The first book in the Samantha Brinkman series, 2016
BREAKING NEWS: Actress Chloe Monahan and Roommate Found Stabbed to Death
Actress Chloe Monahan, a regular in the hit drama series
Cops Say Comeback Kid Actress Chloe Monahan and Roommate Killed by Burglar
GET THE ASSHOLE WHO DID THIS! #justiceforchloe
OMG I LOVED HER!! #tragedy
MY FAVORITE ON DARK CORNERS! NOOOOO! #chloeforever
I raced into the studio and hopped into the empty chair in front of Bonnie, the makeup wizard. I had just five minutes till airtime. She gave me an exasperated look as she whipped the red nylon cape around me.
The television in the makeup room-always tuned to the studio’s news programs-showed a reporter standing in front of Chloe Monahan’s apartment. I turned to look. Bonnie grabbed my chin and turned my head back. But I couldn’t help myself. My head swiveled around again when the reporter snagged the lead detective for a sound bite. Bonnie gave an exasperated huff. I turned back to face the mirror again. “Sorry.”
I kept thinking they’d come up with some new leads. Or actually, any leads-period. So far, there was nothing but speculation, and most of it centered on the burglar theory. The only other possible suspect I’d heard mentioned was a drug dealer. But no one was giving that idea much play-in large part because the source was Amanda Trace, the snarling muckraker who hosted
I heard Chloe Monahan’s voice on the television and the shock of it made me jerk my head toward the screen again-but it was just a clip from her interview on
My sparring partner for the evening, lawyer Barry Stefanovich, sauntered in and flopped down into the seat next to mine. “Actually, that sounds kind of cute.” Bonnie shot him a dagger. Barry blew her a kiss and turned his chair to face me. “Hey, Sam.” I didn’t think I could rock the “raccoon in drag” look, so I kept still and just wiggled my fingers at him. He nodded at the television. “When they get the guy, are you going to try for it? It’s gonna be huge.”
Which is always good for business. And as Michelle, childhood BFF, paralegal, and the lone “associate” in my firm, the Law Offices of Brinkman and Associates, would say: “Take the damn case; we need the money.” Ordinarily, it would be a no-brainer. I’ve handled uglier cases that had no publicity benefits, but this was different. I’d been a fan of
The production assistant ran in, her long single braid swinging behind her. “We’ve got to get you guys seated. Barry, you’re in Studio B. Samantha, you’re in Studio A.”
Bonnie yanked off the cape and I vaulted out of the chair. Barry and I fell in behind the assistant as she led us down the hall. “Are we going to talk about Chloe Monahan?”
The assistant shook her head. “
I raised an eyebrow. Since when did they need real news to justify the slugfest? Barry gave me a knowing smile behind the assistant’s back as he ducked into his studio.
I trotted into Studio A next door and sat down. Dane, the audio guy, was waiting for me. He clipped the mike to the lapel of my blazer, handed me my earpiece, and left. The door closed with a solid, air-compressing
And thanks to the magicians in the makeup room and a shot that catches me from only the chest up, I look like I just stepped off the red carpet. You can’t see the safety pin that’s holding my skirt together, the scuffed pumps that’ve been resoled four times, or the old coffee stain on my blouse-which is still missing the last two buttons because I can’t face up to the chore of searching through the overstuffed bag of spare buttons crammed under my bathroom sink.
I pulled out my cell phone to do one last Twitter blast.
I’m on LIVE with Sheri! Talking the Samron case: 14 Yr Old who shot her brother-tune in! #HLN
I’ve been doing the cable news circuit for about six months now. Contrary to popular opinion, it’s not a paying gig, so only the young and desperate do it-or the already successful types who have the time to do it for fun because they’re paying the young and hungry to do the real work. It’s a real time suck, and if it’d been up to me, I’d have said
I’d been pissed. “I don’t have time for that crap, Michy.”
She’d hissed under her breath. “Are you nuts? This ‘crap’ is how you snag the kinds of cases that’ll finally put us in the black. You can’t afford
So far it’s netted me only a couple of DUI cases and a lot of requests to take on pro bono work. But it
But since it still hasn’t proven to be a cash cow, I limit myself to one or two shows a week. A lot of the lawyers who do this cable circuit are hoping to get their own show. I have to admit, I think about it, too, every now and then. It’d be nice not to have to worry about whether I’ve got enough money to feed Beulah, my ancient Mercedes, who-in addition to having a rear passenger window that no longer rolls all the way up and an ugly dent in the right rear fender (which, coincidentally, showed up the day a client got convicted of murder and his girlfriend threatened to kill me)-is a gas hog.
And it’d be a real personal coup if I could wind up living as well as my mother-
So I keep doing it, hoping to score my big break. A shrink who was on one of the shows with me a few months ago said the real reason I did the cable circuit was because I needed to prove that I was “somebody.” Probably to my parents. I told the shrink I’d never met my father, and the only thing that would make my mother think I was “somebody” was if I married a rich “somebody.” And then I told him I thought
As I was finishing a tweet, Dane, the audio guy, spoke in my earpiece. “Could you give me a ten-co ...