Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Tim Vicary - Broken Alibi is featured in the HBS Author's Spotlight Showcase

The Showcase is a special feature of the Author's Spotlight. It is designed to highlight Spotlight author's NEW releases and their soon to be released novels.

The HBS Author's Spotlight SHOWCASES Tim Vicary's New Book: Broken Alibi.

Author Tim Vicary writes Crime and Historical Novels, Children's Books, the Educational Oxford Bookworms Library and The Trials of Sarah Newby series.

Broken Alibi

Lies, Memory and Justice - The Trials of Sarah Newby Book 4

Author: Tim Vicary


How much should you lie for the man you love? Can you really know your ex husband? And how can suicide look like murder?

Just three of the questions which confront barrister Sarah Newby, as she struggles to revive her legal career. Shaken by her second divorce and the murder of her former lover, Sarah wonders if all her relationships with men are doomed. Her admirer, Detective Terry Bateson, hopes not, but what if he, too, has a secret he’d prefer to keep hidden?

And if Sarah’s client is innocent of murder, why has he told such obvious lies?

Excerpt from Broken Alibi


The first fat raindrops fell on the windscreen as the car turned off the road. But the driver did not turn on the wipers; there were only a few yards to go. The headlights pierced the dark tunnel between the trees, as the vehicle bounced slowly over potholes, and came to a halt in a patch of muddy ground near a fence at the end of the track.

There were no other cars there, but that was to be expected, this late at night. The driver opened the door, switched off the engine, and sat there for a moment, waiting, listening. It was that strange atmosphere before an electric storm breaks, when sounds carry weird distances, so that something a mile away can be heard like something next door. The driver sifted through the sounds cautiously, searching for danger. The swish of traffic on the road thirty yards behind; the staccato random patter of raindrops on the trees; the shriek of an owl; the pinking of the car engine as it cooled; and underlying everything, the faintest gurgle of water from the river running nearby.

Reassured, the driver got out, walked to the back of the car, opened the boot, and bent to lift something out. At that moment, a million volts of lightning lit the scene, like a celestial flash bulb. If there had been a camera in the heavens, it would have recorded the image of two human figures, not one - both in long dark coats, struggling together in a strange clumsy dance in the mud behind the car. One, it seemed, was trying to lift the other.

But there was no one else there to see it, so perhaps it didn't happen at all. As the night returned, darker than before, the rain began to fall more heavily, fat heavy raindrops crashing on the canopy of trees like a sudden urgent waterfall, drowning out every other sound, so that no one, even if they had been there, would have heard the sound of the driver's boots staggering across the muddy parking place to the footpath and the river beyond.

Then, like a colossal iron ball rumbling and rolling across the heavens, the thunder came, threatening to collapse through the clouds and crush everything and everyone beneath. God's punishment, perhaps - but for what, and to whom? The driver, staggering, slipping and sliding towards the water's edge, was too burdened and busy to care.

Because the storm was almost directly overhead the lightning came again soon afterwards, this time illuminating a second image, which the driver fervently hoped no one saw, of two figures, both in that instant apparently standing drunkenly at the edge of the river, one behind the other, facing out across the dark, swiftly sliding stream, its surface pitted by a thousand raindrops. The figure in front had two feet in the water and its left hand snagged in a tree, while the rest of the body sagged with bowed head and limp knees as though drunk, unconscious, or dead.

Only an instant, then darkness returned, so no one but the second figure saw or heard the snap as the twig snagging the hand broke off, or the smooth gurgling splash of the shallow dive as the first figure flopped forwards into the strong, black, powerful current which spun the body face down eddying round and round away from the bank, out towards the centre of the river where in a few seconds it vanished not only from sight — had there been anyone to see — but also from the surface, down into the depths where the mud, dead leaves and detritus drifted slowly downstream towards the sea.

The next flash of lighting lit up only the car, its boot and doors now closed, lonely and abandoned under the trees, the torrential rainstorm pounding on its roof and windscreen. Long after the lightning had gone, the downpour continued, steadily, relentlessly obliterating all traces of footprints not just in the mud of the parking area, but also on the grass of the riverside footpath and the slippery, muddy bank of the river itself.

But if some celestial camera had been watching, recording each billion-volt flash lit up in the summer storm, it would have seen countless other things, some with relevance to the drama by the riverside, others with no apparent connection at all.

It would have seen the driver, shoulders hunched, collar turned up, hurrying along the riverbank towards the city, until the grassy path gave way to a tarmac cycle track with houses and gardens on the right hand side. A later flash would have seen the same person, emerging from the dark of a ginnel between those same houses into an area of the A19 lit by streetlights where it passed through the suburb of Fulford, where the driver gratefully got into the back of a taxi summoned by mobile phone.

Another flash, half a mile further upstream, would have lit up the sleeping city of York, with its cathedral, York Minster, gleaming like a beautiful white monument under the lowering midnight clouds of the storm. A little to the south, and nearer the river, the remains of the medieval castle, Clifford's Tower, and the neighbouring Crown Court glistened palely in the rain and lightning flash.

Across the river from there, at a window on the third floor of a block of luxury riverside flats, an astute celestial observer might just have picked out the face of a slim dark-haired woman in her early forties, the barrister Sarah Newby, wakened by the storm and staring out, marvelling at the power of nature, hugging her nightgown tightly about her, thinking with amusement about the visit of her new lover earlier that evening, and wondering what the future would bring.

Less than a mile away across the river, Detective Inspector Terry Bateson stood with an arm round his two young daughters, watching the storm from an upstairs window. The two girls, Jessica and Esther, shrieked with terror and excitement as the lightning split the sky. Terry smiled, hugging them tightly as the rain lashed the windows and ran horizontally across the glass. A cyclist passed under the streetlight outside, shoulders hunched under his streaming cape as he pedalled forlornly home.

Towards morning, the storm moved on towards a police station in Harrogate, where a group of police and special constables gathered, yawning, for a briefing. They had been picked mostly for brawn rather than brains, and all wore stab vests and carried riot helmets ready to put on. As the police piled into their van, it occurred to one constable, at least, that the approaching storm would provide a welcome extra touch of drama to the night. Grinning, he searched on his phone for the track of the ride of the Valkries.

A few miles west of them the target of their raid, a lanky, bearded man in his fifties, lay peacefully asleep in his bed, snoring gently with his wife's head pillowed on his chest.

Much further north still, across the border in Scotland, the weather was calm. Stars shone silently in a cloudless night sky. A little after midnight, a car drove into the car park outside a hotel in Edinburgh. The man who had hired the car, tall, lanky, good-looking, got out and strolled nonchalantly into the building. It had been a good evening, his body language seemed to say. Everything was as it should be, all was right with his world.

Or at least, that is probably how it would have seemed, had he been lit up by a lightning flash then and the moment recorded. But then, there was no storm in Scotland, no celestial CCTV, and no one was watching - so how can anyone know?

Author Genre: Crime and Historical Novels

Website: Tim Vicary
Author's Blog: Tim Vicary - Author
Twitter: @TimVicary
E-Mail: tim.vicary@york.ac.uk
Goodreads: Check Out Goodreads
Facebook: Check Out Facebook

Post with Profile + Interview: HBS Author's Spotlight

Amazon Author Profile

Author Description: Hi. My name's Tim Vicary and I'm an author and a university teacher at the Norwegian Study Centre at the University of York, England. I've written three crime/legal thrillers in 'The Trials of Sarah Newby' series, and just released my fourth, 'Broken Alibi'. I've also written four historical novels, two children's books, and about twenty graded readers for foreign learners of English in the Oxford Bookworms series, published by Oxford University Press, two of which, Titanic and The Everest Story, won awards from the Extensive Reading Foundation in 2010 and 2011 respectively.

My legal thriller, A Fatal Verdict, was awarded a B.R.A.G Medallion for an outstanding independently published book in 2012, and in 2013 Bold Counsel won the Awesome Indies Seal of Approval.

I live in the English countryside, near York. When I'm not writing I like horse-riding, cycling, and swimming.

Author's Book List
A Game of Proof - A Mother's Fight to Defend her Son - The Trials of Sarah Newby series Book 1
A mother's worst nightmare - can her son be guilty of murder?

Sarah Newby, who left school at 15, and was living as a teenage single parent on an inner-city estate, has worked her way up to begin a career as a criminal barrister. But what should she do when her own son, Simon, is arrested and charged with a series of brutal rapes and murders?

Has Sarah, in her single-minded determination to create a career for herself, neglected her son so much that she no longer knows him? He has often lied to her in the past, so how can she trust him when he says he is innocent this time? And what should she do when she herself uncovers evidence that seems to suggest his guilt?

Order the Book From:
Barnes and Noble

A Fatal Verdict - A Sister's Revenge - The Trials of Sarah Newby series Book 2
What would you do if someone murdered your child, but the justice system let you down?

Kathryn Walters is faced with this dreadful decision when her daughter, Shelley, is found dead in a bath in her boyfriend's flat. Despite the best efforts of the Crown Prosecution barrister, Sarah Newby, it seems likely that the boyfriend, David Kidd, will be acquitted. How can her family tolerate this? And how should the investigating detective, Terry Bateson, act when it seems that the murdered girl's mother is seeking revenge on the man he is certain killed Shelley in the first place?

As the story unravels Sarah Newby is confronted with one of her toughest defence cases yet, with a client who is not only reluctant to give evidence on her own behalf, but also refuses to explain why she chose Sarah to defend her in the first place …

Order the Book From:
Barnes and Noble

Bold Counsel - No-one hides forever - The Trials of Sarah Newby series Book 3
Some secrets are buried too deep for tears. Love, death and an ancient murder combine in this outstanding legal thriller. When Sarah Newby embarks on her first case in London’s Court of Criminal Appeal, she has little idea of the quest of horror she is about to uncover. With her marriage collapsing under the strain of her career, she finds a new lover. But dare she trust any man ever again? Yet when even the police oppose her fight for justice, what can one woman do all alone?

Order the Book From:
Barnes and Noble

Nobody's Slave
Two boys meet on a voyage that transforms their lives.

Madu, a young African, is captured by the English slave-trader, Sir John Hawkins. Tom Oakley is a young sailor in charge of the slaves. At first the two boys boys hate each other. But as the story develops their roles are reversed, and they become closer friends than either would have once believed possible.

This is a fast-moving drama based around real historical events. History as you never learned it in school!

Order the Book From:
Barnes and Noble

The Monmouth Summer
1685. King Charles II dies unexpectedly, and is succeeded by his brother James II, England's first Catholic monarch since Bloody Mary. English Protestants feel threatened, and King Charles’s illegitimate son, the handsome young duke of Monmouth, rises against his uncle in armed rebellion.

The rebellion turns young Ann Carter’s world upside down. Eighteen years old, she is betrothed to Tom Goodchild, a Protestant shoemaker; but secretly loves Robert Pole, an officer in King James’s army, who offers to take her to London as his mistress. Ann knows it is her duty to marry Tom, but does not love him; so when he marches away with the rebels, she imagines him being killed – which would set her free. But she knows such thoughts are wicked; her father is a rebel soldier too, like all the men of her village. So who should she pray for, when musket balls start to fly? What matters most – love or loyalty?

If God could see into my heart, she wonders, what would He tell me to do?

Her father, Adam, is a brave man tormented by fear. He has two fears: first, that he may be a coward, and run from the enemy; and second, that he is not one of God’s Elect, and will go to Hell when he dies. But like all the men of Colyton, ‘England’s most rebellious town’, he marches to war, risking his life for what he believes.

When England’s most notorious judge, Judge Jeffreys, is sent to punish the rebels, Ann and her father are faced with the hardest choices of all.

Order the Book From:
Barnes and Noble

Cat and Mouse
Set in London and Ulster in 1914, Cat and Mouse is the gripping story of two sisters fighting for their ideals in the turbulent months before the outbreak of war.

When Sarah Becket, a militant suffragette fighting to free Mrs Pankhurst from prison, discovers that her own husband, a respected Liberal MP, is involved in a scandalous prostitution racket, she is devastated. Still weak from imprisonment herself, she takes a knife from her kitchen and goes out into London's West End, determined to protest for women's rights in the most dramatic way she can.

Across the Irish Sea, her sister Deborah is lonely and unloved. When her soldier husband returns from abroad to join the Ulster Volunteers, she faces an agonizing choice - to end her passionate affair with James Rankin, a charismatic trade union leader, or face the loss of her beloved son. When she reads about her sister's act of defiance, she resolves to go to her aid.

United by their cause, Sarah and Deborah combine to fight both male corruption and a sinister German plot to foment civil war in Ireland.

Order the Book From:
Barnes and Noble

Author Recommended by: HBSystems Publications
Publisher of ebooks, writing industry blogger and the sponsor of the following blogs:
eBook Author’s Corner
Mystery Reader’s Circle

Check out the index of other Spotlight authors. Spotlight Index.

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