An offer I couldn’t refuse
“Sweetheart, it’s Robert,” my mother caught my attention, holding the phone towards me. “He wants to speak with you.” What did he want? I traded my glass for the phone.
Robert Walters was the investigator responsible for uncovering the evidence that got me released from prison. He’s a very nice man and also one of the founding members of the Christian Advocates for Justice Enterprise—CAJE—a non-profit organization. CAJE was staffed by mostly retired lawyers and police detectives, who advocated in many different ways for the rights of those behind bars. CAJE was also negotiating a settlement with the city of Toronto for my wrongful conviction, though last I heard, negotiations were not going well since many there believed I’d simply been released on a technicality. Maybe things had turned around.
“Good morning, Robert. You’re up and at ‘em nice and early today,” I spoke into the receiver. Robert, I found out after a few minutes, wasn’t calling about the settlement money that I’d use to pay my mother back for all her sacrifices on my behalf.
“Of course, I’m familiar with the Connelly case,” I responded. I’d followed the nationally-covered case like everyone else in the country. I’d shared the headlines with Amy Connelly for the past week. One woman goes free while the other went missing. “Penticton is a small city. Murders don’t happen here every day.”
Then he shocked me by asking for my help. “Reggie, would you look into the case for CAJE?”
Me? I just got out of prison. I’m barely functioning out here. “I’m no longer a cop,” I protested. “I don’t think I’m the right person for this.” Even as the words tumbled from my mouth, I realized that I wouldn’t be able to say no. How could I say no to the organization that was responsible for the very freedom I was learning to enjoy once again? CAJE believed in my innocence when no one else would listen. Well, them and my mother. God bless my mom, who hadn’t given up on me for even a second. I smiled over at her as Robert tried to convince me to get involved. The much too innocent look on her face told me she knew what the call was about.
“I’ll look into it,” I relented, while being certain there’d be very little I could do. From what I’d read in the papers and seen on the news, the case against Stan Connelly was solid. Despite the lack of a body, forensics had discovered evidence of blood in the Connelly kitchen and on the deck of their boat. The DNA findings had confirmed that the blood belonged to Amy Connelly. Things didn’t look good for Stan, but he steadfastly claimed to be innocent.
Title: Framed – A Black Swann Investigation
Author: Wayne Kerr
Genre: Mystery / Thriller
Toronto’s newest homicide detective, Reggie Swann, seemed to have it all: great career, handsome husband and plans to start a family, until she was framed for murder…
A cop has very few friends in prison. After surviving ten brutal years behind bars, Reggie’s conviction is finally overturned thanks to her tenacious mother, a new forensic test and a very clever lawyer. She quickly discovers that getting her old life back won’t be as easy as she hoped. To many, she was still as the media had dubbed her: ‘Black Swann – murderer and cop-gone-bad’. The Toronto Police Department still considers her to be a suspect, Reggie’s husband has remarried and the real killer is still on the loose.
Before Reggie can return to Toronto and solve the crime that ruined her life, she reluctantly agrees to investigate a murder in her home town of Penticton, only to discover the two cases which are separated by ten years and five provinces might somehow be connected. Will anyone believe the wild theories of the disgraced detective?
The real murderer does. He framed her once, this time Reggie Swann must die!
Canadian author, Wayne Kerr, was born and raised in the small town of Biggar, Saskatchewan (New York is big, but this is Biggar). He married his high school sweetheart, Marlene, thirty-nine years ago and has lived happily ever since. They resided in the United States for the past twenty years, but recently returned to Canada and now call the beautiful Okanagan region of British Columbia home. The writer honed his story-telling skills while keeping his five younger siblings and later his daughter entertained during long cold winters. When not reading or writing thrillers, Wayne is probably hiking, biking or playing tennis.
For more information on the author and his books please visit: waynekerrnovels.com or follow him on twitter: @waynekerrnovels