As I said in my last post, I’m just getting my breath back after a busy month. But I want to take a moment to update readers on what lies ahead. It’s an exciting time. As a result of new contracts with No Exit Press I will be publishing two more Ben Schroeder novels, and two very different volumes about which I’m very excited. Here’s a sneak preview.
In Calling Down the Storm, Ben defends Henry Lang, accused of the brutal murder of his wife Susan. The couple were involved in bitter child custody proceedings, and the circumstances seem to make a conviction for murder inevitable. But Ben faces an additional complication. His client claims to have lost his memory of the fateful occasion, and on the eve of trial, it has still not returned. It has also emerged that Susan had criminal connections, one of which will haunt the trial. The judge, Mr Justice Rainer, has dark secrets which are threatening to expose him to a career-ending scandal, and there is a sinister link to Henry and Susan Lang which comes clear as the trial proceeds. Both men have called down the storm, and it remains to be seen who will be swept away when the trial ends.
Next in the series will be One Law for the rest of Us, in which Ben confronts a high-ranking conspiracy to cover up child sexual abuse in a famous religious school.
I’m also taking my writing in another, quite different direction. I will soon be publishing Walden of Bermondsey, a collection of humorous short stories set in a fictitious Crown Court in London. Many readers will remember John Mortimer’s delightful character Horace Rumpole, played on TV by Leo McKern. A robust, irreverent fighter for his clients, who liked a glass of Chateau Thames Embankment, Rumpole delighted readers and TV audiences for many years. I have asked the question: could Rumple have become a judge, and if so, what might have happened? My answer is yes, and his name is Charles (‘Charlie’) Walden, Resident Judge of the Bermondsey Crown Court. In addition to trying all kinds of cases that come before him, which of course form the basis of each story, Charlie is engaged in a constant fight against the ‘Grey Smoothies’, the civil servants who run the courts and who always seem to want to take away their dwindling resources, and to bury Charlie in paperwork. Not only that, but he must keep the peace between his three fellow-judges – Hubert Drake, a devotee of the Garrick Club, who may have been a judge for a little too long; Marjorie Jenkins, non-stop career woman and super-mum married to a shining star in the City; and Rory ‘Legless’ Dunblane, former rugby player, still ‘one of the boys’, and a robust type of judge – who have a penchant for disagreeing. A second volume of Walden stories is also underway.
Many thanks to No Exit for allowing me to spread my wings with this new venture, I will keep you posted on this website about all these books, of course!