Wednesday, 27 February 2013

The Reckless Engineer

Jac Wright, Author, The Reckless EngineerThe Reckless Engineer is the first in author Jac Wright's series of literary suspense, mystery, and legal drama.

Jack Connor's lives an idyllic life by the Portsmouth seaside married to Caitlin McAllen, a stunning billionaire heiress, and working at his two jobs as the Head of Radar Engineering at Marine Electronics and as the Director of Engineering of McAllen BlackGold, his powerful father-in-law Douglas McAllen's company in extreme engineering in Oil & Gas.  He loves his two sons from his first marriage and is amicably divorced from his beautiful first wife Marianne Connor.  Their idyllic lives are shattered when the sexy and alluring Michelle Williams, with whom Jack is having a secret affair and who is pregnant with his child, is found dead and Jack is arrested on suspicion for the murder.

Jeremy Stone brings in a top London defence attorney, John Stavers, to handle his best friend's defence.

Who is the bald man with the tattoo of a skull seen entering the victim's house? Who is "KC" who Caitlin makes secret calls to from a disposable mobile? Has the powerful Douglas McAllen already killed his daughter's first partner, and is he capable of killing again? Is Caitlin's brother Ronnie McAllen's power struggle with Jack for the control of McAllen Industries so intense that he is prepared to kill and frame him? Is the divorce from his first wife as amicable on her part as they believe it to be? Are his sons prepared to kill for their inheritance? Who are the ghosts from Caitlin's past in Aberdeen, Scotland haunting the marriage? What is the involvement of Jack's manager at Marine Electronics?

While Jack is charged and his trial proceeds in the Crown Court under John Stavers’ care, Jeremy runs a race against time to find the real killer and save his friend, if he is in fact innocent, in a lurid saga of love, friendship, power, and ambition.

The Main Characters

 Friday, October 15 – The Day of Arrest

        Harry and Jeremy were just about to call it a day and head over to the pub for a drink when the call came through. Harry had gathered the files and papers spread over the round table that stood diagonally opposite the large polished oak desk that dominated his office. There they liked to sit in the afternoon, take stock, and mull over matters at hand once every few days. The London sky, turning a misty orange-red through the window behind Harry, was being served to them lukewarm and sliced finely into stripes by the blind. Jeremy didn’t envy Harry his large west-facing office. He liked his sun served whole, with a black Americano and two sugars, early in the morning.
        Harry had pricked up his ears on the phone. ‘Jeremy, it’s for you,’ he said, locking grave eyes onto his friend’s, ‘from the Guildford police station. Do you want to take it in here?’
        A call to Jeremy from a police station was an odd occurrence. It must be something serious, he thought. He had learned by then that such a look from Harry portended serious events to follow without fail.
         ‘Thanks, Harry.’ He took the phone. ‘Hello?’
         He was wholly unprepared for the voice that came through to him.
       ‘Jeremy, it’s Jack, from Marine Electronics. You remember Michelle? She’s dead, man. I’ve been arrested. I need a solicitor.’
. . .

The Victim

The Summer Of The Year Before

          The Monday that Michelle Williams started work at Marine Electronics was a scorching hot midsummer day. From the fourth floor wall of glass on the west wing of the seven-storey building owned by Marine, Jeremy and his fellow engineers were treated to a panoramic view of the landscape stretching all the way to Portsmouth Bay where the waters lay out in the sun and made light ripples, too lazy and too content to get up and make even the occasional wave. The bay was thus greeting the day cheerfully shimmering in the mid-morning sun when Steve, the QA team leader, brought Michelle over for a quick introduction to Jeremy’s team. Quality Assurance essentially meant “testing”; a QA team sat next to each engineering team and ran many series of rigorous tests after Engineering was done with the research, design, and development of various stages of a product.
          Engineering was a male dominated field. There was only one female, Sally Trotter, in Jeremy’s team of one physicist, one mechanical engineer, and ten electronic engineers. He could see that Michelle’s long bleached hair, sleeveless low-cut blouse, endless legs tanned from a bottle, three inch stilettos, and hot-pink claws—so long they were surely retracted in for typing—did not go unnoticed by the boys.
. . .

Caitlin McAllen - The Wife

Caitlin McAllen-Connor was a stunning woman at 38 with dark hair, porcelain skin, and a face made regal by prominent cheekbones and deep-sea blue eyes.  She packed her 5’ 7” medium frame with toned muscles of a woman who had firm control over the world’s most exquisite foods she had readily available to her and was kept very active and busy by her normal life without being expressly athletic.  Caitlin kept house, garden, horses, dogs, and rare exotic Silkie birds with the same flair and precision with which she kept the McAllen Industries’ books.

If anything challenged Caitlin’s self-control it was cigarettes, which she liked to roll herself from fine imported tobacco.  She was always quitting for Jack’s and Gillian’s sake, but was always eventually failing particularly in the event of anything that disturbed her world.  No more than three or four times a week, she would retreat with her vintage black-satin embroidered tobacco box to one of her selection of outdoor “smoking-seats” she had had specially built in her landscaped garden, at least one to suit any particular kind of weather.  There I saw her extinguishing her cigarette at her favourite sheltered autumn seat in the falling early evening darkness, under-lit by the subtle lights of the subterranean fish tank beneath the glass on which she stood.  She hurried towards me, flanked by the obedient Alsatians, as I got out of the car.

‘Jeremy, thank god you are here,’ she cried, giving me a nervous, anxious hug.  ‘Is Jack okay?’

‘He’s in good hands with John, Caitlin,’ I reassured her and followed her indoors.  I had briefly explained on the phone that Barrett Stavers had been brought in as Jack’s solicitors.

Someone who did not know Caitlin might have been surprised to see a used crystal Champaign glass and a half-empty bottle of Champaign by the living room seats where she sat us only a few hours after her husband had been taken into custody.  Champaign, however, was what Caitlin drank; when others drank beer, cocktail, fine wine, scotch, brandy, port, or sherry… Caitlin drank Champaign for no reason other than she liked the taste of it...

The Sidekick

Otter had debuted his West End career performing with a modern dance company and had aptly acquired his stage name in the early days from his graceful dance moves on the stage.  That, however, was not the only reason for his name.  Otter was clearly gay and proudly and loudly carried his gracefulness on stage into real life.  There wasn’t a movement that he made where his hands and other parts of his body did not make an elaborately graceful bend, wave, zigzag, or twirl.   He had a black grandmother of whom he spoke of often with great affection and the combination of genes gave him golden skin, freckles on his nose and cheekbones, and a pile of long golden-brown ringlets at the top of his head that spread in every direction and bounced and danced as fluidly as his body and limbs with every movement.  He always wore a trademark tank-top showcasing his toned, muscular, and lithe body whenever he was working, accessorized with a glittery black cardigan on colder days.

Otter had nowadays moved into acting and backstage production and was today doing the costumes for the stage adaptation of the acclaimed Ealing comedy The Ladykillers at the Gielgud Theatre...