It’s over a year since I wrote a post on this blog and you may well be asking why so long? After finishing what I thought was the final draft of The Fatal Step I sent the novel to The Literary Consultancy for a professional edit. The reader’s, Claire McGowan overview was that she had enjoyed reading it; ‘the writing is pacey and fluid and the details of chamber’s life fascinating. I also enjoyed reading about two strong female leads and the daily life of the legal system.’ From there it went downhill as she highlighted the problems with the various plot lines. She made a few suggestions about how I might increase the tension but basically said that two topics – a rape trial and a missing girl were more interesting than the murder trial.
Not surprisingly I was disappointed and rather upset by the criticism but after thinking about it I had to agree. The question then was how to correct it. Was I going to change both plots completely and effectively start again or change one or other of them? How could I raise the profile of the rape trial or concentrate on the missing girl? I decided to drop the missing girl plot and to bring the rape trial into the foreground.
This would be my elevator pitch for the book.’ There are two protagonists in the novel, a barrister Cassie Hardman and a Detective Constable Alexis Seymour. Cassie Hardman is stalked by an unknown male who refers to a rape trial in which she was the defendant’s barrister. The defendant has been acquitted. She attempts to continue her professional and private life under stress from this intrusion into her life. DC Seymour is investigating the supply of contaminated drugs. One of the persons arrested with the drug in their possession is a clerk at Cassie Hardman’s chambers. Alex asks Cassie for assistance with the drugs investigation but sh becomes concerned about the man harassing Cassie. ‘
So not only is the book a very different story it also has new title Reluctant Consent.