JUST RELEASED: LOOSELY CONNECTED – JENNIFER FREELAND
“What a great insight into life in the Crown Prosecution Service! Thoroughly enjoyed following this plot to its conclusion… If you like your crime dramas with twists and turns it’s a must read.” – Heather Offer
When Thommi Carmichael, a gifted lawyer working for the Crown Prosecution Service, finds herself the victim of a terrifying attack, she soon discovers it’s more than just an isolated incident. An attempt to frame her for assault leaves her not only bewildered by events but forces her to rely on help from an unexpected quarter; DI Rory Hoskins, a policeman she despises.
Rory Hoskins relishes the prospect of arresting Thommi for assault, she had once threatened his career. But when Thommi turns the tables on her accuser, Rory’s investigation is turned on its head.
Sensing that the incidents may have something to do with Thommi’s past, Rory enlists the help of CIS’s rookie graduate, John Carter, to dig into her cases. Evidence of a conspiracy surfaces, the body count rises, and the threat to Thommi’s life escalates, as the two officers race to uncover the truth before Thommi Carmichael’s name is added to the list of murder victims.
About the Author
After dreaming away six or so years of her life devouring crime novels rather than the subjects being taught, Jennifer Freeland left school determined to make her name as a writer before the age of 25. Well, not even in fiction does everything always go according to plan! Skipping over the desks Jennifer sat at in numerous officers, in several countries, we arrive at a desk in an all male residential college, part of Sydney University in Australia. Any such desk was bound to be memorable but in this case its influence extended well beyond her social life. The buzz of university life, spurred Jennifer into returning to education, beginning with night school in Australia and ending back in England where she qualified as a solicitor, specialising in criminal law.
Jennifer began her career defending suspects before joining the Crown Prosecution Service. For over 20 years as a criminal lawyer and advocate, she dealt with offences ranging from traffic matters to murder, serious fraud, and organised crime. There was only one thing missing from this happy overlap of career and crime fiction and that was the time to write. And then one evening, on her way to a party, Jennifer had the good fortune to break her leg. In the six weeks she had off work as a result of her injury, the first draft of Loosely Connected was penned.
Jennifer lives near Chichester in West Sussex.
As Thommi stepped onto her Barnes Bridge train and squashed herself between two people to sit down, her spirits rose a little. It had been an hour since she had consumed her last drink, it was the last leg of her journey, and home was within sight.
The neon lights near Battersea blazed mercilessly, and Thommi closed her eyes for a moment, her head now throbbing. Then at Putney, half the passengers left the train including those either side of her. There was a slight delay at Barnes station, but once the train drew away from the platform, Thommi stood up and moved eagerly, if still a little unsteadily, towards the doors. The next stop was Barnes Bridge. As the doors opened only two other people stepped off the train, moving swiftly along the platform, and by the time Thommi reached the stops they had already disappeared from sight, the night swallowing them. The steps at Barnes Bridge were steep down to ground level and Thommi concentrated on negotiating them, her shin sore from her fall at Clapham Junction. She had just put her second foot on the ground and was looking up but, before she could walk away from the steps towards the pavement, she heard the roar of an engine.
A motorbike swept in towards her forcing her into the station tunnel, which led to one of the network of Barnes’ passageways. Thommi shrank against the wall, some part of her mind functioning sufficiently to warn her of the danger of disappearing from sight of the road. The bike stopped within inches of her and a black clad figure, a visor hiding his face, leaned in towards her. Thommi opened her mouth to scream and a gloved hand pushed something against and into her mouth, something soft and foul smelling. Thommi gagged and tried to push the hand away from her face. She put one foot against the bike and shoved. The hand loosened slightly as the rider checked the roll of the bike and Thommi struggled to scream and push away from the hand but she was paralysed by fear. And then, just as the gloved hand gripped her mouth again to silence her, voices were heard laughing, coming from the direction of the village. At the sound, the motorcyclist hesitated just long enough for Thommi to escape his grip and shout. As she pushed past him. The motorbike roared off down the black Barnes pages, out of sight.
Thommi staggered out of the mouth of the tunnel, past the railway steps and into the pavement at the same time as the owners of the laughing voices, a young couple, appeared. She retched towards the ground, shivering and wiping the soft substance she now registered was dog excrement from her face, her bag still clasped tightly under one arm.
The couple gave her a wide berth, as Thommi began to move in the same direction as them, tears running down her face. She just had to make it home, just had to get there. Sobering fast, she was aware of the interest she was attracting from passers-by and a couple who emerged from a restaurant in White Hart Lane. Just before the level crossing she turned left. No one was about. She took off her shoes and ran the remainder of the way to her front door. Her hands were so unsteady she couldn’t at first find her key. Crouching by the door, crying, she turned everything out of her bag, desperate for the safety of her cottage, until at last her shaking hands closed around her key ring. Shoving everything back into her bag she stood and, just as she had managed to turn her key in the lock, she heard the sound of an approaching motorbike.
“The well thought out and developed characters, plot and writing style all combined to make it a thoroughly enjoyable and gripping read which I would thoroughly recommend.” – Amazon Customer