Relevant Law by Janice Jarrell

Trigger Warnings:
This novel discusses sensitive material which may be distressing to some readers. Relevant Law explores themes of abduction, physical violence, and non-graphic sexual assault.
Author's Notes:
It is part of a series but can be read as a standalone.

Book Info

Author:
Series:
The Fearless Heart series by Janice Jarrell
Series Type:
Interlinked
Number In Series:
2
Cover Artist:
Publisher:
Janice Jarrell
Published:
25 September 2021
Book Type
Words:
91,638
Pages:
215
Genre's
Heat Level

Synopsis

Sometimes love is defined by fear.

They’d been through it all and emerged victorious. Now they stood on the very brink of a whole new life bursting with possibilities and renewed hope for the future. Colin will take the bar exam and begin his promising career as an Assistant Commonwealth Attorney for the city of Charlottesville. Joshua receives his second Ph.D. and adds Forensic Psychologist to his list of achievements. What could possibly go wrong?

And then:

Three students are abducted from the University of Virginia campus. All three are recovered alive but have been sexually assaulted and brutally beaten. From his new position as Assistant Commonwealth Attorney, Colin partners with both campus and city police in a combined task force determined to solve these horrific crimes and put the perpetrator behind bars. But can they succeed before the ‘campus abductor’ strikes again?

The abusive and volatile husband of one of Joshua’s patients threatens his life. Suddenly Joshua is under siege as he is stalked both at work and at home by an unstable assailant.

Entangled in both these life-threatening situations, Colin struggles to protect both the university he loves and the man he adores. But…

“Oh god, Josh, my sweet love, if anything’s happened to you…” his voice trailed off, unable to voice the unthinkable.

“NO! Joshua’s mind shrieked. I can’t give up! I won’t give up! Colin will come! He’ll come!”

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Excerpt

Colin surged to his feet and strode toward the front desk just as Ray, the desk sergeant entered. He grabbed Colin’s arm and drew him toward the door. “A friend of yours found Joshua’s car by the Culbreth.” He shoved Colin toward the door where several uniformed officers waited. “Go with the guys!”

Without uttering a sound he moved through the station house door and into the darkness beyond. He felt the cool night air touch his face and as he lurched to a halt his heart jackhammered against his chest. “Oh, sweet Jesus, no!” he whispered, feeling his insides twist with horror. “NO!” As he reached the squad car, he felt a strong hand grab his arm and guide him into the vehicle.

“Just take it easy, Colin. We’ll find him.”

When the squad car approached the street where the Culbreth Theater was located they were nearly blinded by the spinning flash of police and ambulance lights. The area was already surrounded by law enforcement and Colin spotted both campus and city police cars parked at random angles, blocking off the street forcing them to stop where they were.

He bolted from the car and ran to where several police officers were gathered. Some were bending to examine the ground, and the beam from various flashlights darted here and there as others examined every inch of ground, sidewalk, bushes, and street.

“Colin!” a voice called, and he spun to see Lenny striding toward him. “Ray called me,” Lenny said, grabbing Colin in a tight embrace. “We’ll find him, Colin. I promise you. We’ll find him.”

He saw flashing police lights in the parking lot across the street and sprinted across the busy avenue to join them. He spotted Joshua’s car at once, surrounded by several uniformed police and moved toward it. As he approached, one of the officers grabbed his arm. “Colin, don’t touch it! We want to check it for prints or other evidence.”

Colin nodded but gave no response. He turned away and blindly stumbled back across the street to the theater. For a moment he stood, surrounded by the flashing lights, hearing the murmur of somber voices, feeling himself teetering on the edge of collapse. “Josh,” he moaned. “Oh god, this can’t be happening.”

He felt Lenny take his arm and lead him to one side. “Take it easy, buddy. Just let the guys work. They’ll figure it out. We’ll find him, Colin. We’re searching his car now, looking for anything that might help us. We can’t find his cellphone anywhere.”

Colin lowered his head and nodded without fully understanding, then spun as the sound of heartbroken sobbing reached his ears. He saw David kneeling on the ground, embracing someone who was bent over, clutching a cloth garment, rocking back and forth as if in pain. He moved to where David knelt and fell to the ground beside him. The voice was Nate’s.

“I heard him!” Nate choked out, shaking with sobs. “I heard him cry out, but I ignored it. Thought I was imagining things! It’s my fault! He brought me my jacket and it’s my fault! Oh god, oh god, oh god! Josh!” He lifted his head and his tear-streaked face twisted in pain when he saw Colin kneeling beside him. “Oh god, Colin, forgive me!”

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