McCloud moved on to a different line of questioning after he took a sip of water.
“What can you tell the court about the role the defendant played in his daughter’s wedding, if any?”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, was he the doting father of the bride? Did he give her away on her wedding day?”
“She didn’t want him to know she was getting married. She said he didn’t deserve the honor of walking her down the aisle, and she didn’t want it mentioned again.”
The DA thanked Charlene for her testimony and returned to his seat.
Bosch made a spectacle of sipping a glass of water, glancing at her notepad and clearing her throat before she approached Charlene.
“You testified that you and Mrs. Kasai are best friends, but she never mentioned this alleged abuse. That leads me to conclude either your friendship is not as close as you would have us believe, or,” she paused for dramatic effect, “Mrs. Kasai is lying and this whole trial is a farce.”
“Objection, Your Honor,” a clearly annoyed McCloud shouted. “Ms. Hamilton is not on trial and defense counsel is out of line to call the plaintiff a liar before all the evidence is in.”
“Ms. Bosch, stick to the facts, please,” the judge admonished. “The jury may disregard the last statement. I will not tolerate grandstanding from either one of you.”
Defense counsel apologized to the court, but her demeanor revealed a woman who wasn’t in the least bit sorry.
“Ms. Hamilton, how well do you know my client?”
“Not very well.”
“Really?” Bosch walked to the defense table and picked up a document.
“I’d like to enter this photograph as Exhibit A, Your Honor.”
After the judge nodded his agreement, Bosch waved the photograph in front of Charlene. “Could you tell the court who the people are in this photo?”
The DA had gone over testimony regarding this particular piece of evidence with Charlene but she stalled anyway. Nina guessed she was embarrassed that her dalliance with her best friend’s father was now out for all to see. Knowing Charlene, she didn’t care what they thought. She was more worried about Nina.
Bosch was getting impatient and practically barked at Charlene to answer her question.
“It’s a picture of me and Dr. Copeland.”
“Where was it taken?”
“On vacation in St. Barts.”
McCloud voiced his displeasure at the line of questioning. “I fail to see how this photo has any bearing on this trial. This is a criminal proceeding, not some tabloid TV show Your Honor.”
Bosch eagerly responded. “This speaks directly to the credibility of this witness. She portrayed my client in a very damaging light, yet here she is, looking quite happy to be in his company on a luxury vacation.”
Unfortunately for the prosecution, the judge allowed Bosch to continue her tirade against Charlene. Everything went downhill from there. Charlene was forced to admit that she deliberately kept Nina in the dark about the affair until Merriman found proof of her duplicity. Bosch trapped Charlene into admitting that an honest person would not consistently lie to her best friend. The defense all but discredited Charlene. But it wasn’t enough for Bosch.
“Ms. Hamilton, did your best friend alert you to the fact that her husband never knew my client was her dad?”
“And you agreed to help her deceive her husband?”
“It wasn’t like that.”
“What was it like? We’d love to know.”
Charlene stuck her chin out. Nina recognized the defiant glint in her eyes that said, look bitch, you don’t scare me.
“Nina was always unhappy around her father and that went on for years. It wasn’t hard to see she was better off without him in her life. If she had told me all those years ago what he did, his sorry ass would have been in jail because I would have gone to the cops myself.”
The courtroom exploded in noisy chatter. The judge called for order and Bosch asked to have Charlene declared a hostile witness, which the judge refused to do.
“You testified that my client was controlling and overbearing. But isn’t it fair to say that my client was doing what any caring parent would do, protecting his child from bad influences such as yourself?”
“I don’t know what you mean.”
“Have you ever tried marijuana, Ms. Hamilton?”
“A few times.”
The prosecution objected.
“Your Honor, this line of questioning goes toward establishing the witness’ history of questionable choices and the plaintiff’s pattern of deceit.”
“I’ll allow this to go on but briefly. If you fail to prove relevance, you’ll have to move on.”
“Ever smoke in front of Mrs. Kasai?
“Once or twice.”
“Did she ever try it?”
“Tell the truth, Ms. Hamilton.”
“She hated the way it smelled and it gave her a headache.”
“So you and Nina Kasai have been keeping each other’s secrets for years. My client knew you were a bad influence on his daughter and tried to shield her from you, is that right, Ms. Hamilton?”
The defense knew it was time to quit.
#1 Amazon Bestseller in the suspense and women’s psychological fiction categories.
Boston executive Nina Kasai has been living a lie since her days as a student at Stanford University. But she’s about to learn that some secrets are too big to stay buried.
Years ago, Nina fled from her life of wealth and privilege and vowed never to look back. The horrifying truth has been locked away in her hidden diary, and in the mind of a disturbed woman who will never tell, ever. However, the perfect life she’s since created is about to come crashing down when Phillip Copeland –a ghost from her past with political ambition and secrets of his own, makes Nina an offer she can’t refuse: her silence in exchange for his.
Soon, it all goes horribly wrong when a shocking double-cross sends Nina reeling, and devastating loss threatens to push her over the edge. To make matters worse, her diary, the only link to her secret past has been stolen.
To reclaim her life and bring this twisted game to its stunning conclusion, Nina must confront the past she’s been running from, and find the courage to make a life-altering decision that leaves multiple casualties in its wake.
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Genre – Psychological Suspense
Rating – R
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