A Conspiracy of Betrayal #1
How do you kill a spider?
Kate O’Brien is pure dedication; she believes in the justice system. This feisty, no-nonsense attorney works herself to the bone every day, tirelessly building her reputation and career. She is on the path to being a legal star. That is until her corrupt law partner, Bill Brown, a criminal defense attorney, achieves a degree of notoriety which attracts the interest of the Drug Enforcement Administration.
When the inconceivable happens, Bill is arrested, charged with multiple counts of drug trafficking and money laundering leaving the law firm in chaos. As Kate slowly digs her way out, what she finds sends her down a dark path that could lead to her imprisonment or death. Bill has meticulously set her up to pay for his malevolent crimes. His cohorts, fearing she knows too much, have marked her for death. Can she stay ahead of the FBI and unravel crimes that reach as far as China and Russia? Or will she need to assume a new identity to save her own life?
I hate jail visits and avoid them like the plague. God forbid a client of mine had a lapse in judgment and left a paper trail of harassment or cyberstalked their spouse, and led to an arrest which required me to visit them in jail in order to arrange bail. I never got used to the odor of most places of legal confinement. Add to that the smell of an assortment of bodily fluids which clung to barely clean floors and handrails and it gave me even more incentive to power walk, instead of a stroll, through the crowded lobby and out into the gated parking lot.
The drive back from the jail to our office gave me some time to think about what had just occurred and ready my argument to let Bill know that I would not be his second chair or fallback person in this case. He could find someone else to help him gather evidence, prepare witnesses, and file the necessary paperwork. Period, end of the story. I was not crazy about the DUIs that he on occasion pushed my way and got snookered into negotiating a plea. This case, a homicide, I definitely had no intention of getting deeply involved in, even if he packaged it to look like involuntary manslaughter. I didn’t want to add criminal defense to my wheelhouse.
Bill and I met ten years ago when I needed a place to start my legal career and he needed a person to provide extra rent money. Over the years, things fell into a comfortable arrangement that with little thought or effort eased us into a formal partnership. Everyone loved Bill, how could you not? He is the one always ready with a joke, keeps you on the edge of your seat with his war stories, and thrives on the high energy of courtroom theatrics. Some people call him a “showboat” and even he admits that trial work fed the adrenaline junkie in him. Put him in a courtroom in front of a judge and jurors and he could keep them entertained for days. He fed off the edge and competitive mindset that a trial required.
I provide the grounding for our practice, the one who loves to work behind the scenes. Details and loopholes are my friends. If I could find an obscure case that would cause the judge to rule in my favor, well, those were days I did a secret happy dance behind closed doors. My cases might be emotionally messy, but when it came to the research aspect and presentation in court, I was downright obsessive about details. Because of that attribute, Bill would charge into my office at the last minute frantic to find a case he should have looked for weeks earlier. His trials were convoluted and messy and the promise it would only take a few minutes of my time to find this one case would often turn into hours of tedious research. If it meant my help required a court appearance, I had a catalog of excuses prepared to keep me out of criminal court.
A bond hearing falls into that gray area, which is not quite a trial, but it involves a hearing. There are no opening statements, no evidence production, cross-examination or closing arguments. Yet it still requires one to convince the judge your client is unlikely to skip town the minute the court allows their release. I had yet to lose a bond hearing, which wasn’t really much to boast about as I was not in the criminal law big leagues. After meeting Mrs. Mayhew, I was not sure how easy obtaining a reasonable bond would be, considering her actions were still…well, unpredictable. Bill was stuck in a trial he had expected to end in a plea deal the day the case was set to start. At the last minute, negotiations fell apart and he now had to pick a jury and present his case. He could not be two places at once. I got it, but this bond hearing had all the makings of a disaster.
I turned into the cemented area we called a parking lot, which desperately needed repair, and discovered that a red Porsche Taycan Turbo had parked in the spot marked with my name and straddled the one next to it. Shit. There were no more spots in the small area which meant I would be forced to hunt for one on the street. Not happening today.
Thank you, J. McGillick and Rachel’s Random Resources
About the author
J. McGillick was born in New York and once she started to walk she never stopped running. But that’s what New Yorker’s do. Right? A Registered Nurse, a lawyer now author.
As she evolved so did her career choices. After completing her graduate degree in nursing, she spent many years in the university setting sharing the dreams of the enthusiastic nursing students she taught. After twenty rewarding years in the medical field she attended law school and has spent the last twenty-four years as an attorney helping people navigate the turbulent waters of the legal system. Not an easy feat. And now? Now she is sharing the characters she loves with readers hoping they are intrigued by her twisting and turning plots and entertained by her writing