Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Dancing to Regina's Tune

We go through life imagining we are in control, making choices based on preferences and evidence. But when we look back, we can see how we were dancing to someone else's tune. I thought it was just coincidence when Forbes-Brown lobbed me a lucrative piece of work up in Scotland for a client I had met before, but that was to underestimate Regina Heart's ability to play a long game.

Robert stood alone on the wooden jetty wondering if the torn information notice pinned to a post was correct. He listened intently but there was no sound apart from the gentle lapping of six inch waves on the shingle beach. He had stayed the night in a decent hotel in Blackwaterside, once a hunting lodge for royalty and lairds. He was the only guest and had used the solitude to prepare for his meeting with Regina Heart. It was his favourite part of the job – taking instructions directly from the client – but he felt uneasy. The last time he had seen this particular client she had been locked in a cage in a torn latex dress.
Forbes-Brown had insisted he travel to see Regina. “When the case is worth thousands, the client comes to us. When it’s worth millions, we go to them. Most people would jump at the chance for a couple of days in Scotland sampling a few malts. What’s the matter with you, Robert?”
“No, I’m fine. I’ll go. I was trying to save your costs.”
“You’re not questioning my judgement? This young woman has been badly treated by a big company. I want to do something for her.”
“She’s not exactly young, Forbes-Brown.”
“She is from where I stand. Not that I’ve met her in the flesh. We spoke on the phone, but there was something in her manner. I don’t know, she had a lovely melodic voice… and she sent me a picture, to my phone. Damned clever, that.”
“I know what you mean. I mean I know the kind of person. Why don’t you take instructions yourself?”
“Look here Robert, I can’t spend all day listening to your twaddle. There’s no risk anyway. The company will settle out of court. They won’t want dirty linen washed in public. Even you couldn’t fuck this one up.”
“I just think if it comes out that my wife works for the company being sued the plaintiff might feel she’s not had a fair shot, especially if she loses.”
“She can’t possibly lose. It’s just a question of how much. Your connection to a junior executive in Monsaint won’t come out. Why would it? Sometimes your attitude… It’s a straightforward case with a big fee. What more do you want? There are plenty of other barristers I could give it to.”

“I’ll get in touch with Castle Dunlaggin right away.”

This is an extract from SHAMELESS EXPOSURE . This, and other books by Robert Fanshaw published by Steam eReads are available from Amazon.

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The world is divided into voyeurs and exhibitionists... It takes one of each to make a good marriage.

Robert and Caroline Fanshaw are an ambitious young couple trying to make their way in a complex world.

What happens when their private affairs collide with world events and the big issues of our times? Drama, comedy and x-rated scenes.