To celebrate the release of Conflict of Interest: an introduction to the characters

Conflict of Interest by Zahra Owens from Dreamspinner Press
Let me give you a little bit of a rundown of the main and important side characters of Conflict of Interest.

Finn DeHavilland: Senior Crown Prosecutor, 42, and married to his job. His biggest hobby is taking work home. He has a reason for not having a private life and this reason has very little to do with the fact he’s gay, because he doesn’t really acknowledge that, even to himself. The cases handed to him by his direct superior (Chief Prosecutor George Carlton) often involve rape, molestation and child abuse and this is gnawing at Finn. He’s tall and lanky with sandy blond hair, imperfect skin and has perfect composure, at least in public. He wears the traditional robes, collar and wig in court, but prefers a tan coat, scarf and cap when he’s away from his working environment. He comes from an upper-class family, grew up in a house full of servants, but turned his back on all this after his parents’ death. He still lives in a spacious Kensington apartment, but cleans his house on Sundays and irons his own shirts.

Thomas ‘Tommy’ Drummond: Detective Sergeant at the London Metropolitan Police, Serious Crimes Command, 30, average height, curly dark brown hair and dimples in his cheeks when he smiles and he smiles a lot. Usually quite chipper. He’s the son of a single mother who raised her children in a council flat and Tommy is determined to carve out a better life for himself by working hard and rising through the ranks of the Met. Has carried an admiration for Crown Prosecutors in general since he was still in uniform, but developed a soft spot for one particular Crown Prosecutor after Finn stuck his neck out for him during an internal investigation. Has a teenage daughter from a youthful relationship, but is fairly open about his sexual orientation. He’s reluctant to make any sort of move in Finn’s direction because he’s afraid of jeopardizing their easy friendship.

Stephanie ‘Stevie’ Fielding: Detective Sergeant at the Met and Tommy’s partner. She’s a woman in her forties who never lived up to the idea most (male) superiors had of a female cop and has therefore been passed over for promotions, but she’s not the sort to care (much). She’s a mother of three practically grown-up children by three different husbands and has vowed never to walk down the aisle again. She’s a bit in-your-face and brash sometimes. She’s not only Tommy’s biggest supporter, but also his listening ear.

George Carlton: Chief Crown Prosecutor and Finn’s direct boss. He was also Finn’s mentor as he rose through the ranks and Finn admires him greatly. Carlton has a bit of an alcohol problem in the sense that he reaches for the bottle of Scotch whenever times are tough and will do so even at nine in the morning, but Finn has never seen him drunk.

Ayse Kartal: psychiatrist and on the payroll of the Crown Prosecution Service as a technical consultant to assess whether witnesses are fit to stand trial. In her early thirties, she’s of Pakistani descent and married to Charlie, a military doctor who is always away on mission. She’s upbeat, smart and sassy. She’s Finn’s sounding board and confidante, which comes in handy right from the start of the story.

Reminder: if you’d like to receive a little original content, sign up for my newsletter and receive the prequel to this story in your mailbox (it’s free!). Only then will you know what ignited that first spark between Finn and Tommy!

Conflict of Interest is available from Dreamspinner Press, Amazon, B&N, ARe and other legitimate online retailers in eBook and paperback.

Conflict of Interest by Zahra Owens from Dreamspinner Press

Conflict of Interest by Zahra Owens from Dreamspinner Press

When a material witness changes her story during a court interrogation, allowing the man who assaulted her little boy to go free, Senior Crown Prosecutor Finn DeHavilland’s legendary self-control goes out the window. His subsequent suspension from appearing in court leaves Finn with time on his hands. Desperate to continue working, and after regularly attending his mandatory psychiatric sessions, he accepts a delicate case involving a fraudulent Scotland Yard police detective.
Excited to be assigned to the case, DS Tommy Drummond, who has had a soft spot for Finn since Finn defended him during an internal investigation, and his partner, Stevie Fielding, begin uncovering evidence. A series of seemingly random occurrences muddle their investigation. Believing they’re on the right path, the team pushes forward, until Tommy’s apartment goes up in flames. Offering Tommy a guest room in his home turns up the heat on the growing feelings between Finn and Tommy. But Finn’s baggage may be too much to deal with, and paranoia threatens to tear them apart. As the net around the corrupt detective tightens, it becomes clear he must have had help from high places, and Finn and Tommy become pawns in the game.

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