Saturday, July 20th, 2024

B Book Excerpts by Jean Loxley-Barnard
THE HOPE TRAP -- Jail - A Perfect Alibi


The following is an excerpt from The Hope Trap, Jean Loxley-Barnard's forthcoming book.

Kitty's parents had Rob convicted of contacting their daughter despite a court order to stay away from her â€" and not even drive by her home. Even worse, he had taken her across the state line. His punishment was a six-week sentence in the city jail.

Two days before Rob was to report to the jail, we had a reasonably pleasant phone conversation. However, I was surprised to receive a nasty message from him the following morning. Rob had in his head that I had told Kitty's parents something. What, I did not know, and I had not spoken to them, so I told myself to let it go. After all, he was to be locked up the next day.

I was able to go into the office to get my mind on something else and went home a little early that afternoon. I had not been home ten minutes when Eve showed up, agitated. "Get some things," she said. "You're coming with me."

I must have looked dumbfounded. "Why?" was all I could say. I stood stock-still, just staring at Eve, confused.

I had not been home ten minutes
when Eve showed up, agitated. 
"Get some things," she said. 
"You're coming with me."
I must have looked dumbfounded. 
"Why?" was all I could say.
"Your phone is out.  It's been disconnected."

"Your phone is out. It's been disconnected." Eve was not one to mince words. Neither she, Lee nor Jo minced words. Maybe that's why I found such comfort from those three friends. They were the opposite of Rob, the storyteller.

Eve had made the point. I got it. I threw a few things into a bag and drove out right behind her.

 Not three minutes later, we passed Rob, headed toward the house I had just fled. It was just after five p.m., the time I usually arrived home. I felt sick to my stomach.

With my phone out so no one could reach me, what if something happened to me and no one found me till the next evening, or later. Rob was going to jail the next morning, a perfect alibi. Was I putting together a clear picture, or was I going "round the bend?

Online Only Additional Excerpt

My Private Eye â€" Bear

I was fortunate to have had a great support system with me every step of the way through the ordeal. One anchor was Bear- my private eye. His heart was in this.

Bear was a prosecution witness and had been really ready to testify, almost eager. There was no doubt in Bear's mind about who was right and who was wrong here. "Rob," he said, "should get his." Primarily Bear's testimony had been that on Rob's birthday, he witnessed Rob escort Kitty into the motel in the late morning and again in the late afternoon. Each time they were there for over an hour. Perhaps his most damaging testimony was that he saw Rob open the door to the hallway, quickly glance each way, and open the door to pick up two clean towels that housekeeping had left moments before. "Rob had been stark naked except for his glasses!" Bear testified, shaking his head. "No, just once- twice!"

Kitty interrupted him, putting her hand on Bear's arm, almost as if to stop him cold. "Rob took me into the hotel room just once that day," she said slowly, looking up into Bear's face. "In the morning." Kitty was visibly distressed.

Bear spoke gently, but with conviction.
"That is one dangerous dude. 
No one has to pay me to be here today."
I felt safe with my private eye.

"Young lady," Bear began slowly, "I know what I saw. You two got there in the morning and stayed for about an hour and a half. Then you left for a couple of hours. I tried to follow you but lost you in the traffic. So I went back to the hotel to wait and- bingo! Both of you came back."

"What has he done to me?" she wailed, obviously in distress.

Bear saw that this young girl believed she had been there just once on her lover's 50th birthday. We exchanged glances, remembering our conversation about Rob's skills with hypnosis. "That is why we are here today," Bear answered. "We're goin' to get that sucker today- just you wait and see. He won't get to you again- or anyone else, hopefully," Bear spoke gently, but with conviction. "That is one dangerous dude. No one has to pay me to be here today."

Bear had seen it all in his line of work. He had worked in a variety of jobs, had even been a grip in the music business before becoming a private detective. His experiences, combined with his religious upbringing, made Bear wax philosophical.

I really liked this Bear of a man. At 6'3", he was imposing and appeared utterly fearless. I felt safe with my private eye.