the West Australian DPP. He has a bright future ahead of him. Or at least he did until he hooks up with Lily Constantine for the night. Then on the following day Lily is found murdered in her apartment. Andrew finds himself the prime suspect. However he is convinced the murderer is respected barrister Sam Godfrey SC. Even Lily’s parents refuse to believe their son in law Godfrey is responsible. What possible reason could he have to kill her? Though no-one else believes him, Andrew is determined to bring Lily’s killer to justice, even if that means endangering his own life. His only hope is to nail the culprit,. He just has to stay alive long enough to do that. Dark and gritty this book deals with sexual abuse, corruption, abuse of power and drug taking. I didn’t find it an engrossing read but it did keep calling me back. While I found it interesting to read I never really identified with any of the characters particularly. The author, Lisa Ellery has been a lawyer in the Kalgoorlie- Boulder area. This is her debut novel and I suspect a lot of people are going to relish this book. Thanks to BetterReading and Fremantle Press for my copy to read and review this engaging and recommended read. Dale, NSW, 4 Stars

Thanks to Better Reading for the opportunity to read this book. Great debut novel by the author. Interesting read about a crime involving the police prosecutor. Fast paced and a few twists to keep you interested. Well researched. Virginia, NSW, 3 Stars

A really good read. Andrew Deacon, a junior prosecutor, meets the attractive Lil Constantine at a bar late one evening. They spend the night together at Lil’s apartment. The next morning Andrew wakes up early to go to work and leaves a note with his phone number. Within hours of his departure Lil is found dead and Andrew is the prime suspect. In his interview with the the police he remembers a phone conversation Lil had with someone called Sam. Andrew is cleared of her murder because he has a rock solid alibi. He suspects Lil’s brother-in-law, Sam Godfrey SC, a well respected barrister. Andrew is determined to find Lil’s killer and bring Sam to justice. He feels he owes it to her and her family as he was the last person to see her alive. There are lots of twists and turns as he takes matters into his own hands. I found Andrew a little annoying at times when he made a lot of really stupid decisions. I found this a good debut novel my Lisa Ellery and an easy read. Thank you to Better Reading and Fremantle press for giving me this opportunity to read and preview. Renae, QLD, 3 Stars

Private Prosecution by Lisa Ellery is a fast-paced narrative about a likeable junior prosecutor, Andrew. He has a one-night stand with a woman who is then discovered brutally murdered in her apartment, only hours after his departure. The story moves through several twists and turns, where we meet a lot of other characters – many who are not so likeable. Andrew is determined to prove he wasn’t the murderer and takes himself to some pretty dark places to do so. This is a well-written book with plenty of action and dialogue. It is set in the city of Perth, but has a touch of New York Crime story and LAPD-style about it. I would recommend this one to anyone who loves a crime-drama, and fans of the law’s ins and outs. A well-written debut novel by this author. Alison, VIC, 3 Stars

Andrew Deacon is a junior prosecutor at the West Australian DPP. Andrew has a one night stand with Lily. The following day Lily is found murdered in her apartment. Andrew finds himself the prime suspect. While the book kept me reading I did find the story a little slow at times. I also did not really find I liked most of the characters. I think the story could have been cut back in places. It seemed a lot of words in some places that did not say much. In saying that it was not a bad debut novel. Jonathan, NSW, 3 Stars

This is one of those dark and mysterious books that has a few twists and turns and has some suspense but doesn’t always keep me enthralled. There is a one night stand, a murder, a junior prosecutor and plenty of rough stuff. It has the right characters a good storyline and enough action and intrigue to keep you reading. There is some humour in it and it did flow but again it just didn’t really hold my attention like I wanted it to. It is a good book and an excellent debut and I was pleased it wasn’t a 400 page book as so many are these days. It was short enough and long enough so that even through the less interesting parts I still felt I could read it to the end. And I am glad I did. As I said, a great debut and I look forward to seeing what Lisa Ellery does in her next book. Donna, TAS, 3 Stars

It’s unusual for a crime novel to tell you up front who the killer is but that’s what Private Prosecution does but then it has you guessing are they really the killer? It keeps you turning the pages to find out if Andrew Deacon can prove who the killer is or whether he will end up in jail himself. A good easy read for crime enthusiasts. Lynette, SA, 3 Stars

Private Prosecution was a clever, witty read, where you immediately find a soft spot for the unethical main character. Well written with enough twists and turns to make it unputdownable. Very enjoyable book. Rebecca, NSW, 3 Stars

Publisher details

Private Prosecution
Lisa Ellery
Fremantle Press
31 August, 2021


Andrew Deacon is young, fit and single, a junior prosecutor at the WA DPP with a bright future and a sense of entitlement to match. That future starts to look darker when he spends the night with an attractive stranger, Lily Constantine, and she is found murdered in her apartment the following day. Andrew believes he knows who killed Lily but there is not a shred of evidence to prove it. This is a pacy, darkly comic whodunnit with a twist – Andrew knows who did it but the clock is ticking and he has to prove it before he gets himself taken out.
Lisa Ellery
About the author

Lisa Ellery

Lisa Ellery was born in 1975 and raised on a farm near Esperance on Western Australia's south coast. She studied law and arts at the University of Western Australia before returning to regional WA in 1998 to commence her career as a lawyer in the goldmining city of Kalgoorlie-Boulder. She soon fell in love with Kal and its people, and in 2008 she started her own law firm there. She works predominantly in commercial and mining law and employs a dozen staff in her busy Hannan Street practice. Lisa is married to Simon Ellery, a geologist. She divides her time between running her law firm, running marathons and writing her second novel.

Books by Lisa Ellery


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